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Microsoft Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant 1.0

There's a new Microsoft tool to add to your Exchange Server administration arsenal: the Microsoft Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant 1.0.

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There's a new Microsoft tool to add to your Exchange Server administration arsenal: the Microsoft Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant, version 1.0.

The Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant works with both Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003, and also has forward-compatibility with Exchange 2007 for certain problems.

Exchange 2007 is still under wraps, but I'm betting that there will be a revision to the Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant before Exchange 2007's official release so that it is fully compatible.

The Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant works by letting you select a number of common tasks, and then asking you detailed questions about the symptoms of the problems you're seeing.

For instance, if you elect to troubleshoot problems with mail flow, you'll be asked to describe the symptoms -- e.g., a message queue is backing up. The program will then produce a report of possible causes for you to examine.

The Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant program also attempts to perform many troubleshooting actions on its own whenever possible. If it encounters a problem that requires administrator intervention, it will alert you and provide contextual information about the issue.

Note that the program's "Updates and Customer Feedback" option is present, but doesn't actually work yet -- it's a cosmetic addition that hasn't been fully enabled.

That said, the tool's design team is always willing to accept feedback about its use in the USENET newsgroup microsoft.public.exchange.tools. It is, after all, a 1.0 release, and a great deal of expansion is promised.

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


MEMBER FEEDBACK TO THIS TIP

Thanks for this powerful tool. It seems that it will be a great help to us admins, but when I tried downloading the tool, it says that it only works with "Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003; Windows XP." However, the uninstall procedure includes the Windows 2000 server.

Is this is a typo of Microsoft? Thanks!
—Patrick G.

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Yes, I believe that's a generic variety of typo on their part, since the nomenclature for the uninstall process is a little different in some versions of Windows.

I'm fairly confident the program runs only on Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP (in XP, I believe this means it talks to an instance of an Exchange server remotely, since you can't install Exchange on Windows XP).
—Serdar Yegulalp, tip author

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How does this compare to what Zenprise is doing?
—Jon B.

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Zenprise's product appears to be a much broader for-pay tool, something that a very big company might buy and use to not only diagnose existing problems but keep new ones from developing. Microsoft's tool is a lot more modest in its scope and ambitions, but it's also free.
—Serdar Yegulalp, tip author


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Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Article: Get ready for Exchange 2007 with a tool check
  • Toolbox for Exchange administrators
  • Our SearchExchange.com experts' favorite freeware
  • Learning Guide: Exchange Server performance tuning and troubleshooting
  • Reference Center: Microsoft Outlook and Exchange Server administration tools

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