%1 (%2) %3Unable to write a shadowed header for file %4. Error %5.

Product: Exchange
Event ID: 439
Source: ESE
Version: 8.0
Message: %1 (%2) %3Unable to write a shadowed header for file %4. Error %5.

This Warning event occurs if the database engine is denied write access to its own database files (*.edb) or to the checkpoint file (*.chk). Errors similar to the following may occur: MSExchangeIS event ID: Unable to write a shadowed header for file path\filename.

Common causes of this issue include:

  • Another process is using the file. Antivirus software may mistakenly quarantine a file, or a backup process may temporarily deny access. In this case, you may see error 1032 in the Description section of event 439. Error -1032 is equivalent to Jet_errFileAccessDenied, in which the file is locked or in use.

  • A disk or controller failure has occurred, and access to the entire drive has been lost, sometimes temporarily. Check the System Log for I/O or drive errors near the time of the 439 event. In this case, you may see error -1022 in the description of event 439. Error -1022 is a Jet_errDiskIO, or disk I/O error. The -1022 error is a generic error that appears whenever a disk I/O problem prevents Exchange from gaining access to a requested page in the database or to a transaction log.

  • Permissions have been removed from the folder where the file resides.

  • The file has been marked read-only. This is most likely to happen to a checkpoint file.

  • The folder containing the file has been renamed or deleted. This is also mostly likely to happen to a checkpoint file.

User Action

To resolve this warning, determine what has suddenly blocked the database service from accessing its files by doing one or more of the following:

  • Review the Application log and System log for events that relate to a disk that has reached or has exceeded capacity. Resolve any disk capacity issues.

  • Restart the affected computers running Exchange.

  • Confirm that there is sufficient access to the disks.

  • If the database is still running, you may have to use the Move Mailbox tool to move the mailboxes to another server.

  • If the database will not mount, you may need to restore from online backup. If there is no valid backup, as a last resort, you may need to repair the database with eseutil /P, run isinteg -fix until all fixes are removed, and then mount the database and use ExMerge to merge to a new, blank database.

If you are not already doing so, consider running the tools that Microsoft Exchange offers to help administrators analyze and troubleshoot their Exchange environment. These tools can help you make sure that your configuration is in line with Microsoft best practices. They can also help you identify and resolve performance issues, improve mail flow, and better manage disaster recovery scenarios. Go to the Toolbox node of the Exchange Management Console to run these tools now. For more information about these tools, see Toolbox in the Exchange Server 2007 Help.


Leave a Reply