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Virginia Tech Email Announcements and News

Update May 4, 2015: Email from Virginia Tech about VT Google Apps Mail

Virginia Tech affiliates who received the following email will lose their VT Google Apps account on June 17, 2015, because they do not have the required affiliations to retain the account. On that date, all of the email, files, documents, pictures, and other content in the account will become unrecoverable, and the owner will no longer be able to access the account. For questions or assistance in obtaining a required affiliation, contact the appropriate department listed in the email.

-- [Begin quote of email] --

Your VT Google Apps email account has been scheduled for expiration. You have X amount of time to move your mail and notify your correspondents of any new email address. After that time, you will no longer be able to send or receive messages using this account. has instructions for creating a free Google account.

Please note that your PID and access to associated services such as and will remain active.

Your VT Google Apps email account has expired because you do not have any of the required affiliations to retain it, which are:

  • Active or recent Virginia Tech student
  • Active Virginia Tech employee or retiree
  • Virginia Tech alumnus

Please contact the following offices for more information about affiliations:


Office of the University Registrar (MC 0124)

Student Services Building, Suite 205, Virginia Tech

800 Washington Street SW

Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

Phone: (540) 231-6252




Human Resources Service Center (MC 0318)

North End Center 300 Turner Street NW, Suite 2300, Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

Phone: (540) 231-9331

Fax: (540) 231-3830




Virginia Tech Alumni Association (MC 0102)

Holtzman Alumni Center

901 Prices Fork Road

Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

Phone: (540) 231-6285

Fax: (540) 231-3039



-- [End quote of email] --

Update April 2, 2015: Known Issues with Mobile Devices and Exchange Calendar Syncing

4Help currently recommends using Outlook or WebOutlook to accept, decline, edit meetings, and other Exchange calendaring functions instead of using mobile devices. There are known issues with calendar syncing when calendaring functions are performed on mobile devices, and 4Help can only provide limited support for those problems.

If you must perform calendaring functions on mobile devices, Microsoft recommends first upgrading the software on the mobile device to the latest version. For help, consult the manufacturer of the mobile device.

For more information, see Microsoft's Current issues with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and third-party devices page

Update March 11, 2015: 10:00 AM : VT Exchange incident report now available

The VT Exchange February 2015 incident report is now available for public access. Download the PDF here:

If you are still experiencing problems as a result of the server failure or data restoration process, please use 4Help Self Service to report the problem, or to update your existing ticket.

Update March 4, 2015, 10:00 AM : Exchange Server Marconi-MBX1

As of this morning, all account re-merges have been completed, and a majority of affected users have been able to clean up duplicate entries and empty emails that appeared as a result of the data merge. Collaborative Computing Services personnel and 4Help consultants will now be able to focus their full attention on supporting users who continue to experience problems related to this server failure.

If you are still experiencing problems as a result of the server failure or data restoration process, please use 4Help Self Service to report the problem, or to update your existing ticket.

Update March 3, 2015, 5:00 PM : Exchange Server Marconi-MBX1

As of 4:30 PM, a total of 864 of the 966 total affected accounts have been re-merged, restoring emails, calendar entries, and contacts for approximately 89% of affected users. The remaining re-merges should be completed by tomorrow morning.

We are aware that some users are experiencing significant issues with the re-added data, including blank messages, duplicated emails, multiple calendar items for the same event, etc. Guidelines for eliminating these duplicate entries were posted this morning – see the 8:00 AM update for instructions.

Please continue to report specific issues and problems by using 4Help Self Service.

Update March 3, 2015, 10:00 AM : Exchange Server Marconi-MBX1

We completed recovery for all .PSTs from the corrupted database yesterday afternoon.

Out of the 966 affected mailboxes, we've successfully re-merged 684 of them (70.8%).

In parallel with continuing the re-merge we have now finalized support documentation on how to remove possible syncing issues between the client and Exchange mailbox some users are seeing, such as duplicate emails, calendar entries, contact, etc.

We will continue to seek process improvements to remediate any data duplication users are experiencing.

Update March 3, 2015, 8:00 AM : Exchange Server Marconi-MBX1

As Marconi-MBX1 affected users have their data re-merged, some users have reported that their email clients (Outlook, iOS devices, etc.) are having difficulties reconciling the data. This is causing strange issues like blank messages, duplicated emails, multiple calendar items for the same event, etc.

