Best of Q&A from Webcast: Exchange Server 2003 Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts

Here’s the Q&A from the webcast Exchange Server 2003 – Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts presented by Kevin Remde the other day.

Questions and Answers:

“Does all this apply to the Exchange Server included in my Small Business Version of Exchange?”


“I hear how we can use Windows SharePoint and/Or SharedPortal server to replace Public Folder. However, I can’t seem to find good resources to how we’re supposed to do this or get more information. So my question is where can I get more information about using SharePoint for replacing Public folder? Thanks.”

You make a very good point here. The reason you don’t see much documentation on this is because the majority of this is going to be exposed in SharePoint with Office System 12 (now named 2007 Office System) and not really in the current release of WSS / SPS.

“In regards to using Share Point to replace Public folders, ANY information you can point me to would be appreciated; I’m just planning the use of both SharePoint services and public folders (exclusively), it would be nice to perhaps utilize these features with 2k3 if possible.”

We don’t really have specific documents (that I’m aware of) that specifically talk about how to "replace" Exchange Public Folders with WSS / SPS. The thing to do is look at the features of WSS / SPS such as Discussion Lists, Shared Contacts, etc. Remember that even with the next release of SPS, there is not an exact 1 to 1 "replacement" feature for PF usage – depending on what you are doing in PFs. Here’s a link to the main SharePoint technologies site:

“At some point can we please go through, How to efficiently Restore a Exchange Database / Server. Also How to move a database from one store to another ? Please”

Unfortunately, that wasn’t a part of this webcast.However, I know there are webcasts already recorded (I know because I’ve done ‘em.)Check out specifically for Exchange, we have an Exchange Webcast Series page:

“Is it best practice to delete a non-existent 5.5 server from the ’routing group’ membership? The server doesn’t exist anymore. Thx”

I don’t know that it’s specifically considered a best practice, but if you no longer have the Exchange 5.5 Server anymore, you should get rid of it in your configuration as well.

“Does running an exchange server on a global catalog server improve performance since GC lookups don’t require any network traffic?”

Not necessarily. In fact, one of our "Best Practices" is to not have Exchange on your DCs. There are other factors that may impact the overall performance of your Exchange Server when you do this.

“Are there any problems with storing the database files on a Mirrored (Hardware RAID) drive?”

The short answer: No. The long answer: What are you trying to accomplish? Okay, that was a question, but that really means, "It depends".

“Doesn’t the front-end server have to be on a DC with GC? (Or, does it when using rpc-over-http?)”

Nope, it doesn’t.

“Where should the OWAAdmin Tool be installed? Workstation or Exchange Server?”

On the Server.

“So does the Exchange Best Practice Analyzer tool need the MSExchangeIS service running to run?”

Yes.But if you’re asking if it has to be running on the same machine – the answer is no.You can run the Analyzer from any workstation that has access to the Exchange Organization.It will in turn use the MSExchangeIS and other services to complete its analysis.

“And the Exchange Disaster Recovery Analyzer requires Exchange IS to be stopped?”

Well, the Disaster Recovery Tool does not require that the ExchangeIS Service be stopped or running. The requirement is that the databases be dismounted. You can run this tool with the ExchangeIS running or stopped.

“Will these tools work with Exchange 12?” (the next version of Exchange Server)


“Isn’t the information store on an OWA box, usually disabled?”

Yes if it is only a front end server. But it doesn’t have to be configured that way.

“Is E12 available for download?”

The customer Technology Preview of Exchange 12 is available to subscribers of TechNet. Do you subscribe to TechNet?

“Are there any issues with sorting the database and logs on Network Appliance Filers and using their Single Mailbox recovery to do a restore?”

Here’s our official stance on Exchange 2003 databases being stored on NAS devices:

Here’s the article for iSCSI support:

“Is it possible to cause attachments to be stored in a shared file location instead of in the email?”

Are you referring to the point in time when the user is sending the email or do you want Exchange to automatically remove attachments inline and store them on a file share?

“Does the Exchange Disaster Recovery Analyzer tool recognize clustering in a multiple node environment with multiple IS’s?”


“Can we add a custom dictionary to the OWA spell check?”

If you are referring to individual users customizing the dictionary, No.

“To use rpc over http do you have to configure owa on port the default port 80?”

You need to use SSL – Port 443

“Any documentation on upgrading from Exchange 2003 to E12?”

Not yet. Too early.

“For logging onto OWA it pops up a dialog requesting username and password, but I have seen where sometimes it uses a webpage to request authentication, is the part of the OWA Administration?”

That is Forms based Authentication. To turn this on, you can modify the SSL Listener if you are publishing through ISA 2004 or in Exchange 2003, this is part of the HTTP Virtual Server Properties.

“re: RAID – The reason I ask is I had a hardware failure. replaced the RAID controler (wasn’t the failure but attached) when I recreated the logical drive with both drives the DB’s were on 2 out of 3 of them corrupted.”

RAID 1 is meant to protect against a failure in the hard drive, not the controller. If the controller is having issues, it can cause the data written to the drives to be corrupted which can lead to a corrupted Exchange database.

“Are there any tools for exporting public folders to a PST while keeping the complete PF path?”

Outlook is the best "tool" I know of for this, but it’s not going to do exactly what you want.

“Can you have an OWA login link go directly to the login credentials box and not a separate page?”

You can create your own OWA Logon page that can make this happen. I don’t know the exact code for this, but you can customize things on your own.

“Is the /3gb switch useful at a small business server 2003 with 1 GB”

Sure. Here’s the article on the setting:

“If we use ISA 2004, where does the forms-based authentication page live? Still on the Exchange Server or on ISA 2004?”

If you configure it through ISA 2004 (SSL Listener), then it lives on ISA.

“Is there any easy way to export the GAL to a .cvs or .xls? I’m currently using Outlook Express to make the GAL Portable.”

You would need to use a tool such as CSVDE or LDIFDE to export the entries.

“So when we apply the service pack on Exchange server, the forms-based authentication page [logon.asp] is updated?”

When applying any Exchange SPs the logon page on the server is overwritten with the version included in the SP. If you customize the Logon Page, you should name it something else and then reference the new page you created.

Could you provide us the SCL.cfg file

The Exchange team blogged about this awhile back:

“Is there a list of which services should be disabled on A Exchange FE server?”

Answered: You should start here: to get information on configuration of FE servers.

“I have NOT installed Front Page Server Extensions (in IIS), cause I didn’t want the Sharepoint Admin web site on my exchange server. Does this mean that now the OWA Admin Tool won’t work (since it looks like it needs Sharepoint)?”

NO. The OWA Admin Tool does not require SharePoint. As I did not answer your initial question, I’m not sure what issue you are having. OWA Admin Tool requirements are here: Look for the readme.

“The custom view that kevin created via Outlook, how do we get to that dialog box??”

Are you talking about the .cfg file?

“I am talking about the SCL view he created and shared via Exchange. He customized a view and saved it… how did he get to that customize view dialog box?”

View – Arrange by – Current View – Define Views. Then copy the current view to become a new view. Is that what you needed?

Here’s a good article on setting up the scl.cfg –

“nope… saved it to Exchange and shared it… that isn’t an option under this dialog box…”

Yeah – when you copy it, you got the opportunity to give it a new name, and then choose who it will be available to – and I chose all users. That saved it to the server.

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