In this article I will show you how use the ExInfo tool to collect and display Exchange Server 2000 and Exchange Server 2003 information. ExInfo was primarily designed for Exchange 2000 Server use but you can also use it for Exchange Server 2003.
ExInfo is a very small Visual Basic application that you must run locally on your Exchange 2000 server or Exchange Server 2003. ExInfo provides diagnostic and systemstate data about the Exchange Server and a lot of associated Active Directory information.
ExInfo uses WMI (Windows Management Instrumentarium) which is an implementation from the WBEM (Web Based Enterprise Management) imitative from Microsoft. WMI is supported in Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, and for some older operating systems as an Addon.
ExInfo uses WMI queries on the local Exchange 2003 server and queries Active Directory to provide a huge amount of useful information.
ExInfo is a query and reporting tool, it doesn’t configure anything unless you execute some scripts which change or add information in your Exchange organization.
To run ExInfo you must have a minimum of Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Service Pack 1 and Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 1 or Exchange Server 2003. ExInfo best runs locally on the computer that runs Exchange Server. You must be logged on as an Administrator to access Windows Management Instrumentation, Active Directory and Exchange information.
After downloading and extracting the ExInfo files, you can start the installation by clicking Setup.exe.
Figure 1: Installation of ExInfo
You must specify the installation path. The default installation path is C:\Program Files\ExInfo.
ExInfo Setup creates a Program Group called “Exchange Information Collection Tool”
Because ExInfo is a relatively old tool it is possible that it willrequest to overwrite an OCX file. If you get this message, click Yes to keep the newer file on the system, i.e. the newer file already in the system will not be overwritten.
Figure 2: ExInfo version conflict
ExInfo has three primary functions:
- Information Collection: Information Collection collects information from Windows Management Instrumentation Providers and Active Directory. You can also make ExInfo.exe generate a file dump of the Configuration container as well as generate an HTML-based report of the Active Directory and Windows Management Instrumentation queries.
- Custom Script: Custom Script provides a user interface to host custom scripts and display human readable text generated by the script; it saves this information to a log file. In addition, this tab enables the log file to be appended or overwritten by subsequent executions of the same script to the same file depending on the user’s preference.
- File Collection: File Collection enables the user to package any of the files created by ExInfo.exe or any file on the system into a .cab file. This cab file can be archived after analyzing or it can be sent to Microsoft or to other professionals for further analysis.
As a first step you must specify the Exchange Server to use.
Figure 3: Select the Server to get the information from
On the first tab called “Information Collection” click on Local Server information and you will find some helpful information about the Exchange and AD configuration. You will see your Active Directory and Exchange Topology and many other configuration settings of your Exchange Organization.
Figure 4: Information Collection
The E2kdsinteg utility was first included in Exchange 2000 SP2.
This tool reports the health of Active Directory after Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 2003 is installed and running.
E2kdsinteg generates a simple report in text file format that documents anomalies or suspect objects in Active Directory.
E2kdsinteg does not make changes to any objects in Active Directory. Depending on the number of mail-enabled objects and configuration objects in Active Directory, it may take a substantial amount of time to process the mail-enabled objects. In this example the collection of about 3500 objects takes a few seconds in a Virtual Machine.
In Exchange Server 2003, the ConfigDSInteg tool runs the E2kDSInteg configuration object to examine Active Directory configuration objects but it is also possible to run the tool alone.
You can find more information about this tool and when to use it in the following KB article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313184/en-us.
Click E2KDSINTEG Script to start the script as you can see in the following Figure.
Figure 5: Executing E2KDSINTEG
E2KDSINTEG is now executing the Exchange DS Integrity Checker.
Figure 6: E2KDSINTEG is running
After E2KDSINTEG has run you can see the result in ExInfo.
Figure 7: E2KDSINTEG results
ExInfo allows you to execute scripts to collect or find information about your Exchange environment that are not part of ExInfo. With the help of ExInfo you can redirect the Output generated by the Script to a file as you can see in the following Figure. If you want to see the Output of the Script in ExInfo you must activate the function “Show Output”.
Figure 8: Executing custom scripts
CAB file creation
For archiving purposes, or if you want to send the ExInfo output to Microsoft or another IT professional, you can create a CAB file of the ExInfo output.
Figure 9: Creating the CAB file
The CAB file contains an HTM report from ExInfo, a Perfmon Log file which you can use with Perfmon or, for example, the Exchange Server Performance Troubleshooting Analyzer and a text file with the Performance Counters of the machine where you run ExInfo.
Figure 10: Content of the CAB file
Command line syntax
ExInfo has a command line option from where you can execute commands. The Command line option from ExInfo is a good idea if you want to use ExInfo in scripts or batch files or if you want to collect information from several servers.
Figure 11: ExInfo command line option
This example creates an HTML report called LONDON-REP.HTM. This is the same HTML Report Format and content that ExInfo creates and you see when you create a CAB file from the ExInfo results.
Figure 12: ExInfo report
ExInfo is a great tool for collecting information about your Exchange Server and your Exchange environment. The tool was primarily designed for Exchange Server 2000 but also works in Exchange Server 2003 environments. There are several tools in Exchange Server 2003 which collect Exchange and Active Directory information, but you should know that ExInfo is one of these tools.