SMTP service status unknown

[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: 2006-10-06

The Microsoft® Exchange Server Analyzer Tool queries the Win32_Service Microsoft Windows® Management Instrumentation (WMI) class to determine the value of the Started key for the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) service. A value of False indicates that the SMTP service is not running. A value of True indicates that the SMTP service is running.

If the Exchange Server Analyzer cannot determine the value for the Started key, the Exchange Server Analyzer displays an error.

This error indicates that the WMI query was unable to retrieve the data requested.

The likely causes of this error are as follows:

  • The account that runs the Exchange Server Analyzer does not have sufficient permissions to query WMI classes.

  • A network issue prevents the Exchange Server Analyzer from contacting the computer.

  • A transient condition of unknown origin has caused a time-out for the query.

To correct this error
  1. Make sure that the server that is running Exchange Server has been started and is connected to the network.

  2. Use the PING command to see whether the Exchange server is reachable.

  3. If there is a firewall, check to see whether remote procedure call (RPC) ports are blocked.

  4. Examine the permissions for the account under which the Exchange Server Analyzer is running. The account under which the Exchange Server Analyzer is running must have local Administrator permissions on each Exchange server that it scans.

    Alternatively, you can grant specific WMI permission to the account under which the Exchange Server Analyzer is running:

    1. On the Exchange server, open the Computer Management Microsoft Management Console (MMC) tree.

    2. Under Services and Applications, right-click WMI Control, and then click Properties.

    3. On the WMI Controls Property dialog box, click the Security tab, and then expand Root.

    4. Select the CIMV2 folder, and then click Security.

    5. On the Security for ROOT\CIMV2 page, add the account under which the Exchange Server Analyzer runs.

  5. Select the account that you added in step 5. In Permissions for Selected_Account, under the Allow column, select both Remote Enable and Read Security, and then click OK.

For more information about SMTP service and Exchange Servers, see "SMTP Transport Architecture" in the Technical Reference Guide for Exchange Server 2003 (

For more information about how to configure SMTP service for Exchange, see "Configuring SMTP in Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server" (

For more information about how to troubleshoot network connectivity problems, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 325487, "How to troubleshoot network connectivity problems" (

For more information about how to troubleshoot connectivity problems for the Exchange Server Analyzer, see "Microsoft Exchange Server Best Practices Analyzer Tool Troubleshooting Connectivity Problems" (


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