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Troubleshooting Your Fax Server

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

This section lists some common issues that you may encounter when using Fax Service Manager. For more in-depth troubleshooting information, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=91073.

What problem are you having?

Clients cannot send faxes that are routed to a specific fax device in accordance with an outgoing rule.
  • Cause:  The device or data cable is not turned on or connected correctly.

  • Solution:  Verify that the device is connected to the main power and turned on, and that the data cable is correctly connected.

  • Cause:  Device properties are not configured properly.

  • Solution:  Verify that the device exists and is enabled to send faxes.

Users are sending faxes to phone numbers that are working correctly when tested by phone, but when the Fax service dials the numbers, it gets a busy signal.
  • Cause:  There is a mistake in the outgoing routing rule that controls the transmission of faxes to those numbers.

  • Solution:  In the left pane of Fax Service Manager, double-click Fax, double-click Outgoing Routing, and then click Rules. In the right pane, right-click the rule, and then click Properties. Correct any errors in the configuration.

  • Cause:  The user has added a 0 (zero) before a local area code that would normally be used for manual telephone dialing. Or, the user is using dialing rules and has specified the fax number in the wrong format.

  • Solution:  When using dialing rules, users must type the fax number in the following canonical format: country/region_code (area_codefax_number. If you send a fax from Microsoft Outlook, and use dialing rules, you must specify the fax number as follows: fax:+country/region_code (area_codefax_number. In this case, the word fax must be followed by a colon (:), a plus sign (+), the country/region code, a space, the local area code in parenthesis, a space, and the phone number without spaces or hyphens. For example: fax:+1 (818) 5551111.

The system cannot receive faxes.
  • Cause:  The device that is set to receive the fax is not turned on or connected to the main power, or the data cable is not connected.

  • Solution:  Verify that the device is connected to the main power and turned on, and that the data cable is correctly connected.

  • Cause:  Some of the properties of the device were configured incorrectly.

  • Solution:  Verify that the device is configured correctly to receive faxes.

Someone is trying to send a fax to the service from the outside, but is not succeeding.
  • Cause:  The outgoing fax queue is so long that it is constantly sending faxes. This takes the available device resources from incoming faxes.

  • Solution:  Check fax activity to verify that this is the cause of the problem. To check fax activity, in the console tree of Fax Service Manager, right-click Fax, and then click Properties. On the General tab, see how many faxes are queued and how many faxes are in progress. If the number is excessive, do one of the following:

    • Pause the outgoing queue to enable incoming calls to be answered. To pause the outgoing queue, on the General tab, select the Disable transmission of outgoing faxes check box. Remember later to clear the check box to enable sending faxes.

    • Pause the submission of new faxes to the outgoing faxes queue. To pause the submission of new faxes, on the General tab, select the Disable submission of new outgoing faxes check box. Remember later to clear the check box to enable submitting new faxes.

    • Add fax devices and then configure at least one device to only receive faxes.

Incoming faxes are not being routed by e-mail, despite the fact that the "Route through e-mail" incoming method is enabled.
  • Cause:  The e-mail address of the recipient was not configured correctly.

  • Solution:  In Fax Service Manager, in the left pane, double-click Fax, double-click Devices and Providers, double-click Devices, double-click the device you want to configure, and then click Incoming Methods. In the details pane, right-click Route through e-mail, and then click Properties. Correct the e-mail address specified to receive incoming faxes.

Cause:  A parameter was not typed correctly in a box on the Receipts tab of the Fax Properties dialog box.

  • Solution:  In the left pane of Fax Service Manager, right-click Fax, and then click Properties. On the Receipts tab, verify that all information is correct.

Delivery notification receipts are configured, but are not being delivered to fax senders.
  • Cause:  A parameter was not typed correctly in a box on the Receipts tab of the Fax Properties dialog box.

  • Solution:  In the left pane of Fax Service Manager, right-click Fax, and then click Properties. On the Receipts tab, verify that all information is correct.

A specific modem device is consistently answering calls that are often disconnected immediately after answering—these calls rarely achieve the status of successfully received faxes.
  • Cause:  Adaptive answering is enabled, but the modem device does not support adaptive answering. If adaptive answering fails, calls are immediately disconnected.

