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Email not being sent - no NDRs received

Windows 2003 Server - Exchange 2003 - Active Directory

Over the past month or so I have been hearing reports of emails not reaching their intended targets.  At one point I thought it was because I was phase implementing a new Exchange server and had the server "on" with a newly installed copy of Exchange (no mailboxes were migrated).  So I shut down that server and the problem seemed to clear itself up.  Now I'm hearing from a few people out of some 30 that select mail isn't being delivered - no NDR.  Any ideas.  This situation is hightly critical of course.  A little about the existing (old hardware) server:

- It's about 8 years old
- It's low on disk space on drive C from bloat (350mb free)
- It's a good bet that it may be somewhat over-taxed
- The cues are virtually clear

Thanks.



 
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LTWadmin
Asked:
LTWadmin
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1 Solution
 
rajeshvr71Commented:
Just to give heads up, check the routing group connectors and also, inform the users to have the Delivery Receipt option checked while they send the message.
If you are encountering the problem from the external mails, check your front end servers connectivity to the backend exchange servers which hosts the mailboxes.
I'm not completely sure of the entire setup that you have but the above might help you to some extent to resolve the issue.  Let me know how it works.
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LTWadminAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the response...

"If you are encountering the problem from the external mails"...  Do you mean emails coming from the outside in?  As far as I'm aware there are no problems with that.
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LTWadminAuthor Commented:
What if I'm seeing NO Connected Routing Groups under Default SMTP Connector Properties in the Exchange System Manager?
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flyguybobCommented:
Are the intended targets internal or external?  From what it sounds like, you have two Exchange Organizations sharing the same SMTP namespace and this is likely the internal target that is not recieving their e-mail.

I would recommend running the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer as a start:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/downloads/2003/analyzers/default.mspx

If you don't have any routing groups created, outside of the First Routing Group in your Admin Group, then you don't need to worry about that.


Other things to look at-
maiflow (which rajesh was alluding to)
  How is your mailflow configured?  
  What A record does the external MX point to?
  What server is that A record associated with?  
  Do both servers have external A and MX records?  
  Do both servers have external PTR records?
  Are you running the same namespace across 2 Exchange Organizations?  If so, how do the servers know how to route information to the recipient, be it internal or external?
  Are you using a smarthost or are both servers allowed to send to the Internet?
  Do you have recipient policies configured?
  Are those recipient policies configured as being authoritative, or do you have a next hop/forwarder through the old Exchange server.

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SembeeCommented:
Turn on message tracking. See what Exchange is doing with the message. Otherwise you are fumbling around in the dark taking the user's word that the message wasn't delivered/deleted. Users cannot be trusted - their perception and the reality are often very different.

Simon.
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flyguybobCommented:
Ouch...that is harsh.
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flyguybobCommented:
...note that I didn't say it was wrong...
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LTWadminAuthor Commented:
flyguybob: External.  five of 30 Users complain that their intended external recipient's didn't recieve select emails (maybe six instances in all over the past month reported).  May not be able to answer "Other things to look at" - over my head.

Sembee: I'm doing queries IN Message Tracking.  Does that means it's "turned on"?  The messages that supposedly never made their targets all say the following at the bottom of eaach of their Message Histories: SMTP: Started Outbound Transfer of Message
                                                                                      SMTP: Message transferred to mx.cbeyond.com through SMTP

And you are very right about user's perceptions...
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LTWadminAuthor Commented:
Sembee - nevermind - I figured out the logging stuff - how fast might this use up my drive space.  I have less than 500mb free on both C and D... (transferring to a new server this weekend...)
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LTWadminAuthor Commented:
Sembee (or anyone) - which Services would you recommend I turn on for logging?  I suppose I can direct the saved log files anywhere hopefully?
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SembeeCommented:
Harsh? Moi? Never. Painful truth, that is all. Takes a while to get newbies in the industry to understand.

To give you an idea... not quite IT, but a friend phones me up late one night and tells me that she has wrecked her car.
20 minutes later she phones me again to say that it was drivable. I then get her on MSN messenger and discover what had really happened.

The wing mirror was smashed. £5/US$10 later, all fixed.

The point is users do have a habit of over dramatising things. A single problem with an email will turn in to 20 emails, the entire department etc.

What you have posted above with message tracking shows that the message was delivered to an external server. Therefore the message was not lost at your end. The server has done everything that it can by delivering the message. The user needs to tell the recipient that the problem is at their end. Most likely a rule or antispam filter has moved/deleted the message - or it was a problem with the end user, probably between the chair and the keyboard.

I wouldn't turn on any logging unless you start to see messages aren't even being sent from the server. All the time that message tracking says that it was transferred to... the message has left you.

Simon.
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flyguybobCommented:
You may need to check your external records for the external IP of your exchange server.
www.dnsstuff.com
A record, MX record, PTR Record (Reverse Lookup), and maybe SPF record (not 100% necessary)

Bob
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LTWadminAuthor Commented:
OK well thanks to flyguy and rajesh for their input so far.  Flyguy the external IP checks out fine.  At this point I think it's our ISP or a combination of that along with what Sembee described in his 10:50 AM message.  Sembee you appear to have not only restored my good name here where I work by beating the other guys at a response to my log entries but I believe you are also dead on target thus far.  I m now loading the ISP with inquiries and who have since sent confirmations that they are, in fact, receiving said emails (of course they could tell me anything and how would I know).  I hope to know more tomorrow at which time I will award the points,  There may be more to ask between then and now...
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flyguybobCommented:
IMHO, Sembee was the closest.
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