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Exchange 2k3 - incoming emails ok, outgoing emails stuck in queue and piling up fast!

Posted on 2006-04-30
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Last Modified: 2008-02-26
Hello,

I just switched this weekend from our ISP's e-mail service to Exchange 2k3.   It's  currently running on a Wind2k3 standard server with TrendMicro Scanmail 7.0.  We are able to send and receive fine within the organization.  We can also receive external emails fine, but when we cannot e-mail  outside our network.  Strangely, it only worked 3 different times this weekend and I was able to send out some e-mails, but as of now, the messages are getting stuck on Queue and are piling up fast!  We get hit with a ton of spam so we implemented TrendMicro's ScanMail to block off all that spam, but I've noticed that 99.9% of the messages waiting to out out on the server are all related to spam messages we got (non-existent e-mail accounts on our domain) and the postmaster account is trying to reply to all of them.  I have currently about 10 messages out of 1,300 in queue that are test messages.  I seriously need urgent help, Monday morning is rolling around and I can't get our Exchange server to email the outside world.  Please advise someone on what I can look or try.  Thank you much in anticipation.  
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Question by:bcontreras
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Assisted Solution

by:rakeshmiglani
rakeshmiglani earned 1000 total points
ID: 16575986
You need to clear out the queues.
One way would be to stop the smtp service and rename the VSI 1 folder and then create a new VSI 1 folder in the same location and start the SMTP service.

You can also check the following article

Filter Out Mail to Non-Existent Users
http://www.amset.info/exchange/filter-unknown.asp

SMTP Telnet Test
http://www.amset.info/exchange/telnet-test.asp

NDR and Open Relay Spam Clean Up
http://www.amset.info/exchange/spam-cleanup.asp

In Exchange Server 2003 or in Exchange 2000 Server, the Exchange Server queues are filled with many non-delivery reports from the postmaster account because of a reverse non-delivery report attack
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/909005/en-us

How to prevent unsolicited commercial e-mail in Exchange 2003
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/821746/en-us
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LVL 10

Accepted Solution

by:
kgreeneit earned 1000 total points
ID: 16576053
Hi there, this could also be a DNS issue within the exchange smtp connector. Right mouse click on the SMTP connector and select properties to check the SMTP DNS settings and make sure that it's set to 'Use DNS to send mail' and not set to the 'Smart Hosts' option.
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Author Comment

by:bcontreras
ID: 16578617
Gentlemen,

Ok, solved one problem, one is still pending.  I followed the instructions about NDR.  It appears we were being reverse NDR.  I made the changes on my Exchange server so that it filters out people not on our Active Directory.  That has stopped all of the 'postmaster@domain.com' emails trying to get out.  My queue on Exchange still has messages though, but for real e-mails from inside users trying to email the outside world.  I checked to see if we were setup as an open relay and we are not.  So with that eliminated, it appears the problem can be DNS related?  I checked 'kgreeneit' message about my smtp connector but under my "Connector" folder in Exchange, I don't have any SMTP connectors.  I am getting this DNS error message on the 'system' viewer of Event viewer:

SMTP could not connect to any DNS server.  Either none are configured, or all are down.

I'll research this one right now on the MS site, but if anyone has any input, I would greatly appreciate!
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Author Comment

by:bcontreras
ID: 16579273
I'd like to add that I just ran a dcdiag /v /fix and I got this error which might help decipher this mess:

"The hosts xxxx-xxx-xxxxx._msdcs.domainname.com could not be resolved to an IP address.  Check the DNS server, DHCP, server name, etc.  Although the Guid DNS (xxxx-xxx-xxx._msdcs.domainname.com) could be resolved, the server name (exchange.domainname.com) resolved to the IP address (local IP address of my exch server) and was pingable.  Check that the IP address is registered correctly with the DNS server.  EXCHANGE failed test Connectivity."

Everything else passes but the initial connectivity test.  Any thoughts?
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:kgreeneit
ID: 16587123
Hi there, can you list all the connectors that you do have in the connectors folder in exchange system manager?
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Author Comment

by:bcontreras
ID: 16588448
I went ahead and used a smart host to deliver my mail and it instantly sent out all the pending emails on queue.  It seems there is a problem in DNS but for now, I'll use Smart Host to deliver the mail.  Thank you both because rakeshmiglani helped me clean out all the junk from queue while kgreeneit lead me to the smart host option.  Thanks again!
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