The Symantec Mail Security service is stuck in a starting state


During system startup, the Symantec Mail Security service stays in a starting state and never starts. Symantec Mail Security 4.x or 5.x for Microsoft Exchange installed on the server.

One of the following versions is installed:
–Symantec Mail Security 5.x for Microsoft Exchange
–Symantec Mail Security 4.6 for Microsoft Exchange
–Symantec Mail Security 4.5 for Microsoft Exchange
–Symantec Mail Security 4.0 for Microsoft Exchange.

There can be more than one cause for this problem. The following are the three most common causes.

Timing conflict
This typically indicates a timing conflict with the operating system. One solution is to make the Symantec Mail Security 4.x or 5.x for Microsoft Exchange service dependent upon another service, such as the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service (MSExchangeIS). For more information, read the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article – 193888 How to Delay Loading of Specific Services.

Note: The use of Regedt32.exe is suggested.

Intel PDS or Intel File Transfer Service does not start
In most cases, reinstalling AMS resolves this problem.
Exclude the Temp and Quarantine folders when the following Symantec programs are installed
Symantec Mail Security 5.x for Microsoft Exchange
:\Program Files\Symantec\SMSMSE\5.0\Server\Temp
:\Program Files\Symantec\SMSMSE\5.0\Server\Quarantine

Symantec Mail Security 4.6 for Microsoft Exchange
:\Program Files\Symantec\SMSMSE\4.6\Server\Temp
:\Program Files\Symantec\SMSMSE\4.6\Server\Quarantine

Symantec Mail Security 4.5 for Microsoft Exchange
:\Program Files\Symantec\SMSMSE\4.5\Server\Temp
:\Program Files\Symantec\SMSMSE\4.5\Server\Quarantine

Symantec Mail Security 4.0 for Microsoft Exchange
:\Program Files\Symantec\SMSMSE\4.0\Server\Temp
:\Program Files\Symantec\SMSMSE\4.0\Server\Quarantine
Note: The exclusion of the above Temp folders is critical to the operation of the products. Each product uses the Temp folder as a processing folder.

Technical Information:
This information is provided “as-is” and as a courtesy only. Symantec does not guarantee the resolution of your situation or that the information is correct or up to date. These instructions involve a change to the registry and can damage your computer if done incorrectly. These steps involve a change to Windows settings and not Symantec settings. Therefore direct your support questions to Microsoft Technical Support.

To change Windows settings to prevent timing conflicts with Symantec Mail Security 4.x or 5.x for Microsoft Exchange
On the Windows taskbar, click Start > Run.
In the Open box, type the following command:


Press Enter.
In the Registry Editor, in the left pane, go to the following key:


In the right pane, right-click DependOnService, and then click Modify.
If the DependOnService value does not exist, create a new REG_SZ (String Value) named DependOnService.
In the Value Data box, type the following text:


Click OK.
Exit the Registry Editor.
Restart the computer.

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