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SMTP connector failing

Posted on 2004-11-22
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello,
I am having problems with my Exchange 2003 server running on Win2k3. About every 48 hours or so the SMTP connector freezes up and it no longer responds to telnet port 25. There are no error messages in the  event log, despite having logging turned to maximum. The only errors I am getting are 7004 and 7010 errors. I have followed the steps located here: http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb;en-us;843106&spid=1773&sid=344 but to no avail.

When I find the server has stopped responding I try and stop the SMTP service by either stopping the SMTP connector in Exchange System Manager or the SMTP service in the services tool. It locks up the system manager forever, and it gets stuck in the "Stopping" state in the services tool. The only way I can restart it is by killing the inetinfo.exe process in task manager.

After I do this it starts up fine, however it then does something even weirder. It starts resending 2 emails sent by different users over a week ago. There is nothing at all special about these emails, but so far they have been sent about 30 times, once every time I restart the inetinfo process (or restart the computer). Can someone please tell me how to ensure these are not sent again, and what I can do to fix my exchange problems? It is really getting bad.
If you need more info please ask away...:)
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Question by:General-Smirnov
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11 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:General-Smirnov
ID: 12643350
Oh and just to elaborate on the resent messages thing, after I restart the relevent domains will be listed in the Queues, however the status will be "Active" and the message count and size columns will be 0. I can disable outbound mail, but it has no effect at all. When I do the "Find Messages" thing on a domain folder it cannot find any messages. Eventually they will get the green tick and disappear, leaving no emails in any of the queues. Somehow when I restart they all magically reappear from nowhere again!!!
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:rhandels
ID: 12643606
Hi,

Did you check for virusses on this machine, this looks like a very odd behaviour..

Also, how are your clients connecting to the server?? Are they using a MAPI client or POP3 clients?? And have you done a check on the database using the eseutil and isinteg commands??? Maybe your db is corrupted..
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 12643913
What is the connector doing? Is it sending email via another server?
This sounds like either the database that rhandels suggested, or the SMTP stack is corrupt.

Have you put Exchange 2003 SP1 on to this machine?

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:General-Smirnov
ID: 12649740
Yes I have checked for viruses repeatedly and there are none. It has Trend Micro ScanMail installed and has had OfficeScan installed too. The clients all use Exchange Mapi, no pop3 mail at all (although they used to). Is there some way of performing a store verification check? I have also tried applying SP1, but it has no effect at all. Also tried removing ScanMail, but it still has the same problem. It is not sending email via another server, it is a standalone server, the only server on the domain, so it is the PDC as well as the exchange server.
Thanks heaps for your help...:-)
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 12650030
If you are sending email out directly then you don't need the SMTP connector. Exchange is quite capable of finding where to send the email on its own.
The connector is used to send email in a direction different from what Exchange can find - usually via another server.
Therefore delete the connector and see what happens. You will have to restart the SMTP service after doing so, which may cause Exchange itself to restart.

If the problem continues then it is more than likely an issue with the underlying SMTP service. That will mean a reinstall of IIS. Not something that can be done without further instruction as it will upset Exchange if not done correctly.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:General-Smirnov
ID: 12650090
Ah crap sorry there are no smtp connectors, I meant the SMTP Virtual Server. There is only one virtual server, pretty sure it is just the standard one. I do suspect that the SMTP service is corrupt, but I want to be sure before going through a complete reinstall. I am preparing to follow the instructions here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/320202/EN-US/
I will follow those steps and see what happens. Is there anyway in the mean-time that I can find where the messages that keep being resent are stored, and how I can prevent them from being resent? The thing is one of the emails gets an NDR on one of the addresses every time that it sends, so I am suspecting that is why it is being resent. However it is not sitting in any queues, and it resends to every recipient, even though only one of them gets an NDR.
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LVL 104

Accepted Solution

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Sembee earned 375 total points
ID: 12650234
That is the correct article for the IIS reinstall.
The additional behaviour is usually seen when using the POP3 connector, so clearly indicates something is wrong. The message is being held inside the SMTP service in one of the metabase files. The reinstall of SMTP should clear it.
If not, then there is a trick you can do to make the message get in to state where it can be deleted. I have outlined it as part of my spam cleanup page: http://www.amset.info/exchange/spam-cleanup.asp

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:General-Smirnov
ID: 12650372
Thanks for that, looks like a good article. I will try the spam cleanup thing first I think tonight, to try and get rid of this message once and for all. If my Information Store is corrupted or something then how can I find this out? Just when I am re-mounting it?
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Author Comment

by:General-Smirnov
ID: 12650390
Also another thing that may be helpful is that I ran the "Best Practices" tool on the exchange server. When the SMTP server is not responding this tool reports that the exchange server is not responding. When the SMTP server is responding then it reports no problems with the server at all...
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Author Comment

by:General-Smirnov
ID: 12650734
Ok i followed those steps for the spam queue cleanup on your website. The steps are very clear and very good, it worked a treat and I managed to delete all those stupid emails that kept resending themselves. Now I will just have to see if the server is holding itself together or if I am going to be having a late night...
Hoping for a last minute solution from someone, otherwise Sembee gets the points because he was very helpful and part solved the problem...:-)
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Author Comment

by:General-Smirnov
ID: 12673892
Well I reinstalled IIS and Exchange as per the instructions and it (mostly) went well. I had to manually recreate the ExchangeApplicationPool, which seems to be a common problem, but otherwise it will went well. However the next morning the server crashed again. Needless to say I was not particularly happy. I then looked at Eventid and found this:
http://www.eventid.net/display.asp?eventid=2102&eventno=1362&source=MSExchangeDSAccess&phase=1
I had that even occuring, and that long description by Anonymous pretty much describes my problem. His reference to "hardcoding the DSAccess Tab" is basically doing what Sergiy Podnos suggested in an earlier post on that same website. I followed those instructions which I have rewritten as this:
1) Open the Exchange System Manager
2) Expand the "Servers" folder, right click the relevent server and go into Properties
3) Click the "Directory Access" tab
4) Drop down the "Show" box, changing to each of the three different controller servers. For each one untick the setting "Automatically discover servers"
5) Click Apply and then OK to close the window

So far everything is looking good, survived a full day without any crashes or weird problems. Fingers crossed it will continue to work. I will post again in a couple of days if everything is working well. I am awarding the points to Sembee as he provided an excellent article which solved my immediate problem of resending emails. Thank you to him...:-)
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