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Fixing Attachment Limits With Co-existing Exchange 2007 & 2003 Servers

July 28, 2009 1 comment

I got an unexpected error message from Outlook 2007 the other day when trying to send an email with a very large attachment. The error message was, “The attachment size exceeds the allowable limit.” 

I thought this was impossible because I just configured our newly installed Exchange 2007 (SP1) server to send attachments of any size.  Sure enough, as you can see in the screen shot below, the maximum send and recieve size checkboxes were cleared in the Exchange 2007 ESM, which means send and recieve any size attachment.

Exchange2007GlobalSettings

I did some checking around in ADSIEdit, and in the Message Delivery container, both DelivContLength and SubmissionContLength had values of blank, meaning send and recieve any size attachment. Furthermore, additional checking left me even more perplexed. I am running a clean install of Exchange 2007 on a dedicated server and it co-exists with an Exchange 2003 server on a seperate box that is being phased out. No mailboxes exist on the 2003 box anymore. And, since I am running SP1 on Exchange 2007 supposedly the RTM issue where Exchange 2003 global settings took preceedence over Exchange 2007 local settings was fixed. This is not the case.

If you introduced Exchange 2007 into your LAN to co-exist with an Exchange 2003 server to make it easier to migrate over, the installation process will set low default values for attachment sizes in your Exchange 2003 Service Manager and no matter what you do in the 2007 ESM or in ADSIEdit, those values take presedence.

To configure attachment settings that will work, you must use the Exchange 2003 ESM as shown below. Go to Global Settings->Message Delivery and then to properties and Defaults and then enter your settings.

MessageDeliveryProperties

Now your users will be able to send and recieve attachments of any size that you configure.

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