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How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

Service Pack 2 for Exchange server 2003 on a SBS allows us to increase the data stores to 75 Gb. It also includes Intelligent Message filter for antispam. This article discusses all details on Service Pack 2 for Exchange Server 2003.

TERMS This document and what comes with it are provided as-is with blunt warning: Use at your own risk, buyer beware.You break your system; you own the resolution as well. We have no liability for what you do, or can't do, or fail to do with this information. Your entire protection is to start over again with a protected backup, or from protected system. If you don't want to accept this idea, please don't use this document.

Anti-spam improvements are included in the release of the integrated version 2 of Microsoft Exchange Intelligent Message Filter, and Sender ID, which is an industry-standard framework. Version 2 of Intelligent Message Filter contains significant improvements in the anti-spam area for SP2.

For Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition, the hard-coded licensing database size limit has been increased from 16 GB to 75 GB. The administrator can set a protective database size limit (prevent unintentional database size growth). The default value will be 18 GB in SP2 for Standard Edition and the default can be changed.


How to install service pack 2 for Exchange server 2003

Where can I get Exchange Service Pack 2

Download Exchange Service Pack 2 here Microsoft Exchange Server: Service Pack 2 for Exchange Server 2003.

What you need to do before you install Exchange Service Pack 2

As always you should have a working backup of your system before installing any service pack. More information on backing up your server can be found in How to backup and restore SBS 2003. We assume that you have installed SBS 2003 SP1. If you did not yet install SBS 2003 SP1 please do that and follow the instructions in How to install Service Pack 1 for SBS 2003. If you have previously installed IMF Filter you should uninstall that before you install Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2.

Installing Exchange Service Pack 2

  1. Double click the file you downloaded and extract it it a directory of your choice.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  2. Browse to the folder where you extracted the content of the service pack and double click update.exe.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  3. Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 setup will start. Click next.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  4. Accept the EULA and click next
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  5. Setup has inspected your installation and will update several components. Click next.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  6. Set confirms the update of the chosen components
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  7. Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2 is installing on your server.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  8. Setup stops and starts many services. This is the reason you should install the service pack after hours. Users will not be able to connect to the Exchange server when the service pack is installed.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  9. Click finish to complete the installation.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

 

On some installations you are prompted to reboot the server and some you are not. I don't know what the reason for that is but I always reboot the server after the installation of a service pack or a hotfix.


Database size limit and configuration

The old database limit for Exchange 2003 pre SP2 was 16 Gb. You can increase the size of the database to a maximum of 75 Gb. In order to change the default setting we have to create a new REG_DWORD setting called 'Database Size Limit in GB' in the hive HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\MSExchangeIS\ \Private-013e2e46-2cd7-4a8e-bfec-0e4652b94b00. Here is how we do that:

  1. Open regedit from the Start -> Run menu and browse to the hive. Be aware that the number in Private-013e2e46-2cd7-4a8e-bfec-0e4652b94b00 can be different on your server. You should select the hive that starts with Private.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  2. Here we create a new REG_DWORD setting with the name 'Database Size Limit in GB'.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  3. Double click the new REG_DWORD setting and set the value to Decimal 50. This will create a maximum size of 50 Gb.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

In order to check if the registry setting works we need to unmount and remount the Private Store. Here is how you do that.

  1. Open Exchange System Manager from the start menu and choose dismount store.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  2. Mount the store.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

Once you have done the above the maximum database size is changed to 50 Gb. In the event log you will find proof that it really is 50 Gb:

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

But there is more...we would like to receive a warning when the database gets to big. In the above picture you see that the database will unmounted at regular bases if it exceeds the maximum size. By default Exchange will warn you if the database has less free space then 10% of the size specified but in this example we want to see a warning in the event log at 20% free space. Here is how you do that.

  1. Open regedit from the Start -> Run menu and browse to the hive. Be aware that the number in Private-013e2e46-2cd7-4a8e-bfec-0e4652b94b00 can be different on your server. You should select the hive that starts with Private.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  2. Here we create a new REG_DWORD setting with the name 'Database Size Buffer in Percentage'.
    How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003
  3. Double click the new REG_DWORD setting and set the value to Decimal 20. This will create a warning at 20% free space of the specified size of the database.

IMF in Exchange 2003 SP2

Internet Message Filter in Exchange 2003 with SP2 installed behaves a little different compared to the old version that needed to be installed as a separate package. IMF version 2.0 is included in SP2 and if you had the previous version installed you must uninstall that before you can install Exchange 2003 SP2.

Microsoft Exchange Intelligent Message Filter Exchange Server 2003 SP2 does not create the registry key named ContentFilter under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Exchange during an upgrade from Exchange Server 2003 or Exchange Server 2003 SP1, where Intelligent Message Filter version 1 was not previously installed. Therefore, to obtain an extended functionality (for example, change the Archive directory), you must manually create the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\ContentFilter, and restart the SMTP service.

Before we are going into details how to use the antispam capabilties of Exchange 2003 with Service Pack 2 I would like to have a look at the main screen of the Exchange System Manager.How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

  1. Message delivery - here is where you configure IMF filter and Connection filters.
  2. Default SMTP Virtual Server - here is where you effectively turn on the filters.

Now that we know where we configure stuff in Exchange we need to determine what filters we would like to use to fight spam. The two most important are RBL Blocklists and IMF Filter.

Configure RBL Blocklists in Exchange 2003

Right click the Message Delivery hive as shown in the above screenshot and choose Properties.

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

In this example we are going to use the RBL blocklist of Spamcop (www.spamcop.net).

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

The DNS suffix for Spamcop is bl.spamcop.net and that is used by Exchange to check if a mail server should be blocked. Click OK to add the Spam Cop Connection filter rule. Your screen should now look like this:

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

If you use such a RBL blocklist all mail from servers listed are blocked. I always add one exception to this rule for the administrator or postmaster. By this remote servers can still communicate with your server but ordinary users will not be able to receive from that sender. Click Exception to add the mail address you want to use for this:

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

Click add.

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

Click OK.

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

Your exception is listed now and click OK.

Configure Intelligent Message Filter

Click on the Tab 'Intelligent Message Filter'.

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

There are three settings we need to adjust:

  1. Gateway Blocking Configuration
    1. We set the 'Block messages with an SCL rating than or equal to to 5
    2. We need to tell Exchange what to when the above event happens and we choose to archive those messages.
  2. Store Junk E-Mail configuration
    1. We move messages with a SCL rating greater than or equal to 2 to the users Junk E-Mail folder.

The above settings are a starting point. You may need to adjust them so that they fit your situation.

Turn on the Connection filter and IMF in the Default SMTP Virtual Server

Right Click Default SMTP Virtual Server and choose Properties as shown in the screenshot:

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

Choose Advanced.

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

Choose Edit

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

Check the three settings as shown in the screenshot

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

After you have clicked OK you need to restart the Microsoft Exchange Store service.

Related reading:


Custom Weighing Feature

In the earlier version of IMF there was no easy way of 'whitelisting' emails with certain text in the subject or body and that could cause headaches. Specially if the Performance Reports by SBS were filtered out by IMF.

Unfortunately there is currently no way you can customize this feature by using a GUI and before we can use CWF we need to do some work. We need to register the MSExchange.UceContentFilter.dll. Open a command prompt and type:

regsvr32 "C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\bin\MSCFV2\MSExchange.UceContentFilter.dll"

After you have done this you should the following windows informing you that the command executed successfully:

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

Now you will need to create the MSExchange.UceContentFilter.xml file and copy to the same folder where the MSExchange.UceContentFilter.dll is located. After you have done that the folder should be like this:

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

The custom weighing feature allows you to modify default weigh values:

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

Before you can use CWF you need to restart the SMTP engine.

IMF can use Windows Update or WSUS.

After you enable the Intelligent Message Filter in Exchange System Manager, to enable Intelligent Message Filter updates, you must create the ContentFilterState registry entry. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. Expand the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange
  3. In the left pane, click Exchange. Then, right-click in the right pane, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  4. Type ContentFilterState, and then press ENTER to name the new registry entry.
  5. Right-click ContentFilterState, and then click Modify.
  6. In the Data value box, type 1, and then click OK.
  7. Quit Registry Editor.
  8. In the Services snap-in, restart the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) service.

How to install SP 2 for Exchange server 2003

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