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MTA Check Tool

The following is Tip #23 from "25 Exchange 2003 Tips in 25 minutes."

The following is Tip #23 from "25 Exchange 2003 Tips in 25 minutes." This content is excerpted from Scott Schnoll's book, "Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Distilled," brought to you by © (2004) Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Addison-Wesley Professional. Return to the main page for more tips on this topic.

The Message Transfer Agent (MTA) Check tool, MTACHECK.EXE, is a command-line tool used to analyze and correct MTA database consistency problems. The MTA database is quite efficient and normally performs well. However, like any database it can become corrupt. When that happens, one of several events will be logged in the Application event log on the Exchange server. An example of such an event is shown here.

Event Type: Error
Event Source: MSExchangeMTA
Event Category: None
Event ID: 9405
Date: 10/18/2003
Time: 9:34:07 AM
User: N/A
Computer: EX2K3
Description: An unexpected error has occurred which may cause the MTA to terminate. Error: <error code>

Several other possible events can be logged when the MTA is corrupt. This event is just one example. If you receive one of these events, or if you suspect corruption, you can use MTACHECK.EXE to verify database integrity and fix the problem. MTACHECK.EXE can be launched without any startup switches (in which case it runs with only minimal logging), or it can be launched using one of the command-line switches listed in Table 10.4. A couple of important steps need to be performed before MTACHECK. EXE should be run. For more information on these steps and the MTA Check tool itself, consult the Read Me file included with this tool.

Get more "25 Exchange 2003 Tips in 25 minutes." Return to the main page.

About the author: Scott Schnoll, an Expert on, is an MCT, MCSA and a long-time Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP).

In addition to writing "Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Distilled," he is a co-author of the upcoming "Exchange 2003 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press" and lead author for "Exchange 2000 Server: The Complete Reference."

Scott has written numerous articles for Exchange & Outlook Magazine, and is a regular speaker at Microsoft conferences, including MEC and TechEd, as well as industry conferences such as Comdex and MCP TechMentor, where he covers topics such as Exchange, clustering, Internet Information Services and security.

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