Messages remain in the "Messages awaiting directory lookup" SMTP queue in Exchange Server 2003 or in Exchange 2000 Server

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Article ID: 884996 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you try to send messages to a Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server computer or to a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 computer, the messages remain in the Messages awaiting directory lookup queue. However, message delivery to local recipients and to recipients on the Internet is successful.

Additionally, if you increase diagnostic logging on the Transport components, you may see the following events in the Application log in Event Viewer:
  • In Exchange Server 2003, both the following events may appear in the Application log in Event Viewer:

    Event 1

    Event Type: Warning
    Event Source: MSExchangeTransport
    Event Category: Categorizer
    Event ID: 9035
    Date: date
    Time: time
    User: N/A
    Computer: computername
    Description: Categorization of the message failed with a retryable error. Either some of the admin objects were renamed recently and changes were not picked or journaling was turned on for MDB (CN=Mailbox Store (computername),CN=First Storage Group,CN=InformationStore,CN=computername,CN=Servers,CN=First Administrative Group,CN=Administrative Groups,CN=contoso,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=Contoso,DC=com) and the journal recipient's mailbox is deleted.

    Event 2

    Event Type: Error
    Event Source: MSExchangeTransport
    Event Category: Categorizer
    Event ID: 6004
    Date: date
    Time: time
    User: N/A
    Computer: computername
    Description: The Categorizer is unable to categorize messages due to a retryable error.

  • In Exchange 2000 Server, both the following events may appear in the Application log in Event Viewer:

    Event 1

    Event Type: Warning
    Event Source: MSExchangeTransport
    Event Category: Categorizer
    Event ID: 9003
    Date: date
    Time: time
    User: N/A
    Computer: computername
    Description: Categorizer is temporarily unable to process a message. While processing user 'smtp:user@contoso.com', the function 'CPhatCat::CompleteUserMailDrop' called 'SetTargetServer' which returned error code '0xc0040559' (A retryable categorizer error occurred. ). ( y:\transmt\src\cat\sinks\phatcat\cptmaildrop.cpp@335 )

    Event 2

    Event Type: Error
    Event Source: MSExchangeTransport
    Event Category: Categorizer
    Event ID: 9004
    Date: date
    Time: time
    User: N/A
    Computer: computername
    Description: Categorizer encountered a hard error while processing a message. While processing user 'smtp:user@contoso.com', the function 'CPhatCat::SetTargetServer' called 'MDAGetInfo' which returned error code '0x80040920' (). A DSN has been generated. ( y:\transmt\src\cat\sinks\phatcat\cptmaildrop.cpp@489 )

    Event 3

    Event Type: Error
    Event Source: MSExchangeTransport
    Event Category: Categorizer
    Event ID: 9004
    Date: date
    Time: time
    User: N/A
    Computer: computername
    Description: Categorizer encountered a hard error while processing a message. While processing User 'smtp:user@ contoso.com', the function 'CPhatCat::HrIsRecipientInSameRG' called 'MDAGetInfo' which returned error code '0x80040920' (). A DSN has been generated. (K:\transmt\src\cat\sinks\phatcat\cptbif.cpp@3368)

CAUSE

This problem may be caused by one or more reasons. Some of the most common causes are as follows.

Cause 1

This issue may occur if the following conditions are true:
  • You have configured message archiving on the Exchange Server computer.
    Note Message archiving is also known as message journaling.
  • The mailbox or the public folder that you have configured as the message archive location is no longer a valid location.
For example, this issue may occur if the message archive mailbox or the public folder has been deleted.

Note We do not recommend using public folders as message archive locations.

Cause 2

This issue may occur if one or more of the Exchange 2000 Server computers or the Exchange Server 2003 computers does not have sufficient permissions to obtain the attributes of the recipients.

RESOLUTION

Because there may be several causes of this problem, use one or more of the following resolutions as appropriate for your situation.

Resolution 1

To resolve this issue, make sure that the message archive location is a valid mailbox or a valid public folder.

To view the message archive location, follow these steps:
  1. Start the Exchange System Manager tool.
  2. If administrative groups are enabled, expand Administrative Groups, and then expand your administrative group.
  3. Expand Servers, expand your Exchange Server computer, and then expand the storage group where the mailbox store that you want to modify is located. For example, expand First Storage Group.
  4. Right-click the mailbox store where message archiving is configured, and then click Properties.
  5. Under Archive all messages sent or received by mailboxes on this store, view the storage location that appears. Make sure that the mailbox or the public folder is a valid location.
The following is an example of a valid mailbox location where Archive Mailbox is the name of the user account mailbox where you archive your e-mail messages:
Archive Mailbox
The following mailbox location is an example of a user account that has been removed and of a mailbox that has been marked for deletion:
/dc=com/dc=contoso/cn=Deleted Objects/cn=Archive Mailbox\DEL:db9c0898-984e-435f-9e0c-431a7b7fc33a
To work around this issue if the message archive location is not a valid mailbox or a valid public folder, turn off message archiving. Or, change the message archive location to a valid mailbox for the information store database where you experience this issue. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start the Exchange System Manager tool.
  2. If administrative groups are enabled, expand Administrative Groups, and then expand your administrative group.
  3. Expand Servers, expand your Exchange Server computer, and then expand the storage group where the mailbox store that you want to modify is located. For example, expand First Storage Group.
  4. Right-click the mailbox store where you want to modify message archiving options, and then click Properties.
  5. Click to clear the Archive all messages sent or received by mailboxes on this store check box. Or, click Browse to select one valid mailbox.
  6. Click Apply, and then click OK.
  7. After you modify the message archiving options, you may have to restart the IIS Admin Service. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type services.msc, and then click OK.
    2. In the Name list, right-click IIS Admin Service, and then click Restart.
    3. Click Yes to confirm the restarting of all the services that are dependent on the IIS Admin Service.

Resolution 2

To resolve this issue, make sure that inheritable permissions are permitted to propagate to the server objects. To do this:
  1. Start the Exchange System Manager utility, and then locate the Exchange server object that is experiencing the problem.
  2. Right-click the server object, and then click Properties.
  3. Click the Security tab, click to select the Allow inheritable permissions from parent to propagate to this object check box, and then click OK. If you receive the following message, click Yes to continue:
    Deny entries take priority over Allow entries
  4. Verify that the Allow inheritable permissions from parent to propagate to this object option is selected for each server that experiences this problem.
When you allow inheritable permissions from the parent object to propagate to the server object, the local System account on the destination server can then access this server to obtain user attributes.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
261173 How to enable the message journaling function for an Exchange Server mailbox store
843105 Troubleshooting message journaling in Exchange Server 2003 and in Exchange 2000 Server
834634 An update rollup is available to enable the Envelope Journaling feature in Exchange 2000 Server

Properties

Article ID: 884996 - Last Review: October 25, 2007 - Revision: 2.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbenv kbtshoot kbprb KB884996

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