Microsoft KB Archive/246216

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Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 2003 ExIFS may not start after ExIFS is manually stopped

Article ID: 246216

Article Last Modified on 10/25/2007


  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q246216


A component known as the Exchange Installable File System (ExIFS) is included with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and with Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server. The ExIFS runs as a hidden service on an Exchange server and allows file-level access to various items within a private or public information store. A manifestation of the ExIFS service is a drive that maps as M listed in Explorer on the Exchange server.

Because the ExIFS runs as a hidden service, it is not visible in the Services applet within the Administrative Tools program menu. However, you can still issue a net stop or a net start command to start or stop the ExIFS service. Stopping the ExIFS service does not cause the drive that maps to M to disappear.

When you stop the ExIFS service and then attempt to restart it, you receive the following error message:

System error 2 has occurred.

The system cannot find the file specified.


This workaround applies to Exchange 2000 servers. The workaround also applies to Exchange 2003 servers that have the M drive enabled. By default, the M drive is disabled.

If you manually stop the ExIFS service by issuing a net stop command, you must issue the following command before restarting the ExIFS:

subst m: /d

Then the ExIFS service can be started by issuing the net start command as shown below:

net start exifs


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

Additional query words: exch2kp2w XADM

Keywords: kbbug kberrmsg kbpending KB246216