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Mail Sending fails to other members of a domain

Posted on 2004-10-24
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-03

I have setup MS Exchange 2003 on a local network. I am running Small Business Server 2003 and exchange was installed as part of the package. All service packs and hotfixes have been applied.

The live sub-domain name for the shop is mbe.southbrisbane.com. The shop staff are members of a larger domain called mbe.com.au and have mailboxes with an external provider (Webcentral).

The internal DNS has records for both mbe.southbrisbane.com and also mbe.com.au.

The internal network is called mbe.local.

DEFINITIONS: "Internal staff member" implies someone who'se company email address is within my exchange server i.e. a local employee working within the local shop.
"External staff member" implies someone whose company email address is outside my exchange server i.e. an external employee NOT working within the local shop.

If an internal mbe staff member sends an email from their mbe.com.au email address to an external mbe employee to their mbe.com.au email address, then the email is rejected, as the receiver is not within the local usergroup.

If an external mbe staff member sends an email using his mbe.com.au email address to an internal mbe staff member to their mbe.com.au email address it is received without error.

Any other emailaddresses work bothways without error. The only ones that fail are ones sent to mbe.com.au email addresses from an external mbe.com.au email address.

Any assistance offered to allow local mbe users to send and receive email to and from other mbe.com.au email addresses would be appreciated.

I'm sorry if this a alittle too wordy .... but i need to be clear in my own head as to the configuration errors.

Thank you in advance.

Brendan Vowles.
Question by:Bren
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Expert Comment

ID: 12400021
Exchange is capable of hosting email for your remote users, not only with pop and smtp but a very nice web interface that allows access to public folders, shared calendars, etc. Any reason why the system was designed differently?

As for sending and receiving xyz.au, what is the domain listed in your DNS server at the local Exchange/Small Busniess server? If it is mbe.au, you may have trouble finding the subdomain without creating a secondary DNS name and specific MX records to assist in delivery.

To test this, from a command prompt on your exchange server, typnslookup, then type 'set type=mx' and then type the domain name you are trying to send mail to. Make not of the mx records returned. Then, from an external pc (your home or elsewhere) perform the same process and make note of the records. Do they match? If not you'll need to add the correct entries in DNS.

Without exposing your actual domain name, what is the local domain called and what is shown in the DNS? Do you have a cached record for the external domain name?

Many times these types of relay issues where mail from an external account cannot be replied to are caused by MX records on the Exchange server pointing back to itself. Can you also post the bounce-back message for us?

Author Comment

ID: 12405939
The domain listed in the DNS is mbe.local.

The other DNS domain entry is southbrisbane.com with as subdomain of mbe. So mbe.southbrisbane.com is us as far as the internet is concerned.


The output of the nslookup command issued at the server follows.....

Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790]
(C) Copyright 1985-2003 Microsoft Corp.

Default Server:  server1.mbe.local

> set type=mx
> mbe.com.au
Server:  server1.mbe.local

Non-authoritative answer:
mbe.com.au      MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mx.mbe.com.au
mbe.com.au      MX preference = 50, mail exchanger = smtp.bne.server-mail.com
mbe.com.au      MX preference = 100, mail exchanger = smtp2.bne.server-mail.com

mbe.com.au      nameserver = bne001n.server-dns.com
mbe.com.au      nameserver = sjc001n.server-dns-us.com
mbe.com.au      nameserver = wic001n.server-dns.com.au
mx.mbe.com.au   internet address =
smtp.bne.server-mail.com        internet address =
smtp2.bne.server-mail.com       internet address =
bne001n.server-dns.com  internet address =
sjc001n.server-dns-us.com       internet address =
wic001n.server-dns.com.au       internet address =


I have no problem sending to someone within this office externally (from a non mbe.com.au email server forinstance from my webmail). It is only OTHER people who are within the mbe.com.au domain (for example our city store) who we cannot reply to using our mbe.com.au email addresses.

Here is a non-delivery report from a failed outgoing email ...

Your message did not reach some or all of the intended recipients.

      Subject:      FW: Drive Period 1 Postcard Order Form
      Sent:      25/10/2004 1:59 PM

The following recipient(s) could not be reached:

      david.kendall@mbe.com.au on 25/10/2004 1:59 PM
            The e-mail account does not exist at the organization this message was sent to.  Check the e-mail address, or contact the recipient directly to find out the correct address.
            <server1.mbe.local #5.1.1>


This only fails if it is been sent through this exchange server .... i.e. from within this office from an mbe.com.au email address.
It appears to the exchange server that david.kendall is not within this office and he ISNT. He is in our Toowong office.

Thankyou for your assistance.

Brendan vowles

Expert Comment

ID: 12406518
Exactly, your exchange server is misdirecting the email for that particular domain. Although what you've posted shows that your mbe.local server knows where to send to - aka outside the local domain - it is still searching for the recipient locally and getting no response. The only other reason I can think of this happening is if you have mbe.com.au on the local recipient's list. Open the Exchange System Manager and expand the recipients container to display the recipient policies. Click ont he default policy and make sure the mbe.com.au address is not in the list. You should see the southbrisbane address in the list of smtp policies for local mail. I am guessing by your posts that no one locally uses the mbe.com.au address so if that's in the list then it would cause mail to attempt to be sent locally and generating a bounce back.
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Author Comment

ID: 12406701
the @mbe.com.au was the default SMTP for the domain ... I made @mbe.local the default SMTP and unticked @mbe.com.au SMTP entry.

a local address (for example bob.mackinnon@mbe.com.au)   needs to send an email to an outside address (for example brisbanecentral@mbe.com.au) and until now that has been failing.