After your email was restored, if you have problems with email client synchronization, such as blank messages, duplicate emails, old calendar or task alerts reappearing, etc:

  1. Exit all email clients on all of your computers. Turn off all of your mobile devices.
  2. Log onto WebOutlook with your Hokies ID and Hokies ID (Exchange) password. If you have forgotten your password, follow the instructions at Forgot Hokies ID Password.
  3. Delete all duplicates and other items that you do not want.
  4. Follow the instructions at Reconfiguring, Re-Adding, or Resetting Virginia Tech Exchange Client or Device.
  5. If you previously connected to any resource accounts, shared calendars, or resources, you will need to re-configure those as well.

We thank you for working through this issue with us. If you need assistance in recreating your profiles, please contact your department's information technology liaison, or use 4Help Self Service.

Update March 2, 2015, 5:29 PM : Exchange Server Marconi-MBX1

As of 5pm on Monday, March 2, all user data files have been successfully extracted from the corrupted mailbox databases on the Marconi server. A total of 325 of the 966 total affected accounts have been re-merged – restoring emails, calendar entries, and contacts for approximately 33% of affected users. The remaining re-merge operations will continue through the middle of the week. For those user accounts with last names A-C, that began the re-merge this morning, 143 out of 186 of them have been completed. We will continue to provide updates as new blocks of accounts are re-merged.

Update March 2, 2015, 1 PM: Exchange Server Marconi-MBX1

As of this morning, we have successfully re-merged 201 mailboxes using the recovered files from the corrupted database. The repaired mailboxes are for users with last names starting with the letters (or only name in case of resource) Q, S-Z. So for example, a user with the name "User, Joe" would be a "U" and in the scope of this operation.

Those who have gone through this operation should have recovered all missing data, but may also experience some duplication of items (emails, calendar entries, contacts), and the return of some formerly deleted items. We are working on tips for how to minimize the effect of these disruptions, and we thank you for your continued patience.

We are now working on a re-merge operation for 186 mailboxes with the last names A-C.

Update March 2, 2015, 11 AM: Exchange Server Marconi-MBX1

On the morning of Saturday, February 28, 2015, an Exchange database server (Marconi-MBX1) failed - this server hosted more than 800 user accounts, and a number of resource accounts (often used for scheduling conference rooms and equipment). Microsoft Support concluded that the database was corrupt beyond repair and could not be used. In the course of remediation, we discovered additional failures in backup systems. We restored from the most recent good backup, dated 2/11/2015. This action was completed Saturday evening and service restored.

Affected individuals may still be unable to access email/calendaring updates that occurred between February 12 and February 28, 2015. Work is ongoing to recover this missing data. Current estimates indicate that we may be able to restore the data by the end of this week, however, there are numerous variables which could affect this outcome.

As we recover user mailboxes, we will merge them back into the user’s mailbox. We will notify all affected users when this merge process has been completed.

Update January 26, 2015: Public Folders Service Ending

Public folders (PFs) were designed for shared access within Exchange. They can be accessed from the Outlook client. Public folders  are being discontinued, and other, better services are available for PF functions like group calendaring, group email and file storage, and custom contact lists.

To determine which PFs you are responsible for, review the list of PublicFolder Permissions by clicking one of the following links:

Note: To access these files hosted on VT Office 365–SharePoint Online, authenticate with your username ( and Hokies ID password.


  • February 9 (6 AM) through February 11 (6 AM): Temporary shutdown. During this enforced outage, if users contact you indicating they cannot access data via Outlook, they may still be accessing PFs. Verify their use by examining their Outlook client and determining if they are trying to access the “Public” folder structure.
  • February 23 (6 AM): Permanent decommissioning of PF service.

Managing Content

The recommended replacement is the no-cost VT Office 365-SharePoint Online service, replicating everything that PFs offered with more flexibility and control. Create a departmental SharePoint Site and migrate or recreate the data from PFs to this new environment. See

Alternately, you can create a Hokies “Resource Account.” These accounts can be shared by multiple user simultaneously through Outlook or Outlook Web Access (OWA).  See Exchange Account Types.

If you no longer need the PFs, back up the data locally to your system before the service is discontinued.  See for more information.

We thank you for your patience in this transition.

