19 June 2012

MSExchangeIS service not starting in Exchange 2010 on VM

Recently we had to reboot an Exchange 2010 box to remove an agent and upon restart the MSExchangeIS service refused to start. The error message spat out in the Application Windows Log was -

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 in the client or the server,  and may require a reboot of that computer.   Verify that your domain is properly configured and  is currently online. 


The first thing I tried was a command line "net time \\dc-name.domain /set" to resync the times but this didn't make a difference, even though it did a resync.

After some more digging I came across this site that suggested the problem of time synchronisation is not with the VM itself but rather with the VMware host. To set up time sync in VMware it's these simple steps:

  • Select the VMware host
  • Configuration
  • Under Software select Time Configuration
  • Click on Properties (top right)
  • Do the necessary
  • Done!
Once we had synchronised the VMware host with the DC time everything worked again and the MSExchangeIS service would start.

Joy in the land.

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