Analyzing Exchange 2010 SP2 RU5


Microsoft has re-released Exchange 2010 SP2 RU5 (v2) - This update should fix the DAG problem that was reported soon after the original release. However, protect yourself by making sure to test RU5 thoroughly before it goes anywhere near a production server!

RU5 V2 does not include KB2748870 and it seems like the English language version of the KB has been removed from Microsoft’s website. However, if you’re curious, you can read several other language versions, including http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2748870/tr

To everyone’s delight, Microsoft released Exchange 2010 SP2 RU5 on November 13. RU4 was released on August 14, 2012, so three months rather than the more usual six weeks has elapsed between updates. The additional delay is easily accounted for by the need for everyone to rush down to Florida to attend the Microsoft Exchange Conference in September followed by the release of Exchange 2013 to manufacturing last month. It’s been a busy time for all concerned in the world of Exchange.

We also have new roll-up updates for Exchange 2007 SP3 (RU8-v3) and Exchange 2010 SP1 (RU7-v3). The updates for Exchange 2007 are important if you considering deploying Exchange 2013 in the near future as you will absolutely need to keep your Exchange 2007 running the very latest bits to be able to interoperate with Exchange 2013. It’s actually always been like this, but I thought that I’d emphasize this point. You’ll need Exchange 2010 SP3 to interoperate with Exchange 2013 and that’s not scheduled to appear until “early 2013”. No roll-up update is sufficient to apply enough lipstick to Exchange 2010 SP2 to make it attractive to Exchange 2013.

In any case, what does RU5 contain? The first thing to note is that only 20 separate fixes are included, a significant drop-off from the number of patches provided in previous updates. Does this mean that people are finding fewer bugs in Exchange? I rather think that it’s a case that the developers are fixing fewer because their attentions are elsewhere, in this case, they’re busy fixing Exchange 2013 to prepare for its introduction into “the service” (aka Exchange Online) or finalizing Exchange 2010 SP3 for its scheduled release in the new year. And of course, there’s the inevitable service pack or whatever they’ll call it that no doubt will arrive for Exchange 2013, if only to calm the fevered brows of those who simply must wait for the first service pack before they deploy any Microsoft technology.

Below is my assessment of the 19 fixes. I’ve added a High/Medium/Low priority for each patch based on my reading of the situation as to how many people are likely to run into the problem. You might be one of the unlucky ones whose most common problems feature on this list, in which case you’ll probably disagree with my assessment.

As always, remember to test RU5 thoroughly before you deploy. There’s no point in taking risks, even with mature technology such as Exchange 2010.

Follow Tony @12Knocksinna

Update: Make the bug count fix 21 as Scott Schnoll of Microsoft tells me that the DAG issue described in his blog is also fixed by Exchange 2010 SP2 RU5.

KB Number KB explanation Notes
2707146 IRM-protected messages cannot be returned in search results if the messages are recorded and sent to an external contact in an Exchange Server 2010 environment Problems when you journal IRM protected messages to an external SMTP address – the resulting messages don’t show up in searches. Won’t affect many as ADRMS is not widely deployed. (Low)
2712595 Microsoft Exchange RPC Client Access service crashes when you run the New-MailboxExportRequest cmdlet in an Exchange Server 2010 environment Crash caused by an unhandled condition in the RPC Client Access service that might cause Outlook clients to temporarily go offline. (Medium)
2710975 Some MAPI property objects in an ANSI .pst file contain unreadable characters if you import the file by using the “New-MailboxImportRequest” cmdlet If you import an older-format (ANSI) PST that contains non-ASCII characters, you might get interesting results. ANSI PSTs haven’t been around for a long time and are probably full of other problems. (Low)
2712001 ExTRA.exe does not collect data if you select a scheduled task for a data collection in an Exchange Server 2010 environment The Exchange Troubleshooting assistant has issues capturing data for a scheduled task. (Low)
2716145 Store.exe crashes on an Exchange Server 2010 mailbox server if a VSAPI based antivirus software is used The case of the spurious semicolon. At least, an extra semicolon provided by Exchange to an anti-virus product leads to confusion all round and the Store crashes to show its disapproval. (Medium)
2717522 Microsoft Exchange System Attendant service crashes on an Exchange Server 2010 server when you update the OAB that contains a DBCS address list System attendant process can’t handle an address lists using double-byte character sets (e.g. Japanese) when their name is more than 11 characters long. (Medium)
2720017 An RBAC role assignee can unexpectedly change a DAG that is outside the management role group scope in an Exchange Server 2010 environment The cmdlets that manipulate DAGs do not respect RBAC scoping, so even if you create a role that’s scoped to a specific DAG, the holder can manage any DAG. (High)
2727802 Microsoft Exchange Replication service crashes intermittently when you try to move mailboxes from an Exchange Server 2003 server to an Exchange Server 2010 server This replication service is MRS, not the one involved in DAGs. It has problems cleaning up completed move requests that involve mailboxes moving from Exchange 2003. (Medium)
2733415 Event ID 1 is logged on the Exchange Server 2010 Client Access server in a mixed Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2003 environment Autodiscover doesn’t run as well as you’d expect in a mixed Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2003 organization. (Low – but only because the problem has taken a surprisingly long time to surface or fix)
2733609 Email message and NDR message are not delivered if an email message contains unsupported character sets in an Exchange Server 2010 environment Another problem with double-byte character sets. In this case, a message sent to a user whose mailbox is being journaled and that message is then forwarded from the journal mailbox only to run into problems. (Medium)
2743761 DAG loses quorum if a router or switch issue occurs in an Exchange Server 2010 environment Failure in a router or switch causes DAG members to lose connectivity with each other. This confuses the DAG and quorum is lost, which halts the DAG. Users can’t connect to their mailboxes. All hell breaks out. (High)
2748767 You receive an NDR message that incorrectly contains recipients of successful message delivery in an Exchange Server 2010 environment An NDR created when a message goes to many recipients comes back to report that all failed when only some of the intended recipients couldn’t be reached. (Low)
2748766 Retention policy information does not show “expiration suspended” in Outlook Web App when the mailbox is set to retention hold in an Exchange Server 2010 environment OWA shows the wrong information about retention policies when a suspicious user (who is on retention hold) checks them. I don’t know many people who check retention policies, but I guess that you might if you were doing something that would have you placed on hold. (Low)
2748870 Declined meeting request is added back to your calendar after a delegate opens the request by using Outlook 2010 The case of a reappearing meeting. Only happens when a delegate uses Outlook in online mode (most people use cached mode). (Medium)
2748879 You cannot access a mailbox by using an EWS application in an Exchange Server 2010 environment Not much real information provided as to what the root cause might be. All we know is that EWS applications get 503 errors when they attempt to access mailboxes, which is nice. Impossible to say how important this issue is based on the available data. (Low)
2749075 A copy of an archived item remains in the Recoverable Items folder of a primary mailbox in an Exchange Server 2010 environment The MFA copies items into the Deletions sub-folder of Recoverable Items when it moves them to an archive based on a retention policy. The items are eventually removed at the end of the expiry period, but they shouldn’t be there in the first place. (Medium)
2750293 Items remain in the “Recoverable Items\Deletions” folder after the retention age limit is reached in an Exchange Server 2010 environment Another issue for MFA. This time the unhappy assistant fails to notice that items in the Deletions sub-folder need to be removed when they expire (and a user is on litigation hold). So the items remain visible when they should not. (High)
2749593 Outlook logging file lists all the accepted and internal relay domains in the Exchange Server 2010 organization when you enable troubleshooting logging Most people like logging to capture all available data, but in this case a complaint has been made that Outlook’s logging file gets too big when the EWS call used to retrieve MailTips has to traverse many internal relays. You won’t meet this often and it’s not a big problem. The fix is to only capture the primary SMTP domain of the user. (Low)
2750847 An Exchange Server 2010 user unexpectedly uses a public folder server that is located far away or on a slow network Exchange 2010 selects a public folder “far far away”. It’s happened before you know, but now we have a fix, just in time for the appearance of modern public folders. (Medium)
2763886 “The operation failed” error in the Outlook client when you open a saved message from the Drafts folder and then try to send it in an Exchange Server 2010 environment What a lovely catch-all error message! In this case, we’re in Outlook online mode again and someone creates a draft message that contains inline images (the example given is 20 colour bullets). The message is saved as a draft and can’t be opened again, mostly because Outlook saves it as a read-only item. Microsoft doesn’t know why this happens, but they are investigating! RU5 only offers documentation and a workaround (don’t use HTML format messages) (High)
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About Tony Redmond

