Topic Last Modified: 2005-11-18

The Microsoft® Exchange Server Analyzer Tool queries the Win32_Service Microsoft Windows® Management Instrumentation (WMI) class to determine the value set for the Microsoft Exchange MTA Stacks service StartMode key. A value of Disabled indicates that the Exchange MTA Stacks service has been disabled and cannot be started until the StartMode value is changed to either Manual or Automatic.

The Exchange Server Analyzer also queries the Win32_Service WMI class to determine the value of the Started key for the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) service. A value of False indicates that the service is not running. A value of True indicates that the service is running.

Finally, the Exchange Server Analyzer queries the Win32_OperatingSystem WMI class to determine the value of the OSProductSuite key. The value of this key corresponds to a specific version of the Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 operating system.

If the Exchange Server Analyzer finds the value for the StartMode key is set to Disabled on an Exchange Server computer that has the SMTP service started, and that the Exchange Server computer is not part of a Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 installation, a warning is displayed.

Unless the server is part of a Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 installation, or is in a pure Exchange Server 2003 native-mode environment, all Exchange Server computers that route mail must have the Exchange MTA Stacks service set to Automatic. Routing mail on a server where the Exchange MTA Stacks service is disabled may produce a variety of error messages. In some cases, errors will be logged if you are running in an Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 2003 environment where Exchange Server version 5.5 is still running. Additionally, any X.400 connectors require the Exchange MTA Stacks service, so disabling the service will produce errors and functionality may fail.

Except for direct connectivity with external X.400 mail systems or running Exchange Development Kit (EDK) connectors such as Novell GroupWise Connector, Lotus Notes Connector, or a third-party Fax connector, dependencies on the MTA Stacks service have been removed in Exchange Server 2003. Therefore, Microsoft now supports pure, native-mode Exchange Server 2003 deployments in which the MTA Stacks service is disabled.

To resolve this error, you must configure the Exchange MTA Stacks service to start automatically on servers that route mail.

To configure the Exchange MTA Stacks service for automatic startup

  1. Open the Services Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in.

  2. Double-click Microsoft Exchange MTA Stacks service.

  3. On the General tab of the Microsoft Exchange MTA Stacks Properties page, select Automatic from the Startup type drop-down dialog box, and then click Apply.

  4. Under Server status, click Start, and then click OK.

  5. Close the Services snap-in.

For more information about keeping the Exchange MTA Stacks service running in Exchange, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 810489, "MTA Stacks service supportability guidelines for Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003" (