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Can't Send or Recieve Mail with Exchange 2003

Posted on 2004-04-26
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
Ok here is the setup.  domain=dfwcommunication.com my dns is setup correctly and I can get resolution from all the pc's in my network.  All the pc's connect to the exchange server ok and work great for internal mail and stuff.  The problem lies with the external side of things.  I can't send or recieve mail from the internet.  I have registered an a record and an mx record with my host.  That resolves correctly, when I ping the address I get request timed out???  When I try and send mail out from a client inside my network it says it went and no errors come out.  I haven't recieved any mail at all to say my hotmail account?  I even went into the policy section of exchange and added a %d@dfwcommunication.com to the policy and applied it.  I am at a loss here guys can you help me out?
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Question by:m_rawson
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by:What90
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Can you Telnet in to port 25 from outside you network to the Exchange server?

Do you have a firewall and is port 25 open?

Post back.
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by:Gareth Gudger
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Yes is port 25 forwarding to the internal IP address of your Exchange server?

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by:f_umar
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by:m_rawson
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ok guys we are half way there, I can now send mail like crazy from the server.  I can't telnet to port 25 even after doing the smtp config deal.  I have two network interfaces one with a 10. address setup and the other a static ip from my isp.  Do I need to setup some sort of bridge thing in the smtp stuff?  It asked me a question about it but it only gave me 2 internal address's to pick from to set it up and didn't make sence to me.  Don't know if thats the problem after looking at the guide from above.  Do I have to add a mx record on my local exchange server, or just on my isp's dns?  I added an a record and a mx record to my dns on my site hosting dns, but didn't know if that was enough?  Looking at that guide was confusing as heck.  
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by:jodypeet
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The firewall is blocking the ping request , (this is a good practise) .
You stated that you have 2 NICs installed ,
What address is the firewall forwarding port 25 to ?
have you told your exchange server to accept mail for your domain ? (required if your email domain is different from your internal FDQN).

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by:f_umar
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just configure your smtp to listen on all unassigned ip addresses.
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by:f_umar
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just configure your smtp to listen on all unassigned ip addresses.

the dns mx entry with your isp is all you need for external users able to send you email.

do not mess up with the things which u cant understand just focus on your goal and your goal is to able to send and receive emails to the internet.
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by:m_rawson
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Ok here is the deal did a bit more digging?  Don't have a firewall at all just a hub.  Also, could comcast have a block on port 25?  Thats my provider, I changed my mx value from 5 which matches comcast to 1?  Good idea or bad Idea, where would I set my smtp to listen on all addresses?  In the exchange manager I assume under smtp connector?
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What90 earned 480 total points
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Check with the ISP about the port blocking (has been known, especially on non-buisness links)

And get a Firewall as fast as possible. You're in for a world of pain otherwise!
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by:f_umar
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u can configure it on smtp virtual server properties
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by:m_rawson
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Looks like everything is setup correctly with the virtual server, and I know I need a firewall but I thought for now that would just add to the confusion.  I have a business account with comcast so I doubt they block it from the server side, but not sure about the side I am trying to telnet from that is a residential account.
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by:m_rawson
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One other strange thing, when I setup exchange 2000 I had no problem sending and recieveing mail.  It worked right away.
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by:f_umar
f_umar earned 20 total points
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if it works right away then what else u need, isp's oftenly blocks unused ports for security reasons. if no other server can connect your smtp which is runs on port 25 you would not be able to get emails.
its a good approach that u do your work in phases as long u have problems in email it is better to not implement firewall but once u find that your email system is working properly then do not wait and secure ur self.
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by:What90
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You can telnet from a home account - unless your ISP is blocking like mad.

Re check you Mx record against your external ip as well.
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by:m_rawson
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Ok, will do, I know that my mx record was pointing to my external server, and I don't think that my isp is block port 25 on either account.  Do either of you have a server I could try and telnet into that you know is working?  Let me get the results from the mx lookup and give you what I get maybe that will help!  maybe one of you could try and telnet to port 25 for me!?  mailext.dfwcommunication.com is the mx pointer.  

