A:When the Blackberry Enterprise server fails and the mobile phone company refuses to support it until it has been formatted and re-installed.

This happened to us this week when a client reported that their Blackberries had stopped receiving email. Initially we pointed the client to the original installers of the BES system. It then transpired that the client no longer dealt with them due to their poor service. We then picked up the baton and called the mobile phone company to get support.

They, to their credit, were quite helpful, at least at first. Once we had sent them various log files that they requested they analysed them and then came to the conclusion that the BES server could not be supported as it had never been setup properly. The only solution to the problem, they said, was to rebuild the server and call them back for instructions as to how to install BES properly once that had been done.

We did an emergency callout to Surrey the next day and did as instructed – formatted the system, reinstalled Windows 2003 with the appropriate service packs, installed Exchange system manager, service packed that and finally downloaded and installed the latest version of BES. We then called the mobile phone company and spent the next three hours on the phone with them to set up BES to their standards.

At the end of the process we started all the BES services, logged in to Blackberry Manager and……….

……exactly the same problem occured – “Unable to retrieve the server’s distinguished name or allocate a MAPI buffer for this server.”

After then googling this error message I found someone else who had had exactly the same message and same experience and as it happened his solution works for us as well.

It turns out that the problem with BES all along had not been anything to do with how it was installed at all or the server. In the end the problem was simply that the service account that BES uses had become corrupt in someway and prevented it from running.

The resolution is quite simple in outline – create a new service account and change all the BES services to use that new service account. In practice this was quite an involved process but at the end the BES services started and we were able to get into the Blackberry Manager. Job done.

Why the mobile phone company Blackberry specialist support team (and we are talking a major, major phone company) were not able to use their own knowledgebase to provide this solution is beyond me and cost the client an emergency callout and two days without emails.

Update – if you think the above applies to your situation you probably need to go to this site RIM support and search for article KB04293

by hostadmin on May 30, 2007 at 5:48 PM

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