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Beware of Exchange 2003 Internet Mail Wizard errors

When using the Internet Mail Wizard to set up Internet mail connectivity with an Exchange 2003 server, you may encounter a misleading error message related to a WMI namespace issue. Learn why this error occurs and how to resolve it.

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Exchange 2003's Internet Mail Wizard is designed to walk an administrator through the process of setting up Internet mail connectivity with Exchange Server.

But, it's designed for basic setup only. It's not intended situations where the default SMTP server configuration has been changed. It's also not meant to be used on a Network Load Balancing (NLB) cluster node or a multi-homed server (a server with more than one network interface).

Evan Dodds has identified a problem that comes up occasionally with the Exchange 2003 Internet Mail Wizard that generates a misleading error message.

Sometimes it produces these errors:

An Error occurred during a call to Windows Management Instrumentation
Exchange System Manager

The selected server fails the following prereqs:
Cannot be part of a Network Load Balancing cluster.

This will even happen on computers that cannot become part of a NLB cluster in the first place, which makes the error that much stranger.

The error code provides a partial clue -- the problem lies in the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) namespace for NLB, which may have become damaged or was never registered correctly. The wizard tries to read the namespace to determine if the system is indeed an NLB; upon failure, it assumes that the server is an NLB anyway.

To fix this, you'll need to recreate the NLB namespace in WMI:

  1. Open a command prompt and change to the directory %Systemroot%\System32\WBEM.

  2. Run the command MOFCOMP wlbsprov.mof. This runs the Managed Object Format Compiler (MOFCOMP), which takes the raw class and class instance information for NLB, as stored in an .MOF file, and adds it to the WMI interface's repository.

  3. Reboot just to be on the safe side.

You should now be able to run the Internet Mail Wizard without any more problems.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter.

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