Exchange MVP, author, and rugby referee
This entry was posted in Email, Exchange, Exchange 2010 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Analyzing Exchange 2010 SP2 RU5

  1. Remigiusz says:

    unfortunatelly some people report issues with Exchange DAG and DC after installation Rollup 5. You can’t use Get-DatabaseAvailabilityGroup -Status and the MSExchangeADTopology service started acting strangely. You can find Event log error 4999 Watson report about to be sent for process id: 792 … M.E.C.R dagTaskHelper.GetServersInDeferredRecovery, System.TypeLoadException, 253d

  2. Garry says:

    I just deployed RU5 and it broke my DAG!!! I’ve now uninstalled and all is back to normal.

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  6. Sahin Boluk says:

    I have a question about testing. You say we should test before we install any RU or SP. We have a lab, so how can I test fully? I tested to the best of my ability, is there a process we should flow? Like a test plan flow?

    • Good question. The answer depends on the scale you operate at and your appetite for risk. At one end you have the largest Exchange deployments that often mimic their exact operational environment with a set of servers that duplicate the essential elements of the system – storage, client access, transport, and so on. These systems are usually networked into the production environment so that messages can be exchanged, etc. At the other, you can have virtualized environments that do much the same thing but at much lower cost – but don’t offer the same exactness. As to a test plan, I’d use much the same approach as you would when testing a brand new version of a product. The easiest way to do this, IMHO, is to run it as the production system for a limited group of users for a period. Others will have different approaches.

      TR

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  10. John Barton says:

    Tony

    Are you saying that the “Operation Failied” issue is not solved with RU5? According to the current Microsoft websites, the solution is to apply RU5.

    We are a law firm (all in on-line mode) and the fee-earners use draft email constantly when revising updating etc.

    Thanks
    J

    • To be clear, I am saying that:

      It is an excellent idea to download RU5 V2 now.

      It is an even better idea to test RU5 V2 before you even think about deploying it.

      It is an absolutely woeful idea to rush RU5 V2 into production without testing.

      TR

      • John Barton says:

        Hi Tony

        Thanks for the swift reply and we’d obviously test it thoroughly but it’s the following commnet that raised my initial question “RU5 only offers documentation and a workaround (don’t use HTML format messages) (High)”?

        John

  11. So this is a problem described when users work in Outlook online mode and create a draft message that contains inline images (the example given is 20 colour bullets). My view is that a) most users operate in cached Exchange mode when they use Outlook today (and if not, why not?) and b) most users won’t create messages that contain inline images. My experience of working with lawyers (which is what I have spent a lot of time doing since last May) is that they probably won’;t hit this problem.

    TR

    • Patrick says:

      I’m not sure that ‘most users’ is necessarily that accurate. Virtual desktop solutions (like Citrix) are very common and it would be unusual to be using cached mode in that situation.

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