How to resolve Microsoft Exchange Information Store not starting – Event ID 5003

Microsoft Exchange 2010

I was called on to troubleshoot an issue with Microsoft Exchange Information Store not starting recently. All other Exchange services were up and running, but the Information Store wouldn’t start and produced the following error:

“Windows could not start the Microsoft Exchange Information Store on the Local Computer. For more information, review the System Event Log. If this is a non-Microsoft service, contact the service vendor, and refer to the service specific error code – 2147221213.”


As the error message suggested I took a look in the System Event log and spotted the following Event.

Source: MSExchangeIS
Event ID: 5003
“Unable to initialize the Information Store service because the clocks on the client and server are skewed. This may be caused by a time change either on the client or on the server, and may require a restart of that computer. Verify that your domain is correctly configured and is currently online.”


Sure enough the time on the Exchange server was significantly different to the DC after a recent reboot.

To synchronise the time between them I ran the following command.

net time \\servername /set /y

cmd-prompt-net-time-setThis brought the time into line on the Exchange Server, but the Information Store still wouldn’t start.

To successfully start the Information store, I restarted the Microsoft Exchange Active Directory Topology service. This restarts all the other Exchange services and should successfully start the Information Store.


Don’t forget to troubleshoot the root cause of the time skew!

End of article

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