  • Solution:  In the left pane of Fax Service Manager, double-click Fax, double-click Devices and Providers, and then double-click Devices. Right-click the modem that is causing the problem, and then click Properties. On the Microsoft Modem FSP tab, clear the Enable adaptive answering if supported by the modem check box.

  • Cause:  The device supposedly supports adaptive answering, but because of a lack of standardization between modem models, the device is not distinguishing between incoming data and an incoming fax. When adaptive answering fails, calls are immediately disconnected.

  • Solution:  Test whether the modem that has adaptive answering enabled correctly supports this feature. Check both data transmission and incoming faxes. If either type of call is not correctly received by the modem, you need to disable the adaptive answering option for this device as described in the previous solution.

A modem has been added to the computer and appears in Phone and Modem Options in Control Panel, but it does not appear in the device list in Fax Service Manager.
  • Cause:  Newly added modem devices do not appear in Fax Service Manager until you restart the Fax service and then refresh your view.

  • Solution:  In the console tree of Fax Service Manager, right-click Fax, click Stop, click Start, and then press F5 to refresh the view. If this does not work, close Fax Service Manager, and then reopen it to refresh the view.

Faxes are spending too much time in the outgoing fax queue before being sent.
  • Cause:  Insufficient fax devices are allocated to sending faxes.

  • Solution:  In the left pane of Fax Service Manager, double-click Fax, double-click Devices and Providers, and then click Devices. Right-click the device that is not currently enabled to send faxes, and then click Send.

Faxes are remaining in the Outbox folder longer than required and are filling the folder.
  • Cause:  The automatic deletion of faxes that remain in the Outbox folder longer than a specified length of time is not enabled, or the specified length is too long.

  • Solution:  In the left pane of Fax Service Manager, right-click Fax, and then click Properties. On the Outbox tab, select the Automatically delete faxes older than <number> days check box. If it is selected, decrease the number of days after which faxes will automatically be deleted if remaining in the Outbox folder.

Incoming and sent faxes are remaining in the archive folder longer than necessary and are filling the folder, or a warning appears periodically that the archive is too large.
  • Cause:  The automatic deletion of faxes that remain in the archive folders longer than a specified length of time is not enabled, or the specified length is too long. If you are receiving a warning, the number of days is too high for the size of faxes you are receiving, and the archive reaches the maximum quota limit that you have set before faxes are automatically deleted.

  • Solution:  In the console tree of Fax Service Manager, right-click Fax, and then click Properties. On the Archives tab, select the Automatically delete faxes older than <number> days check box. If it is selected, decrease the number of days after which faxes will be automatically deleted. If you have received a warning, manually delete the number of faxes below the size of the minimum quota limit indicated on this tab to reset the warning.

Faxes cannot be submitted or sent, and a message appears in the event log that the fax Queue folder cannot be accessed.
  • Cause:  This problem usually occurs if the default location of the fax queue has been changed or the folder location does not exist or is invalid.

  • Solution:  Check the fax queue location and modify it with a registry key if necessary. To do this, do the following:

    1. In Fax Service Manager, right-click Fax, and then click Stop to stop the Fax service.

    2. In the operating system, click Start, click Run, and then type regedit to open the Registry Editor.

    3. In HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Fax\QueueDirectory, set the string value to the required queue location. For example, <systemdrive>\<queuelocation>.

    4. Close the Registry Editor.

    5. Set security permissions for the Queue folder to ensure it is only available to the Fax service.

    6. Move contents from the Queue folder in the previous location to the Queue folder in the new location.

    7. In Fax Service Manager, click Action, and then click Start to restart the fax service.

Fax Activity Logging is not working, and a message appears in the event log that the Fax service cannot access the activity log folder.
  • Cause:  This problem usually occurs if the default location of the activity log has changed or the folder location does not exist or it is invalid.

  • Solution:  In the console tree of Fax Service Manager, right-click Fax, and then click Properties. On the Activity Logging tab, check the location of the activity log, and modify as needed.

Fax archiving is not working, and a message appears in the event log that the Fax service cannot access the archive.
  • Cause:  This problem usually occurs if the default location of the archive folder has changed or the folder does not exist or is invalid.

  • Solution:  In the console tree of Fax Service Manager, right-click Fax, and then click Properties. On the Archives tab, check the location of the archive folder, and modify if necessary.

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