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Microsoft KB Archive/173343

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Knowledge Base

XFOR: Slow Processing of Internet Messages with MIME Bodyparts

Article ID: 173343

Article Last Modified on 10/28/2006


  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q173343


When you receive messages from the Internet with nested MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) bodyparts, the conversion process for the MIME bodyparts may cause the slow delivery of these messages. As the messages are delivered, the server will require a large amount of system resources, especially memory. If a large number of these messages are received at the same time, the system may report it is running low on virtual memory.


MIME bodyparts within a message item can be nested. If the nesting level is high, the conversion process requires more and more resources to decode the entire message. A single message with a MIME bodypart nested to 700 levels can take up to 10 minutes to process.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Exchange Server version 5.0. This problem has been corrected in the latest U.S. Service Pack for Microsoft Exchange Server version 5.0. For information on obtaining the Service Pack, query on the following word in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:



Because it is unlikely that valid messages will be nested to much more than 30 levels, the Microsoft Exchange information store should not try to process messages beyond this point. A new registry key has been added in the fix referred to in the STATUS section above that limits the amount of nesting the information store will process. The registry switch is at:


If this entry is missing, a default of 30 nested MIME bodyparts will be processed per message. Specifying a DWORD value will prevent messages from being processed with nested bodyparts above that level. A value of zero will prevent all messages containing MIME bodyparts from being processed.

Additional query words: 5.00 SP1 IMS IMC CONVERSION

Keywords: kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbfix kbusage KB173343