SMTP Archive Sink: Pre-categorization set

[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: 2005-11-18

The Microsoft® Exchange Server Analyzer Tool reads the following registry entry to determine whether the SMTP Archive Sink has been installed and enabled:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange\ArchiveSink\1\Enable PreCat

If the Exchange Server Analyzer finds that the value for Enable PreCat is greater than 0, a non-default configuration message is displayed.

A value of 0 indicates that pre-categorization message archiving is disabled. A value of 1 indicates that pre-categorization message archiving is enabled. Values other than 0 or 1 are not supported.

The SMTP Archive Sink tool is a custom script that enables the archiving of all messages coming into and moving out of a specific folder on an Exchange server. By default, when SMTP Archive Sink is enabled, all messages and their recipients are archived to an .eml file, except for Bcc recipients.

All messages submitted to transport by Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), by the Exchange store, or by any other sinks trigger this event. Theoretically, this event can be raised one time for each message, and this event can be archived only one time. The OnMessageSubmission event is raised before the routing or categorizer events. Therefore, these messages are referred to as PreCat messages. By default, messages are archived for this event when the SMTP Active Sink utility is installed. Messages that are archived for this event contain the prefix file name ARCH_random number.xml.

If you do not want to archive pre-categorization messages on this Exchange computer, you can set the Enable PreCat registry key to 0. If you do not want to archive at all on this computer, you can uninstall the SMTP Archive Sink. When you uninstall the SMTP Archive Sink, all registry keys used by SMTP Archive Sink are deleted.


This article contains information about editing the registry. Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to restore the registry, view the "Restore the Registry" Help topic in Regedit.exe or Regedt32.exe.

To disable pre-categorization message archiving

  1. Open a registry editor, such as Regedit.exe or Regedt32.exe.

  2. Navigate to: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange\ArchiveSink\1

  3. Double-click the registry key Enable PreCat, in the Value data field, enter 0, and then click OK.

  4. Close the registry editor, and restart the IIS Admin Service to make the changes take effect.

To uninstall the SMTP Archive Sink

  1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.

  2. In the C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\bin folder, type cscript archivesink_setup.vbs, and then press Enter.

  3. Type cscript archivesink_setup.vbs uninstall Virtual Server ID, where Virtual Server ID is the virtual server number of the virtual server where the SMTP Archive Sink is installed.

  4. Exit the Command Prompt window, and restart the IIS Admin Service to make the changes take effect.

Before you edit the registry, and for information about how to edit the registry, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 256986, "Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry" (

For more information about setting up and configuring the SMTP Archive Sink in Exchange Server 2003, see Knowledge Base article 871110 "How to install and use the Archive Sink utility in Exchange Server 2003" (

For more information about setting up and configuring the SMTP Archive Sink in Exchange 2000 Server, see Knowledge Base article 307798 "The Archive Sink utility is available in Service Pack 2" (

For information about deploying a comprehensive journaling solution for the purposes of regulatory compliance, see Journaling with Exchange Server 2003 (