Microsoft KB Archive/821907

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How to Troubleshoot Exchange Server 2003 System Attendant When It Does Not Start

Article ID: 821907

Article Last Modified on 12/3/2007


  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition


This article describes how to troubleshoot Exchange Server 2003 System Attendant in situations when it does not start. If System Attendant does not start, none of the other Exchange Server 2003 services start. To help you determine the cause of this problem, you can use Exchange System Manager to run diagnostic logging on System Attendant.


To use Exchange System Manager to start Exchange Server 2003 System Attendant diagnostic logging, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.
  2. Expand Your_Organization, and then expand Servers.
  3. Right-click Your_Server, and then click Properties.

    Note If System Attendant is not running, you receive the following error message:

    The Microsoft Exchange System Attendant service is unavailable. Verify that the Server is running and that the System Attendant service has been started. ID no: c1031668

    Click OK to close this error message.
  4. Click the Diagnostic Logging tab, and then click MSExchangeSA in the Services list.
  5. In the Categories list, click each of the following sub-components, and then click the logging level that is appropriate for your troubleshooting scenario in the Logging Level box:
    • Mailbox Management
    • NSPI Proxy
    • RFR Interface
    • OAL Generator
    • Proxy Generation
    • RPC Calls
  6. Use Event Viewer to monitor the logged events.

System Attendant may not start in the following scenarios:

  • Exchange Server 2003 System Attendant acts as a proxy between requests from earlier versions of client programs (Microsoft Outlook 97 and Microsoft Outlook 98) and the Microsoft Active Directory directory service, and it refers client requests (for clients such as Microsoft Outlook 2000) to Active Directory. If System Attendant cannot locate a domain controller to issue proxy requests or referrals to, System Attendant may not start. You can determine the destination server by reviewing the events that System Attendant logs in Event Viewer.
  • System Attendant loads the following dynamic-link libraries (DLLs) to its address space:
    • Dsaccess.dll
    • Dsproxy.dll
    • Seckm.dll
    • Abv_dg.dll
    • Ds2mb.dll
    • Madfb.dll
    • Oabgen.dll
    If any of these files are missing, corrupted, or have the incorrect permissions applied to them, System Attendant may not start.

Keywords: kbhowto KB821907