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Using ExchDump to Troubleshoot Exchange

Andrew Z. Tabona [BSc (Hons) Computing, MCSE, Network+, Security+ etc]

Andrew Z. Tabona [BSc (Hons) Computing, MCSE, Network+, Security+ etc] Photo

Andrew Z. Tabona, MBCS, MSc, BSc (Hons), ITILF v3, MCSE, Network+, Security+, etc, has over 10 years’ experience in Quality Assurance, Incident Management, and Pre- and Post-Sales Technical Support roles, as well as recent specialization in Digital Forensics and E-Discovery.

  • Published: May 22, 2007
  • Category: General
  • Votes: 5.0 out of 5 - 2 Votes
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Today we look at the Exchange Dump Utility (exchdump.exe); a useful tool for troubleshooting Exchange Server issues and helpful for when you need to provide information about your Exchange Server to support personnel.

ExchDump.exe is a Microsoft utility used to gather configuration and current state information of your Exchange Organization and is useful for when troubleshooting support issues. It is a read only tool which does not edit your configuration in any way. It reads information from various sources and dumps it to a file viewable from an Internet browser. This information can then be sent to Microsoft support for troubleshooting Exchange Server problems, or to any kind of support representative so they can analyze your issue with knowledge about your Exchange server organization.

ExchDump.exe can be run on a Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Windows 2003 machine and can gather information about Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003. Exchange 5.5 is not supported.

Although the tool was designed for use with Exchange, it doesn't necessarily have to be used on an Exchange machine. The information it gathers can be used for any troubleshooting scenario. If run on a Windows XP machine for example, you could use the machine information (including installed patches), TCP/IP Configuration and Netstat information. Additionally, if the machine had the WWW service installed you could use ExchDump.exe to dump information about this component too. If you run the utility on a machine without Exchange and specify any Exchange related options, it will simply fail to gather that information.

Using ExchDump

The Exchange Dump utility can be found in the \Exchsrvr\bin folder. To use it, open a command prompt, navigate to Exchsrvr\bin and use the following syntax:
ExchDump.exe [desired_option]

NOTE: This utility is also available for download from:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d88b807d-964e-4bf8-9344-754892e9f637&DisplayLang=en

Below are some examples of what command line options are available to gather information about certain objects on your server. Type "ExchDump.exe /?" at the command prompt for a full list.

/HTTP Dumps configuration information specific to the Exchange HTTP components including OWA, IM, OMA, Active Synch and RPC/HTTP. For more detailed RPC/HTTP information you should also use /RPC.
/SMTP Dumps configuration information specific to Exchange SMTP. Also includes Recipient Policy and Routing Group information.
/W3SVC Dumps IIS W3SVC configuration information, includes CACLs reports for all valid paths as well as user rights information.
/SERVER Dumps Exchange Server configuration information including child objects. If the name of the Exchange server is different than that of the computer name as in the case of a cluster configuration you can specify the Exchange server name here.
/EXORG Dumps configuration information for every Server and Administrative Group object in the organization. Depending on the size of the organization this report might be quite large and take quite a bit of time to be generated.
/DATE Dump only objects that have been modified since the date specified. This switch must be used along with the /DN switch and the date must be in the format: MM/DD/YYYY.
/REMOTE Specify a remote server to gather information from default is to query the local computer. This option places ExchDump in "Remote Mode" some items will not be available in this mode.

For example, if we wanted to gather information about the SMTP Protocol we would use the following switch:
ExchDump.exe /SMTP

ExchDump.exe gathering SMTP information

Figure 1 - ExchDump.exe gathering SMTP information

This would give us a report containing information about the SMTP server on the machine, including domain information, recipient policies, exchange connectors and TCP/IP configuration.

Whichever option you choose, the Exchange Dump utility will always dump general machine information at the top and TCP/IP configuration at the bottom.

ExchDump.exe can be used to collect information from various sources, including the registry, Active Directory, the IIS Metabase, the RPC Endpoint Mapper and the local security database.

The various objects that ExchDump.exe will collect information about include the HTTP and SMTP protocol, the Active Directory group and server objects, the Active Directory folder hierarchies container and the Active Directory routing group container.

You can specify to dump objects that have changed since a certain time, dump all configuration information about every server in your Exchange Organization, and also gather information about a remote computer.

The ExchDump Report

The Exchange Dump Utility outputs a report in the form of an HTML page containing all the gathered data in a structured format. This output actually contains two files:

ExchDump_MMDDYY_HHMMSS.htm - Contains a full list of attributes and values related to whichever component you specified. The most common information is displayed first, with a link available to expand the information in greater detail.

ExchDump_MMDDYY_HHMMSS.xml - Contains all the data that is displayed in the HTM file structured in XML format.

These files are placed in the directory that the ExchDump.exe utility is run from; the default folder being Exchsrvr\bin.

The Exchange Dump Utility report looks like that shown in Figure 2. Simply open the HTM file in Internet Explorer to view it. Here we can see the general computer information being shown.

The Exchange Dump report showing General Information

Figure 2 - The Exchange Dump report showing General Information

Conclusion

Using ExchDump.exe you can easily gather important information about your Exchange Organization and use it to troubleshoot support issues.

Now that we have learnt what the Exchange Dump utility is, I recommend you experiment with it and dig deeper into discovering what information you can gather and how you can use it to help troubleshoot your Exchange organization.

References

Overview of the ExchDump tool for Exchange 2000 Server and for Exchange Server 2003

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