April 2008


I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
Creative Commons License

Exchange 2003: mail stuck in local delivery queue

This one was a bitch, and since the closest thing I could find to a remedy online was to delete the store and create a new one (not bloody likely) I’ll publish the results of a call to MS Critical Support for the benefit of the masses.

The problem was one user had almost 50 emails stuck in the local delivery queue. They could send email inside and out, but incoming would never get there. I believe the problem was a corrupted mailbox.

To fix the user’s mailbox, I exported their account to a .pst using Exmerge. I then deleted the user’s mailbox and created a new one, adding back in all of their aliases. This got new mail flowing again without too much fuss. The mail in the local delivery queue, however, was still stuck.

To get this going to the right mailbox, we had to ‘recategorize’ the existing mail to the new mailbox.

  1. Stop the SMTP service.
  2. Open Regedit and navigate to the following key:
  3. Creat a subkey named “Queuing”
  4. Select Queuing and on right hand pane create new dword value with name “ResetMessageStatus� with value 1 in hexadecimal.
  5. Restart the SMTP service – check the queues and see if mail is being delivered. Also check the account mailbox at this point.
  6. Once all the mails are delivered to that user, stop the SMTP service and change the value for �ResetMessageStatus� to 0 and start the SMTP service.

That should do it. Seems simple, right? HA! I bashed on it for almost two hours, then called crit support and tech#1 bashed on it for an hour, then called in tech#2 who took another half-hour to come up with the registry fix. We still ended up losing a handful of emails, but that was because it took the user two full days to tell me something was wrong, and our queue alarm didn’t catch the problem.

Which, of course, will be step 3 of this process…


*Update: comments closed due to excessive spam. Glad I could help all of you with this post.

33 replies to “Exchange 2003: mail stuck in local delivery queue”

  1. GreyDuck Says:

    Stupid thing is, the alarm should have caught it. Among Monday’s tasks will be to figure out what happened there.

  2. Tim von Pein Says:

    The only reference that matched the exact issue we were getting.
    RAID 5 fail and rebuild the server then restored the Exchange data.
    Everything worked a treat except on mail box would not receive ANY mail internal external or calendar invites at all.
    This fixed it perfectly – Great Work Thanks!

  3. Hugh Smith Says:

    You’re a life saver, saved me a whole lot of extra work. If you are ever in New Zealand I’ll buy you a beer.

  4. Another dude named Hugh Says:

    Thank you! Saved me a ton of time also.

  5. Simon Says:

    Finding this fix saved me a great deal of time and effort. Thanks for sharing it with the world. All the best.

  6. Jstel Says:

    You totally kick ass. This had me confused for hours. I just spent 60 hours recovering and defraging a 70GB EDB. To find a quick easy fix like this really feels good. Thank you.

  7. Robert Says:

    Thanks heaps man! This worked a treat.

  8. jant Says:

    Wow. THanks for the great tip. I completely expected it not to work, but when i popped open outlook and saw all the queued mail there, I nearly shat myself. Your E-penis is large.

  9. Paul Says:

    Many thanks – this resolved a whole world of pain very quickly, Cheers

  10. Lee Says:

    My SBS 2003 went down. After restoring from Acronis the mailbox has similar. I added registry key and didn’t fix the problem. Any idea? Thanks

  11. Arf Says:

    Thank you for sharing. I had the exact same issue and after I found your post your instructions worked perfectly. There wasn’t much out here on this issue that was a good solution and you have it goin on!!

  12. Dave Says:

    I had this exact same issue. I followed the guidelines and BSOD my exchange server….LOL…only joking! Worked perfect!

    Thanks for putting this post up! Saved myself a lot of time.

  13. sean Says:

    AWESOME, THE ONLY thing that actually worked after about 100 tries on other fixes…

  14. Brian Says:


    Thanks for the great info!

  15. Mark Says:

    Thanks for taking the time to post this. Guys like you are why the internet is still great.

  16. mattias Says:

    WONDERFUL! Thanks!

  17. Pannkaj Says:

    This was simply an awesome fix. Saved lot of time. But wonder what could corrupt a mailbox in the first place. Any one with any ideas? As this has been happening for a while now, with the same person and few more…. any suggestions would be really apprecitaed…

  18. Duane Says:

    Thanks A lot, glad i stumbled across this before calling MS.
    I know what may have corrupted my mailbox, VMware migration, I moved location of the VM and this had to be caused by that….although the user mailbox was almost 6gb which doesn’t help.

  19. Shane Says:

    Thanks Man,

    Had the same issue with a vmware import and it had to be the CEO’s mail that did not work.

    This fixed solved the issue..

  20. Jason Says:

    Fantastic. Saved me hours!

  21. Jeff Says:

    Thanks so much. This fixed a broken VM image that was working then just stopped delivering mail to the main user and left it stuck in Local Delivery :-( Couldn’t find anything on microsoft site suggesting this registry hack as a simple and elegant solution, so many, many thanks!

    Why the hell don’t Microsoft put all these extra options into right-click context menus???

  22. Mike Says:

    Thank you so much for this fix! Saved my bacon in the 13th hour before the CEO & CFO got into the office. All nighter to bring it back online, but its working!!

  23. Paul Says:

    What a guru you are buddy thanks for the fix bloody excellent mate.
    This was a real headache till I came across this.

  24. John Says:

    Thank you for posting this, it worked!

  25. Raphael GEYER Says:

    Thanks for sharing, works great

  26. Si Says:

    Great job man, that regedit bit really saved my life. We had a problem with a VM backup as well, afterwards, some users’ mails were stuck in the queue.

    Cheers mate!

  27. DHCP_Knight Says:

    Thanks a lot, that really helped us out !
    Cheers !

  28. Hazz Says:

    Thanks for your great article! Nice to hear that it helped some people.

    As other people here, I migrated my SBS 2003-server from one VMware Host to another. Unfortunately your suggestion didn’t make the trick, and my problem is still unsolved. :-(

  29. the sisters Says:

    Thanks a ton, worked for us after a corrupt database problem and then the queue would not move.

  30. Larry Says:

    Sadly didnt work for me any other ideas ?

    local and external connect still stuck

  31. Matt Conlon Says:

    Dude. Seriously. Thanks. :)

    Fortunately for me, that registry “resetmessagestatus” fixed it.

  32. Paul Rochfort Says:

    Cheers bud! Worked a treat. Much appreciated.

  33. Dave Says:

    Great article! Exchange 2003 on VMware here, a failed backup caused 30+ mailboxes (out of 400) to corrupt themselves in this manner.

    Worked for 5 hours or so to fix everything up. This is a lifesaver!!!!!