Exchange 2003 - Can't receive external e-mail can send some external e-mail?

I'm building my first Exchange 2003 on a standalone PDC in a test environment. The system can only effectively send and receive e-mail internally. I can send to some external e-mail addresses but if hotmail has junk mail filtering turned on I can only send if I put my address from the exchange server in the hotmail (web interface) safe list. I'm just sending out messages with the word test in the subject and body. I can send that same e-mail from my other address and it goes through fine.

I can't receive any external mail hotmail or a regular domain account. I don't get any error messages even when I try to track the message, it is like it is going somewhere but never making it through my exchange box.

I'm not sure where the issue is as I'm new to this part of exchange functions. I'll be glad to give more details. There are no warnings or errors in the event viewer log to say what the issue is.

I've never really used this e-mail address before because it is a test domain address so I shouldn't be on any spam address lists. I've checked, it isn't an open relay server.

Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

David WilhoitSenior Consultant, ExchangeCommented:
Well, since this is test, my guess is that you don't have an external DNS record pointing to this box. What's your SMTP domain?

boedAuthor Commented:
Thank you.  I e-mailed my domain name and server IP address to you.  If there is anything else I can do to assist, please let me know.
If you try to send mails to other ISP, most of them make a few tests to avoid spamers. One of these tests is about your IP, most of them rejects mails from servers, which connects by an dial up connection or by an dynamic IP. Another issue may be the reverso DNS lookup. As the servername is part of the mail header, they try to resolve this address, and as your ddomain is a fantasy domain, which is nowhere registrated, they reject it. Also the Providers can not find any MX record for your domain.

For sure functionality, you should be aware of the following conditions:
You domain must be existant and registered.
You should have a DNS A and reverse PTR record for your server registered at one public DNS (i.e. your ISP)
You should have registered a MX record for yopur domain at one public DNS (i.e. your ISP)
You should hav a static IP, which is not member of dynamic address pools.

For getting e-mails, you need the MX record, otherwise other servers can not find the responisble mail server for your domain.

I think, there is nothing to do for you, most of the ISP are really hysteric on spam and blocks everything out, what can not identified by one or more of the conditions above. What you can do is to use a smarthost for sending and POP3 pulldown for getting mails.
Big Business Goals? Which KPIs Will Help You

The most successful MSPs rely on metrics – known as key performance indicators (KPIs) – for making informed decisions that help their businesses thrive, rather than just survive. This eBook provides an overview of the most important KPIs used by top MSPs.

boedAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help.

I'm pretty sure my domain is registered.  I can make a quick in my external DNS provider DNS record and anyone can get to my web page at that domain.  But maybe I don't understand what you are telling me.

I don't have a reverse PTR record on my isp dns server but I was able to do this one exchange 2000 before without this.  I do and did have one on my internal DNS.  Is this something new for Exchange 2003?

I have registered an MXE record for my domain with my DNS provider.

I have statically assigned my IP to my external network card.  I am able to browse the web.

I have checked and my domain is not on a spam list.

I am more than happy to open this test box up for remote support through messenger or PCAnywhere if my lack of knowledge is frustrating to anyone trying to assist me.  I'd like to watch what items you check so I can post the solution or you can post the solution to this issue.

We can try that, but I am not shure, if my firewall will pass that Messeger traffic, we will see. You can leave your Messenger Alias / and or e-mail at my contact site, so its not posted here:

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
boedAuthor Commented:
Thank you for helping out!  My messenger alias is
boedAuthor Commented:
Bembi is getting very close to the solution - My server isn't allowing port 25 among other port traffic to get to it.  I DON'T have a firewall installed on it or between it since it is a test server and even when I connect the nic directly to a hub with another PC on the same network and subnet mask, I can't ping it or telnet to port 25.  I can ping from the server to the workstation though.  Any places I should check?  I have eliminated my ISP from the mix when I connected the NIC directly to a hub and had a PC that it could ping.

boedAuthor Commented:
I finally gave up and reformatted again.  I noticed on reinstall this time, it asked me about installing firewall services so I said no.  I'm not sure where to acccess those as opposed to the ones under network properties, nic, advanced (those are the ones I made sure were unchecked before reformatting along with group  policy filtering properties)
Some solutions are too easy to get in the first run. If you have installed / activated the "personal firewall" options, this may block out the traffic. You find the setting within your network configuration --> network connection - LAN-Connection on the third tab "Enhanced".
boedAuthor Commented:
Bembi, is that differnet than right clicking on my network card, going to properties, and clicking on the advanced tab?
Hi Boed,

This is the description to turn it on:;en-us;317530&Product=winsvr2003

Turning off is similar.
boedAuthor Commented:
Thanks for continuing on this.  Dang - same thing.  That one wouldn't have been enabled since RRAS had to be on in order for my DHCP clients to get Internet capabilities.  There must be another firewall setting somewhere in W2K3.  
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.