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The start-up account configured for System Attendant is not supported

[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 queries the Win32_Services Microsoft Windows® Management Instrumentation (WMI) class to determine whether the startup account that is specified in the StartName property of the Microsoft Exchange System Attendant service (MSExchangeSA) is using the LocalSystem account. If the Exchange Server Analyzer finds the value for the StartName property on an Exchange 2000 Server or Exchange Server 2003 computer to be any account other than the LocalSystem account, the Exchange Server Analyzer displays an error. The LocalSystem account is also referred to as the SYSTEM account.

You must start MSExchangeSA in Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003 under the LocalSystem security context. You must not start MSExchangeSA by associating a specific user account. When an Exchange service that is running as LocalSystem accesses a remote server, the Exchange service is authenticated by using the credentials of the computer account.

The standard mechanism for changing passwords changes the password on the computer account every seven days. By changing the password every seven days, you enhance the security of the computer account. The computer account is more secure than a typical user account for the following reasons:

  • The password on a typical user account is changed less frequently.

  • The password on a typical user account is less random than a computer account password that is randomly generated.

In Exchange Server 5.5, user accounts are used for services. Some administrators who have experience with Exchange Server 5.5 change the startup account on Exchange 2000 Server services and Exchange Server 2003 services from the default LocalSystem account to a user account.

In Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft does not support running MSExchangeSA on any account except the default LocalSystem account.

To correct this error

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Services.

  2. In the list of services, right-click Microsoft Exchange System Attendant, and then click Properties.

  3. On the Log on tab, under Log on as, click Local System account, and then click OK.

  4. Right-click Microsoft Exchange System Attendant, and then click Restart.

For more information about Exchange services, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 239762, "Exchange Services Run Under LocalSystem" (