Update January 12, 2015: Rivendell and Mirkwood Turned Off

As part of the process of decommissioning legacy components of the Virginia Tech Exchange service, the Exchange team has turned off two servers, Rivendell and Mirkwood, because these servers are no longer needed.

If you have problems with an Exchange client, remove and recreate the profile in the client by following the instructions at Repeatedly Prompted to Restart Outlook or Other Email Client on Exchange.

Update December 1, 2014: New Exchange Accounts and Migration

For people that want a new Exchange account, the email team recommends following the instructions at Obtaining or Creating a Full Exchange or Calendar-Only Account on the Virginia Tech Exchange Server. Doing this will place the new mailbox on the older, 2007 server. The Virginia Tech email team will manually migrate the mailbox to the newer, 2013 server on the next business day.

Update November 10, 2014: PACE and Resource Accounts

We have identified some issues when accessing PACE accounts through certain methods after being migrated to Exchange 2013.  There are issues accessing PACE resource accounts for a small subset of users who access PACE accounts directly through adding the account to Outlook or by creating an additional profile for the PACE account. These users receive an error message and are unable to access the account through these means.

We are working on a permanent solution to this problem, but for now and for the immediate future PACE accounts can still be accessed through WebOutlook by following the instructions at Accessing a Resource Account in WebOutlook and also by adding the specific resource mailbox to your account by following the instructions at Accessing More than One Exchange Account in Outlook. These methods are already the most common methods and provide usability for the majority of users accessing PACE resource accounts. These problems will have no impact on the migration schedule.

As always, if you experience any problems, contact 4Help at by using 4Help Self Service.

Update October 14, 2014: Migration Timeline

Mailbox migration phases:

  1. First adopters migration (Completed): Those who requested early moves with the understanding of possible complications, no backups, etc will be moved first.
  2. Second mailbox migration (Completed): After the first adopters have moved, we will begin to migrate mailboxes based on Hokies OU membership, starting with the first OU alphabetically ordered A-Z. Before we start moving users in a OU we will email the OU admins (if the OU is managed) letting them know the process is starting.  After the last mailbox in the OU has been moved we will again contact the OU admins letting them know the process is complete.  We will be skipping the NOTOU OU until the third round of migrations.  We cannot accept requests for users or OUs to be first or last in this process.
  3. Third mailbox migration (Completed): Those in the unmanaged NOTOU will have their mailboxes migrated in this phase.
  4. Fourth mailbox migration (Completed): Anybody caught moving between OUs will get swept up in this stage.
  5. Fifth mailbox migration (Completed): We will evaluate those users who have been defined as “restricted” (such as ITAR users) and migrate or move their mailboxes to a special restricted mailbox storage group.

Update October 8, 2014

Beginning 10/6/14, Collaborative Computing Solutions (CCS) began working with Microsoft to install and configure an upgrade of Virginia Tech’s Exchange environment to the latest version—Exchange 2013. Once completed, all users will have access to new features, functionality, and 10 GB of mailbox storage space.

The active phase of this migration will begin on Wednesday, 10/08, and continue for several weeks. During this time, individual users may experience sporadic delays in service, as mailboxes are migrated to the new environment. Users with high volumes of saved email should anticipate longer delays. In addition, some users of Android devices may experience mailbox disconnections beginning Thursday, 10/09, as the configuration changes take effect.

To minimize the time required for mailbox migration, users are asked to conduct a mailbox clean-up BEFORE the migration begins. This will speed the transition for your mailbox, as well as for the overall migration. PLEASE refrain from immediately re-uploading Outlook mailbox archive files into the Exchange 2013 mailbox after your migration. Re-uploading archives while the migration is still in process will increase overhead and slow down the migration process. Once the bulk migration is completed, a new campus notice will be issued to let users know that their archives may be uploaded.

Once each user’s mailbox migration is complete, full functionality will be restored. Contact your departmental or college IT support staff for more information about your individual Exchange migration.

