Cannot receive outside mail in Exchange 2000

Posted on 2003-11-18
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
About a week ago, my Exchange server stopped receiving mail from outside addresses. I can send / receive within my own network and I am able send to outside addresses. OWA works fine from work and home as well. However, when I try to email work from an outside address I get a Delay and Failure Notifications. So to make a long story short, we're not getting anything more than interoffice e-mail here.

Using, it tells me:

"ERROR: I could not connect to any of your mailservers! Connection closed before I received all my data (state 1)."

Any ideas?
Question by:gatchaboy
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Expert Comment

ID: 9772628
Are your external MX records correct? Can you telnet to your external ip via port 25? Is your router forwarding your external mx Ip properly?

Sounds like something in your external network was changed...

Author Comment

ID: 9773564
MX lookup shows that the record points to the external IP of my mail server. When at the office I can telnet to the internal IP on port 25 but NOT the external IP. Furthermore, when I run a check delivery test the results come back as 'host did not respond'.

I'm assuming that the router has to be giving out the proper IP as I'm able to log into OWA and check mail from home using the domain name. What's the best way to check if my router is forwarding my external MX IP properly?

Author Comment

ID: 9783312
I was able to telnet to port 25 of the external IP today but it immediately closes the connection, it doesn't even get to prompt me for a username/password.
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Expert Comment

ID: 9783341
Sounds to me like the firewall/router is blocking it or ONLY allowing connections from your ISP's IP address.

Author Comment

ID: 9788904
Ok, spoke to my ISP today. They ran a couple of e-mail addresses through 's email validator. It passed through level 2 but at level 3 it gave a 'could not verify recipient' error. The MX record looked fine and it actually connects to my SMTP server but closes right away. They suggested that it looks to be a problem on my mail server and not the router.

Author Comment

ID: 9796340
The latest development is that I went and reinstalled Exchange. Now I can telnet to port 25 of the external IP of the mail server from inside the building (which I couldn't do before) and run some commands.

Once I'm outside the building the connection closes right away upon telnet to port 25. When I telnet directly to the mail server (not specifying a port), I get a 'No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it' message, again a new development. Hmmmm.

Author Comment

ID: 9802489
More reference: the delivery status notifications I get when I email from an outside address.

Connection has dropped between servers.

The message in the queue has expired. The sending server tried to relay or deliver the message but the action was not completed before the message expiration time occurred.

<added by PashaMod>


I was able to answer the question myself by deleting my settings in Server > Protocol > SMTP > Virtual SMTP Server > Properties > Access and clearing the settings in 'Connection Control'. Thanks!

Accepted Solution

PashaMod earned 0 total points
ID: 9811525
Question closed and points refunded
CS Moderator

Expert Comment

ID: 9811562
Seems to me there are 2000 other questions that should be closed before one like this... hardly a week old, and not even a business week.

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