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2,001 Tips
Windows NT 4.0

Dead Letters

You can delete messages permanently by right-clicking on the deleted items bin and then choosing Empty Folder. You can also hold onto deleted messages and later remove them manually: Select Tools/Options, choose the General tab, and uncheck "Empty the Deleted Items folder upon exiting."

Total Recall

When you send a message, it's first passed on to the Outbox. If you have second thoughts about sending it, there's a brief window of opportunity to click on Quick-which will cancel the message prior to distribution.

Raid on Mail

You can install Exchange so that it scales properly to accommodate your company's growth. First, buy a system with the most powerful processor available-you might even consider one that supports more than one processor. Next, keep the transaction logs on separate, mirrored disks. Note that Exchange's performance can actually degrade when using RAID arrays. However, RAID arrays will provide much better I/O performance for the Information Store. The optimum Exchange Server configuration will have a combination of a hardware Raid 5 disk array and RAID 1 (Mirrored) disks sets. Finally, get lots of RAM. Microsoft's recommended minimum is 16MB, but Windows Magazine suggests nothing less than 32MB.

Mail Migration

If you're a local Exchange user, store data in the Private Information Store. However, every month or so migrate your Exchange files to a PST file for archiving purposes. To do so, move into the Properties in Exchange client, Add a new Personal Folders File and create the file in a user directory on a server where it can be backed up. You can then drag messages to be archived to the PST file. Your personal folder can also be removed from the properties of Exchange client. When the archive needs to be recalled, you can add your Personal Folders File back into Exchange client.

The Weakest Link

By default, Exchange will not set up the link monitors, which check the status of various connections to other sites. To activate a monitor, select Tools from the menu bar and choose Start Monitor. Monitors can also be started by typing Admin /m from the command line.

Backup Plan

If you don't have a third-party backup product, you can use the backup utility built into NT to backup Exchange Server. By the way, that utility is actually upgraded during Exchange Server's installation to support the on-line backup of Exchange. There is one caveat: The on-line backups support only the information and directory databases. If you want to backup other Exchange components, you have to take Exchange off-line or use a third-party backup product.


To better estimate how much hardware horsepower Exchange will require, check out LoadSim. It's included on the Exchange Server CD and can simulate a specified number of electronic mail, scheduling and public folder users on Exchange Server.

Access Denied

If your workstation can't access Exchange Server, check out the RPINGC32.EXE utility. It's included on the Exchange Server CD-ROM and lets you run a remote procedure call (RPC) Ping from the server or from a workstation. Another simple way to test your server configuration is to load the Exchange client on the server. If the client works fine on the server, then the problem exists on the network.

The Root of the Matter

Any errors that occur during the Exchange Server installation can be tracked though the SETUP.LOG file. This file is located at the root of where Exchange has been installed. In addition to step-by-step information about the installation procedure, it offers data about the state of Exchange Services and any errors that were found loading the services.

Move Mail on the Net

Exchange clients can connect to Exchange Server over the Internet through Internet Service Providers. First, make sure Internet routers and firewalls have TCP port 135 open so that Exchange remote procedure calls can communicate over the Internet. You will also need to add the Exchange Server's name and IP address in your HOST file. Test communications with the RPC Ping utility included on the Exchange CD to verify that you can actually "talk" to your Exchange Server over the Internet. Next, authenticate the Domain in which the Exchange Server resides. A simple way to make that happen is to uncheck "Network security during logon." You'll find this option on the Advanced tab of Exchange Server Service within the Exchange client.

Log Off

Check the event log daily to make sure that your system is running cleanly, but only use Exchange Server's diagnostic logs when there is a problem or you suspect that there's a problem. Turning on all of the logs will generate a great deal of unneeded information.

Site Management

It's possible to manage all of your Exchange sites from your NT desktop. To do so, run the Exchange Setup and when prompted for the Setup Options, uncheck Exchange Server and only install the Exchange Administrator and the OnLine books. The Online books are also optional, but they come in handy.

Pack it On

Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Exchange Server should be applied immediately. To find the pack, go to the Web page http://www.microsoft.com/kb/softlib/ and search for Exchange. The Service Pack requires that the Exchange Services be shut down temporarily, so you'll need to install the Service Pack during off-hours.

Local Rules

Local groups can be used only if the Exchange servers are in the same site and the servers are Domain Controllers within the same Windows NT domain.

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