Microsoft Exchange will not send external mail since broadband - desperately need assistance!
Posted on 2004-09-23
Sorry about the life-story, but I think a bit of background information may help in this case. I would be very grateful if you would read it all as I am in desperate trouble and really need as much help as I can get…
I have a good knowledge of computers generally and a reasonable grasp of networking but I have never set up or maintained any version of m’soft exchange. I have to do a lot of broadband installations. I use an ADSL router and in general it is a pretty seamless transition – causing a minimum of disruption to the customer.
What was meant to be a very routine installation has gone extremely wrong and I am now in a very awkward situation. I am always very wary about messing around with networks that someone else has set up. In this case I had no choice - we ordered ADSL (to replace an ISDN system) and the phone engineers went round and ripped the old box out, dumped the ADSL modem on the table and left my customer with no internet/email and me with the task of restoring it.
The network is comprised of a Windows 2000 server with a few clients running windows XP, 2000 and 98. They have Small Business Server – which I believe includes Exchange 2000. First thing I did is restore internet access to the server by pointing it to the ADSL router. This successfully got them receiving email again without me even touching the Exchange configuration. I was very happy at this point, but this was short-lived. It would not send external mail. I reasoned that this was because in switching to broadband they had effectively switched ISP – so whatever SMTP servers they were using before would no longer allow the mail through. After a bit of sifting through the Exchange system manager I found the SMTP connector. I checked the properties for this and found a box that said “forward all mail for this connector through the following smart hosts”. In there it said “smtp.freeserve.com” (their old ISP). I may be completely wrong, but I further reasoned that if I could switch this to some functional SMTP servers, the mail would start sending again. I know from experience that I cannot use the BTbroadband SMTP servers (you have to submit the domain to them first and this takes 5 days which I don’t have). So I used some mail server details which I know should work (I tested the account separately through outlook express). But still none of the external mail would send.
I did a bit of further investigation and discovered the queues under server/protocols/default SMTP virtual sever. All the mail was accumulating in the “messages with an unreacheable destination queue”. I tried deleting all these just in case they could be clogging anything up, but this made no difference.
I am absolutely stuck. I am scared to change anything else because I don’t want to mess up their system. But I have to get this sorted. To make matters worse I have limited access to the system as I have to travel down there and I can’t keep popping in and out and tinkering with stuff or they are going to get annoyed (so far I have been able to keep everyone remarkably calm). I need as much help as possible and I need to solve this as quickly as possible – as I really cannot afford to lose this customer.
Many thanks in advance, and my fate is in your hands…..