Exchange organization has zero system policies

[This topic is intended to address a specific issue called out by the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool. You should apply it only to systems that have had the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool run against them and are experiencing that specific issue. The Exchange Server Analyzer Tool, available as a free download, remotely collects configuration data from each server in the topology and automatically analyzes the data. The resulting report details important configuration issues, potential problems, and nondefault product settings. By following these recommendations, you can achieve better performance, scalability, reliability, and uptime. For more information about the tool or to download the latest versions, see "Microsoft Exchange Analyzers" at]  

Topic Last Modified: 2005-11-17

The Microsoft® Exchange Server Analyzer Tool queries the Active Directory® directory service to determine the name of each system policy in the System Policies object for each Exchange organization. If the Exchange Server Analyzer determines that there is no system policies object or that the system policies object does not contain any system policies, an error is displayed.

You can use system policy objects to simplify system administration by configuring parameters for multiple Exchange servers through a single configuration object, such as mailbox store, public folder store, or server settings. By default, the following system policies are created when you run ForestPrep on your organization:

  • Hidden DL Membership

  • Mail-Enabled Recipient

  • Mailbox-Enabled User

If these default system policies do not exist in your Exchange organization, you will experience reliability issues. To re-create the default system policies, you must run ForestPrep.

To run Exchange Server 2003 ForestPrep

  1. Insert the Exchange CD into your CD drive.

  2. On the Start menu, click Run, and then type drive**:\setup\i386\setup /ForestPrep**, where drive is your CD drive.

  3. On the Welcome to the Microsoft Exchange Installation Wizard page, click Next.

  4. On the License Agreement page, read the agreement. If you accept the terms, click I agree, and then click Next.

  5. On the Product Identification page, type your 25-digit product key, and then click Next.

  6. On the Component Selection page, verify that Action is set to ForestPrep. If it is not, click the drop-down arrow, and then click ForestPrep. Click Next.


    If ForestPrep does not appear under Action, you may have misspelled the ForestPrep command in Step 2. If you have misspelled the ForestPrep command, go back to Step 2 and retype the command.

  7. On the Microsoft Exchange Server Administrator Account page, in the Account box, type the name of the account or group that is responsible for installing Exchange.


    The account that you specify will also have permission to use the Exchange Administration Delegation Wizard to create other Exchange administrator accounts. For more information about the Exchange Administration Delegation Wizard, see the Exchange Server 2003 Administration Guide (

  8. Click Next to start ForestPrep. After ForestPrep starts, you cannot cancel the process.


    Depending on your network topology and the speed of your Microsoft Windows® 2000 Server or Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003 domain controller, ForestPrep may take a long time to complete.

  9. On the Completing the Microsoft Exchange Wizard page, click Finish.

For information about how system policies are used in Exchange, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 253838, "XADM: How the Recipient Update Service Applies System Policies" (

For more information about system policies, see "Exchange System Manager Architecture" in the Exchange Server 2003 Technical Reference Guide (

For information about how to create non-default system policies in Exchange, see the Knowledge Base article 256141, "How to Create System Policies in Exchange" (