MTA is not running under LocalSystem account

[This topic is intended to address a specific issue called out by the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool. You should apply it only to systems that have had the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool run against them and are experiencing that specific issue. The Exchange Server Analyzer Tool, available as a free download, remotely collects configuration data from each server in the topology and automatically analyzes the data. The resulting report details important configuration issues, potential problems, and nondefault product settings. By following these recommendations, you can achieve better performance, scalability, reliability, and uptime. For more information about the tool or to download the latest versions, see "Microsoft Exchange Analyzers" at]  

Topic Last Modified: 2005-11-18

The Microsoft® Exchange Server Analyzer Tool queries the Win32_Service Microsoft Windows® Management Instrumentation (WMI) class to determine the value set for the StartName key for the Microsoft Exchange MTA Stacks service. The Exchange Server Analyzer also queries the Active Directory® directory service to determine the value for the serialNumber attribute on the Exchange Server object in the directory. The serialNumber attribute on the Exchange Server object identifies the version of Exchange Server running on the computer represented by the object. If the value for StartName key does not equal LocalSystem on an Exchange server running Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 2003, an error is displayed.

Running the Exchange MTA Stacks service under any other account will cause permission and access errors and is not a supported configuration.

To resolve this error, you must configure the Exchange MTA Stacks service to start under the LocalSystem (aks SYSTEM) account.

This error does not apply to Exchange Server version 5.5. Only Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003 require the Exchange MTA Stacks service to run under the LocalSystem account.

  1. Open the Services Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in.

  2. Locate and stop the Microsoft Exchange MTA Stacks service.

  3. Double-click Microsoft Exchange MTA Stacks service.

  4. On the Log On tab of the Microsoft Exchange MTA Stacks Properties page, select LocalSytem account under Log on as, and then click Apply.

  5. Under Service status, click Start, and then click OK.

  6. Close the Services snap-in.

For more information about running Exchange services under the LocalSystem account, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 239762, "Exchange Services Run Under LocalSystem" (