Exchange 2000, Issues with SMTP inbound/outbound mail

Posted on 2004-10-29
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Ok, its getting ugly over here so any ideas you guys can throw this way i'd greatly appreciate.  Here is the issue:

Server is an windows 2000 box running exchange 2000 and active directory.  As it stands right now, this box will not send any email out at all or recieve any email.  Originally, if you were to telnet into the box on port 25 from the outside, it would hang on an empty line and if you hit any keys, would drop you instantly back to the command prompt.  I stopped the SMTP connector and made a new one for temp purposes and low and behold, i could get the response on 25 that i wanted.  Mail still wouldn't work however, so i kept digging.  We had antivirus software running on the box so i removed that, i set up smart hosting to point to a linux redhat box we have running sendmail to try and just get the mail out and on the net, but it still wouldn't work.  on the redhat box, i'm getting messages like this:

Oct 29 11:16:09 linuxserver sendmail[23261]: i9TGG9Xd023261: exchangeservername did not issue MAIL/EXPN/VRFY/ETRN during connection to MTA

i get like hundreds of those as the exchange server tries to send out all of this mail.  i go and i look in the logs for the exchange server's smtp service and i get alot of messages that look like the exchange server opens a connection to the linux server, says helo, and then drops the connection again for no reason.  I've got a whole slew of event log notices too:

Event Type:      Warning
Event Source:      MSExchangeTransport
Event Category:      Routing Engine/Service
Event ID:      956
Date:            10/29/2004
Time:            11:07:26 AM
User:            N/A
Computer:      Server-EX1
MTA GetNextHop FAILED hr=0xc0040388 in 0ms.
 RecipOR=<X400:C=us;A= ;P=mydomain Fo;O=Exchange;DDA:SMTP=user(a);>, RecipDN=<>
 OrigDN=<>, Size=0xe70.
 Prio=0x0, cRRHosts=0, FlagIn=0x0

Event Type:      Information
Event Source:      MSExchangeTransport
Event Category:      Routing Engine/Service
Event ID:      984
Date:            10/29/2004
Time:            11:07:06 AM
User:            N/A
Computer:      server-EX1
SMTP GetNextHop returned hr=0x0 in 0ms.
 DestAddr=<>, Type=<SMTP>
 MsgType=0x6, NextHopType=OTHER_ROUTING_GROUP
 Type=<SMTP>, Class=<>, SchedId=0xffffffff

Event Type:      Warning
Event Source:      MSExchangeMTA
Event Category:      X.400 Service
Event ID:      290
Date:            10/29/2004
Time:            11:07:06 AM
User:            N/A
Computer:      server-EX1
A non-delivery report (reason code unable-to-transfer and diagnostic code unrecognised-OR-name) is being generated for message C=us;A= ;P=mydomain Fo;L={A032423E-5E8E-4-041029160706Z-3. It was originally destined for C=us;A= ;P=Miydomain;O=Exchange;DDA:SMTP=user(a); (recipient number 1), and was to be redirected to . [MTA DISP:RESULT 17 136] (12)

For more information, click

Event Type:      Warning
Event Source:      smtpsvc
Event Category:      None
Event ID:      4000
Date:            10/29/2004
Time:            11:22:34 AM
User:            N/A
Computer: Server-EX1
Message delivery to the remote domain '' failed for the following reason: Unable to successfully connect to the remote server.
0000: 3a 02 04 c0               :..À    

i'm at a loss here and have already been banging my head on this one for hours.  any ideas?
Question by:Jaidenkell
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    any firewalls in place? also you stated you could connect with port 25 via telnet on the sendmail, what happend when you try to relay through it using telnet?
    LVL 104

    Accepted Solution

    A couple of questions.
    What SP is the host OS on? Is it 4?
    What about Exchange? SP3? Any rollups installed?

    This looks like SMTP has got itself in a twist.
    Following on from the point made by xxgenius, can you telnet successfully internally? From your desktop to port 25 on the Exchange server? This would indicate whether the problem is on your network or outside.

    If it is failing internally, then I suspect SMTP on the Windows 2000 server, which may require an reinstall of IIS, and then Exchange (on top of the existing install).


    Author Comment

    Called the MS techs on this one after another hour of troubleshooting and we ran through the gammit and fixed the problem in about 2 hours of changing and reinstalling everything (it was a combo of metabase corruption and a few other things from what the guy was saying).  so basically in the end, we reinstalled IIS completley, re-integrated it into exchange, reinstalled exchange, re-ran the SP3 and the update hotfix and made a few more changes to the config and it was fine.

    Author Comment

    oh and sembee gets the points since he came the closest to what microsoft ended up doing.  thanks for the help guys!

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