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Microsoft Exchange POP3 Service Stuck on ‘Starting’ State

Posted under Exchange, MS Outlook by ifoundafix

The other day while browsing the Internet, I Found A Fix for a recent problem I was having. The issue is described as follows;

The Microsoft Exchange POP3 service on Windows Server 2003 was stuck in an infinite state of  “Starting” status after I had tried to manually restart it . After this, it would not respond to “net start” or “net stop” and I was also unable to control it from the services control panel.

The solution and description to this error is set out below; 

Not wanting to restart the server during business hours, I stumbled across this solution.

1. Open Task Manager. [Ctrl+Alt+Delete]

2. Find the process “inetinfo.exe” .

3. Click on ‘End Process’

The service should now start normally.. 

I Hope you too have Found a Fix!

  1. Jeremy Said,

    This is only a temporary fix (at least in my situation). Every time I restart the server, I have to end the inetinfo process in order for the Microsoft Exchange POP3 service to start properly. I am still looking for a fix rather than a bandaid, so if anyone has suggestions please post, or if I find a fix, I will do the same.

  2. admin Said,

    I think the problem may be related to your anti-virus software. I’d recommend reinstalling it.

  3. JD Said,

    This is from Mike Mullen at Spiceworks, thanks Mike.

    If you ever have trouble with a service being stuck in a starting or stopping state, you can run a couple of simple commands to kill the service.

    1. Query the process
    To kill the service you have to know its PID or Process ID. To find this just type the following in at a command prompt:

    sc queryex servicename

    Replace servicename with the services registry name. For example: Print Spooler is spooler.

    2. Identify the PID
    After running the query you will by presented with a list of details. You will want to locate the PID.

    3. Run the Taskkill command
    Now that you have the PID, you can run the following command to kill the hung process:

    taskkill /f /pid [PID]

    This will force kill the hung service.

  4. sagager Said,

    You can also use the command line: iisreset

    I’ve seen MS Support personanel use it with frequency when dealing with Exchange Server and Website.

  5. Jonathan Said,

    Check out this from microsoft support:

    Article ID: 816896
    POP3 client stops responding (hangs) or times out when you try to download messages in Exchange 2000 Server and in Exchange Server 2003


    Then terminate the inetinfo.exe process in task Manager

    Then restart the POP3 service and finally, restart the IIS Admin Service


  6. bhanu kapoor Said,

    Ending the “inetinfo.exe” process in task manager helped in Restarting the PoP3 service ……Just keep in mind after ending the process we have to restart IIS Admin service too.


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