You use Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync to synchronize with a mailbox on a server that is running Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2). If Exchange Server 2003 SP2 contains email messages that are larger than 10 MB, the Exchange ActiveSync W3wp.exe process uses almost 100 percent of CPU resources for a long time on Exchange Server 2003 SP2.
This problem occurs because Exchange Server 2003 SP2 must allocate memory to process the message in 4-KB increments. Therefore, it can take thousands of allocations to handle a large message. This behavior consumes lots of CPU resources.
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 website:
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.
To apply this hotfix, you must have Exchange Server 2003 SP2 installed.
You do not have to restart the computer after you apply this hotfix. However, the IIS Admin Service and all dependent services are restarted when you apply this hotfix.
Hotfix replacement information
This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.
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 item in Control Panel.
After you apply this hotfix, you can set the MaxAllocationIncrement registry value to control how memory is allocated when an Exchange ActiveSync device is synchronized.
Note For more information about how to set an appropriate MaxAllocationIncrement value, see the "More Information" section.
Note The MaxAllocationIncrement registry value is located under the following registry subkey:
Start with a 4-KB increment and double with every increment until the maximum allowed increment value is reached. For example, the data can be 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, and so on.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
After you apply this hotfix, you can change the MaxAllocationIncrement value to more efficiently reallocate the memory that is used during Exchange ActiveSync device synchronization. By changing the MaxAllocationIncrement value, you can reduce the number of CPU requests that are made during synchronization.
Note After you change the MaxAllocationIncrement value, you must monitor how much free system memory is available to make sure that the system does not run out of memory.
When an Exchange ActiveSync device tries to synchronize an email message, 4 kilobytes (KB) of memory are allocated to the process the first time. If the initial allocation of 4 KB is not enough to synchronize the message, the initial memory allocation is doubled to 8 KB. If 8 KB is not enough to synchronize the message, the memory allocation is doubled again to 16 KB. This process of incrementing memory allocation continues until the value in the MaxAllocationIncrement subkey is reached. After the value in the MaxAllocationIncrement subkey is reached, memory is incremented by the value in the MaxAllocationIncrement subkey.
For example, consider the following scenarios when an Exchange ActiveSync device requests an email message that is 128 KB: