Errors After Moving Exchange Stores to a Different Disk

Posted on January 8, 2009 by Daniel Petri in Exchange Server with 0 Comments

Errors after moving Exchange Stores to a different disk in Exchange 2000/2003?

When you install Exchange 2000/2003 on your server the setup program installs and configures Exchange in a default directory under the C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr folder. Although this is the default setup, in order to facilitate better hard disk performance and redundancy it is best that the Exchange stores and log files are NOT placed on the System partition (i.e. C:). In order to learn how to move the databases and/or log files please read Move Exchange Stores to a Different Disk.

However, after moving the store and/or the log files to a different location, if you accidentally (or deliberately) delete or rename the old MDBdata folder path after you move the Exchange database you may experience the following symptoms on your Exchange 2000/2003 server:

  • Messages that have attachments that are encoded by using the Microsoft Outlook Rich Text formatting or the Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format (TNEF) content type build up in the SMTP local delivery queue on the destination Exchange Server computer, while messages that have attachments that use the MIME body part of the Application/MS-TNEF content type encoding are successfully delivered to the recipient.
  • In some cases, Exchange cannot send messages that have attachments to another routing group or to the Internet, or are received without the attachment. The attachment icon is present, but when you try to open the attachment, you experience one of the following behaviors:

If you use Microsoft Outlook as a MAPI client, you receive the following error message:

  • Operation Failed.
  • If you use Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) or a Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3) client, the attachment opens, but it is blank.
  • You may also get event ID 12003 and 327 messages logged in the Application log in the Event Viewer.

This is because Exchange uses the working directory during the message conversion process and also to store a temporary database during defragmentation.

Method #1

Just re-create the MDBdata folder in the C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr folder (or wherever Exchange was installed).

Method #2

If you want to delete or rename the old MDBdata folder, make sure that the following working directory parameter in the registry points to the new location.

Perform the following steps:

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. In Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key:

  1. Create the following value (REG_SZ):

Working Directory

and give it a value that points to the new database folder.

Note: As always, before making changes to your registry you should always make sure you have a valid backup. In cases where you’re supposed to delete or modify keys or values from the registry it is possible to first export that key or value(s) to a .REG file before performing the changes.

  1. Close Registry Editor. You might need to restart the MS Exchange Information Store for settings to take place.


How to Move Exchange Databases and Logs in Exchange 2000 Server – 257184

How to move Exchange databases and logs in Exchange Server 2003 – 821915

Messages that have attachments are not delivered as expected, and Event ID 12003 and 327 messages are logged in Exchange 2000 Server and in Exchange Server 2003 – 298415