An SMTP virtual server does not start successfully, and no Error event is logged on a Windows Server 2003-based computer that is running Exchange Server 2003

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
On a Microsoft Windows Server 2003-based computer that is running Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) virtual server does not start successfully when you try to start it. When this problem occurs, you may receive the following error message:
The service has returned a service-specific error code.
Check the Windows Event Viewer for details.
When you try to find the Error event in Event Viewer, no Error event is logged that is related to this problem. You expect to find an Error event in the event log that indicates why the virtual server did not start.

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later file attributes) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.
Date         Time   Version           Size     File name-----------------------------------------------------------------18-May-2004  01:16  6.0.3790.173      456,704  Smtpsvc.dll      21-Apr-2004  16:35                        271  Branches.inf18-May-2004  18:13                      9,770  Kb840761.cat18-May-2004  16:46                        354  Updatebr.inf18-May-2004  16:46                      5,656  Update_rtmqfe.inf
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

Article ID: 840761 - Last Review: 12/08/2015 07:01:14 - Revision: 2.8

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)

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