This is what I got from an external nslookup mx record search on dfwcommunication.com
dfwcommunication.com IN MX preference: 10
exchange: mail.opentransfer.com
 86400s (1d)
dfwcommunication.com IN MX preference: 5
exchange: mailext.dfwcommunication.com
 86400s (1d)
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by:m_rawson
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Sorry this is my a record from the same dns server.

mailext.dfwcommunication.com IN A 67.166.61.88 86336s (23h 58m 56s)
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by:What90
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Nope, can't telnet to it.

Your MX records look fine though.

Contact your ISP and ask them to try - confirming that they aren't blocking the port either!
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by:m_rawson
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Is there another progam that I could install that would let me check if port 25 was open.  Say a little ftpserver setup on port 25?
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by:What90
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On the Exchange server open a cmd prompt and type netstat -an

what you're looking for is your server ip address:25 that denotes the thing is open or not.

Try that first and again hassle the ISP - it may be them, not you!
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by:m_rawson
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Ok see a netstat 0.0.0.0:25 but not server:25 Do you have im or msn messangers so we could chat?  Maybe easier then to keep posting?
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by:What90
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We blocked all IM's ...

  0.0.0.0:25 is good that means the local machine has port 25 open.

To prove that to yourself try telneting in to it from a local machine on your lan.

This now sounds like a firewall or ISP issue. You said you don't have a firewall, leaving the ISP as the culprit.
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by:f_umar
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no i cannt telnet to you, ask your isp to telnet to your ip.
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by:m_rawson
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Shouldn't it have come up with my ip address and port number, I will call my provider tomorrow, they don't work these late hours!!  I mean with the netstat -an it should have come up with xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:25 right?  This is silly, can i just switch the port it uses?
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by:What90
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0.0.0.0 is your server's ip address. That's completely normal.

Port 25 is SMTP if you can that port number no other email system will be able to talk to your exchange system!

If it's late there, call it a night and get some sleep!

Call the ISP in the morning.

We'll go from there.
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by:m_rawson
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haha, thanks for the help, I seem to have slipped into a world of pain on this one, was looking at one other post and found that somebody had luck by re-installing exchange.  I think I will go with the isp first.  I just hate talking to people that are reading info from a database.  So hard to get anybody with real knowledge.  Again thanks I really can't thank you enough.
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by:What90
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I have a good link for re-installing exchange, but to save you the work check with the ISP and get them to run the checks correctly (ping, telnet - port scan your ip range and routerif they can!)

Unable to in Telnet is good pointer to the problem being outside you network (ISP/router/firewall)

So watch some crap telly and work on it on the morning!

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by:m_rawson
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Here is the deal, talked to comcast today and they don't allow internet email servers????  Why have a business service that doesn't allow internet servers?  Oh well, so now on to a workaround?  Any Ideas?
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by:What90
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That's good, sort of...

The options are:

1) SWAP ISP's !!!!!! (good choice - they sound like a waste of .net space)


2) See if the isp have a smart host service - so you email goes to their server and then exchange picks it up from there.

I'd go with option one and find an honest ISP the treats business users as a business.

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by:m_rawson
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They are really our only option around here, maybe quest, but don't know there setup either.  I will bitch about this one for sure.  THanks again for you help.  I will give you the points

Solution:  ISP BLOCKING PORT 25
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by:Gareth Gudger
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My ISP does that too...they recently changed it to stop viruses. Instead they claimed we had to redirect all our mail through their SMTP servers. Is that an option for you?
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by:f_umar
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yes u can use their smtp to route all your mails, in that case u should configure your smtp mail connector to forward all messages to a smart host.
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by:m_rawson
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Well my problem isn't sending mail its getting mail from the internet?  What address would people send the mail to?  I would assume that there would be some config on the isp's side right?
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