Evan Dodds - Microsoft Exchange Server Blog

Exchange, Exchange administration stuff, and other assorted ramblings


IMFv1 getting in the way of your SP2 upgrade?

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I’ve seen a couple of questions about this since SP2 released, so I’ll give a shot at it. If you try to upgrade to E2k3 Sp2 on a server that has Intelligent Message Filter (IMF) version 1 installed, you’ll get this error message:

“Service Pack 2 for Exchange Server 2003 includes an updated version of the Microsoft Exchange Intelligent Message Filter. An earlier version of the Exchange Intelligent Message Filter has been detected on this system and this earlier version must be uninstalled before applying Service Pack 2.”

So, what to do if you’ve already uninstalled IMFv1 and you’re still getting this message? Well, you can double-check the same way the pre-requisite check does whether or not the system thinks IMFv1 is really installed.

This prereq check is actually looking into the registry. If IMFv1 is installed, then at HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Exchange there will be a value “ContentFilterVersion”. If this value is in the server’s registry *AND* is set to “0” (to indicate IMFv1), then the prereq will fail and you’ll see this message pop up.

Your best bet, if you’re sure you’ve removed IMFv1 properly, is probably to simply (and VERY CAREFULLY) remove this “ContentFilterVersion” registry value so that the prereq check will not find it – and will therefore assume IMFv1 is not installed. Don’t remove the Exchange key, just the ContentFilterVersion value. All the normal “editing your registry is dangerous” and “make a backup/export of the registry key before making any changes” stuff applies.

  • hello Evan,
    there wasn't this message and I didn't uninstall IMFv1. what can I do _after_ succesfully upgrade?


  • If you didn't get this message and the upgrade succeeded, I suspect you'll be fine. Just confirm that the bindings are properly in place for the IMFv2 to function.

    This can be found on the properties of the SMTP virtual server (under protocols underneath the server in ESM)... under the advanced button, edit the binding and make sure that the "Intelligent Message Filter" checkbox is checked.

  • I read the readme and knew I had to remove IMFv1, but forgot to do it when time came to upgrade. I didn't get the error either. From what I read in various places online, it is fairly common for people to not get the message.

    I unisntalled it after the fact, then reinstalled SP2. Everything seems to be working fine.

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