I am assuming that @mbe.local is the correct smtp to be used.

There are 2 policies in the old server.  'MBE Policy' is set for @mbe.com.au as primary and the 'default policy' is set for @mbe.local as primary.

The priority on the MBE policy is 1 and the priority on the default is 'lowest'

I added the MBE policy and copied the values from the old server.

I now need to see what you think of my logic ?

Thanks again.


Expert Comment

ID: 12412194
If I were to send an email to a user on the 'inside' of the server, which email address would be used, someone@mbe.com.au? Where does southbrisbane fit into all of this?

What you seem to be implying which I did not correctly understand before is that you have mbe.com.au email addresses both within and outside the domain and you need to be able to relay these emails between different hosting providers?


Author Comment

ID: 12416007
The overall situation is quite large.

firstly each member of mbe.com.au has a pop mailbox on a webhosting provider called webcentral.

the mbe.com.au orginisation is australia wide so for examole westend@mbe.com.au, equates to a webcentral mailbox called mb3051ab living on webcentral, bob.mackinnon@mbe.com.au equates to a mb3051y and jacinda.tunney@mbe.com.au equates to mb3051z those three mailboxes are within the westend office where i am located.

other mbe staff members have similarly named email boxes, but as i am not directly interested in the mailbox names, i deal with their associated email addresses.

There are 47 stores australia wide that have mail boxes in their stores of a similar nature to which i have described for my West End office.

mbe.southbrisbane.com is a domain i have provided the westend store so that they can take advantage of windows sbs remote facilities etc. If you put http://mbe.southbrisbane.com/remote into your browser it will bring you to a login screen to allow you remote access to desktops etc .... that is the only use for the mbe.southbrisbane.com domain name.

Internally here, the only domain name used is mbe.local and that has the ip addresses of printers, and the internal pc's etc and an ftp site for one of the large format printer rip computers.

We have a fixed ip address provided by telstra. This appears at an ipcop firewall box from which we port forward to the internal server box. The server where exchange is living is and poort 25 is forwarded to that machine along with other ssh ports etc in order for the mbe.southbrisbane.com/remote features to function properly.

So as i see it the mbe.southbrisbane.com subdomain, even though it appears in the DNS is external to this issue.

The exchange server does see the subdomain and has created bob.mackinnon@mbe.southbrisbane.com etc etc ..... but i have made his primary email address bob.mackinnon@mbe.com.au (as it should be).

So I hope I have been ablr to paint the bigger picture clearly for you in relation to the concept of the size of the orginisation.

Thanks again Ed.

Accepted Solution

eedlee earned 2000 total points
ID: 12416062
Personally I would remove all references to mbe.com.au from your local Exchange server. The remote email accounts are already routed as they need to be through the hosting provider of webcentral. Locally you should call yourself mbe.southbris... etc. To have the same local domain in exchange would require a routing connector of some type, which I am not particularly an expert at, but it should be possible to do it. Or you could refer to the two organizations as completely different addresses. The only question I have is how do I get an email to someone in your organization from the outside? That is, how do we address emails from eedlee.com to bob.mackinnon if we want him to get a message from us? If he is going in and out as mbe.com.au, then you'll definitely need a connector of some type. I would post again in order to get a response on that particular configuration.

Author Comment

ID: 12417547
if you send a test email to bob.mackinnon@mbe.com.au the email will arrive at the webcentral mailbox mb3051y and subsequently thr pop connector in my exchange server should download the email and place it in bob mackinnon's mail box.

this should work as your address is external to mbe.com.au

if you try this i will get back to you and confirm it's receipt


Author Comment

ID: 12417712
I have an external email that i can send email to bob.mackinnon@mbe.com.au through .... i did that and successfully received it .... and successfully replied to it .... so the circle is complete with a non mbe.com.au email address

I think i understand your scenario of calling myself mbe.southbrisbane.com and therefore you shouldnt have the issue of emails not finding non delivery problems outside the local mbe.con.au domain... as there would be no such thing locally.

Am i understanding your scenario properly ??

I will then ask you how i would go about making this a totally non mbe.com.au exchange server.

I'll await your reply.

Thanks Ed.

Author Comment

ID: 12430047

Thanks dor all your help. I will credit you with 500 points for your help. The issue is still outstanding and I havn't been able to resolve it as yet.

Expert Comment

ID: 12433941
All the addressing for the mbe.com.au is located int he recipient policy settings. If you add southbris and make it the primary, and remove mbe.com.au from the list the local users should propogate with the new address and send and receive should work. However, as a general rule this wouldn't be my particular area of expertise as we would generally have set up all accounts locally and then allowed remote users to pop/web their mail from the local exchange server, rather than an outsourced service provider. After all, when you have a full Exchange installation you have the power to run all those services locally.

Author Comment

ID: 12442840
Ok.... stranger things have happened. .... after a LOT of research and reading and chatting with people about this ... I came up with the following course of action.

1) I added mail and mx records to mbe.local and mbe.southbrisbane.com.

2) I ran the 'connect to the internet'izard and made the exchange mbe.local

..... now .... we can send on mbe.com.au successfully ..... YAY !!!!


wait for it ....

the reply from the far end to our outgoing email arrives at this exchange server ...... but where is it ????

i turned the pop connector off so the email arrives at bob.mackinnon@mbe.com.au at webcentreal because i can see it in the box there. BUT when i turn the pop conector back on ... the email leaves webcentral ...... but i have no indication of it arriving here !!!!

Any suggestions ??


solve this and i'll give u another 500 *grin*

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