Additional details:

  • Android devices: A sub-set of Android users may experience mailbox disconnections starting on Thursday, 10/9, as the configuration changes take effect. Device manufacturers that do not completely support Microsoft ActiveSync may be affected. The device will sync again after the user’s mailbox is migrated and the profile recreated on the smartphone/device. Unfortunately, we have no specifics on which devices will be affected.
  • Mailbox migration: Starting Thursday, 10/9, CCS will begin migrating mailboxes from the old Exchange 2007 environment into the new environment. This will move all email and calendaring data stored on the old server into Exchange 2013. We cannot accommodate requests for individual users to be migrated at a particular time in this process. However, users should be aware that the Gmail web interface will still be available to send and receive email during the migration. Contact your departmental or college IT support staff for more information about your individual Exchange migration.
  • During migration of your mailbox: While a mailbox is undergoing migration, Outlook will lock the mailbox and the user will not be able to send or receive emails using Exchange (however, the Gmail interface will not be affected, and will remain available for sending and receiving email). Incoming email will be queued (not bounced) and outbound email will be delayed until the migration is completed. Upon completion, users should see a pop-up in Outlook saying “Exchange administrators have made a change to the user’s mailbox and the Outlook client will have to be restarted.” After a restart, the Outlook client should automatically auto-discover where the mailbox is located and redirect. If, after restarting, the Outlook client repeatedly indicates that Outlook must be restarted, the user’s mailbox profile will need to be recreated. In the event of such a problem, users should consult their IT support staff. See for more information about repairing a profile.
  • Mailbox migration speed: Due to the variations in individual mailbox size, we cannot provide estimates of elapsed time to complete individual mailbox migrations – however we can say that the larger the mailbox, the longer it will take. To speed up transition of your mailbox, please refer to “Pre-move mailbox cleanup” following. During the transition, keep in mind that Gmail will also be available.
  • Pre-move mailbox cleanup: We ask you clean up your mailbox BEFORE you are migrated. This will reduce the transition time needed for your mailbox, and speed up the overall migration.  PLEASE refrain from immediately re-uploading Outlook archives into the Exchange 2013 mailbox after migration. Re-uploading archives while the migration is still in process will increase overhead and slow down the migration process. We’ll let everyone know when the bulk migration is completed.
  • Verifying the size of the mailbox, other changes: After a mailbox has been migrated, it will be expanded to the 10 GB quota. To verify this, use Outlook to see quota information as before. Once migrated you’ll also be able to log into the new version of WebOutlook, which looks very much like the actual Outlook client.
  • Supported Outlook clients or versions: Following the migration, Outlook 2003 will no longer be supported! Outlook clients that that are still supported (listed below) should be patched to include the patch revisions specified. For additional information, see Specifically, these versions (and newer) are supported:
    • Outlook 2013 (15.0.4420.1017)
    • Outlook 2010 Service Pack 1 with the Outlook 2010 November 2012 update (14.0.6126.5000). For more information, see Description of the Outlook 2010 update: November 13, 2012
    • Outlook 2007 Service Pack 3 with the Outlook 2007 November 2012 update (12.0.6665.5000). For more information, see Description of the Outlook 2007 update: November 13, 2012
    • Entourage 2008 for Mac, Web Services Edition
    • Outlook for Mac 2011
  • Public folders not supported: As has been previously shared, once a user’s mailbox has been migrated into the new Exchange 2013 environment, they will no longer have access to Exchange public folders. We will not be supporting public folders in Exchange 2013. We suggest your department or college review the services offered through VT Office 365 – SharePoint Online as a replacement for public folders. See for information about VT Office 365.

We thank you for your support and patience during this extended migration period. If there is an impact to the production environment where Exchange email is no longer a viable means of communication, more information will be available on the computing status page or by consulting with your departmental or college IT support staff.

Update March 26, 2014

Information Technology has announced the mid-range plan for email services at Virginia Tech.

The current environment consists of Google Apps for Education for everyone eligible for a university email address, along with the premier service for faculty and staff, Microsoft Exchange, currently supported on-site by Exchange 2007. Testing and planning had been underway to move most Exchange mail services to the cloud: Exchange Online, part of the Office365 service from Microsoft.Analysis has shown that moving from Exchange 2007 to the hosted service will be particularly problematic. Therefore, the mid-range plan is to upgrade the on-site service to Exchange 2013. Migration from Exchange 2013 to the hosted service is more manageable than migration from the current environment. Once the upgrade is complete, the plan to move to a hosted service will be re-evaluated. In the meantime, additional equipment to increase Exchange quotas to 10 GB is on order and will be implemented as quickly as possible. Anti-spam checking will also be added to the on-site Exchange.

A further next step is to develop a roadmap for all email services through a collaborative process begun on March 24th, 2014. Updates on availability and upgrades to services and other information will be made available on this page.

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 8:58am 15577 Views