Sniffing Out XP SP2 Problems

On the road again, this time at TechMentor/San Jose, Bill takes time out to contemplate a solution to this admin's XP SP2 problem.

Dear Readers: I'm writing this week from MCP Magazine's TechMentor Conference in beautiful San Jose, CA. I'm busy collecting questions from attendees and I'll be answering them in future columns.

Meanwhile, I recently I got a note from Gray S. about a problem he had with XP SP2:

Bill, I normally manage my Exchange 2003 servers from on my WinXP computer. Everything was working fine until I recently installed Windows XP SP2. Now, the Exchange Message Tracking Center no longer works. I tried un/reinstalling all of the Windows and Exchange Admin Tools to no avail.

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Got a Windows or Exchange question or need troubleshooting help? Or maybe you want a better explanation than provided in the manuals? Describe your dilemma in an e-mail to Bill at mailto:boswell@101com.com; the best questions get answered in this column.

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Answer: I wasn't able to replicate Gray's problem, so here's what I recommended to him. I wanted him to load a packet sniffer on the XP desktop, then examine the traffic generated when he attempts to open the Message Tracking interface.

I normally use Ethereal for this type of work. It can be downloaded from http://www.ethereal.com. Ethereal requires a packet driver called WinPCap, which can be downloaded from http://winpcap.polito.it/install/default.htm. (Hint: Use the 3.1 beta 3 version.)

I'd also like to hear from anyone who has had the same, or a similar, problem.

Until next week...

About the Author

Contributing Editor Bill Boswell, MCSE, is the principal of Bill Boswell Consulting, Inc. He's the author of Inside Windows Server 2003 and Learning Exchange Server 2003 both from Addison Wesley. Bill is also Redmond magazine's "Windows Insider" columnist and a speaker at MCP Magazine's TechMentor Conferences.

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