Exchange 2003 e-mail bouncing between two servers after change in x.400

Posted on 2006-05-05
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
We went through a successful domain rename about a month ago. We are running Server 2003 and Exchange 2003 in native mode. As a final clean up step and after some experimentation I recently changed the x.400 address to reflect the new company name. That turned out to be a bad idea. We are able to send and receive mail internally and externally with only one problem, we are unable to send messages to company contacts (employees in other divisions) listed in Exchange. Non-company contacts in Exchange function normally.
More background: All employees have the same SMTP suffix. All inbound and outbound mail is routed through corporate servers which have a list of all employees and their respective divisional servers. An employee’s e-mail address might be The corporate servers forward the message to the recipients’ divisional server by adding the division to the address. When I send a message to a recipient in another division, the message goes to the corporate servers then out to the appropriate divisional server.

We receive the following NDR message instantaneously every time a message is sent to an company contact in Exchange:

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

      Subject:     Test from Division
      Sent:     5/4/2006 5:11 PM

The following recipient(s) could not be reached:

      Test User on 5/4/2006 5:14 PM
            A configuration error in the e-mail system caused the message to bounce between two servers or to be forwarded between two recipients.  Contact your administrator.
            < #5.4.6>

I have already tried this from Microsoft but it didn't work:;en-us;316617&Product=exch2003

Also tried changing a recipient policy that had the "This Exchange Organization is responsible for all mail delivery to this address" checked but that didn't work either.

Any suggestions?
Question by:L3MS
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    This occurs if contact A has an alternate recipient that points to contact B which then has an alternate recipient that points back to contact A. Check the contact’s alternate recipient.

    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Have a look :
    Possible Cause: A Categorizer forward loop was detected.
    The targetAddress attribute is set on a mailbox-enabled user. Hosting Pack: This is a common hosting configuration problem when someone creates a contact in organizational unit (OU) 1 and then creates a user in OU 2 that has the same e-mail address by using the user provisioning tool.

    Troubleshooting:• This issue occurs when contactA has an alternate recipient that points to contactB and contactB has an alternate recipient that points back to contactA. Check the alternative recipient for every contact.
    • Check and remove the targetAddress attribute from mailbox-enabled users.
    • For hosting where you want to send mail from one user in one company (OU) to another company (OU), it is best to configure the following two related objects:

    User: SMTP proxy:
    Contact: targetAddress:; SMTP proxy:  

    Author Comment

    I have checked a handful of contacts (guinea pigs). They all have one entry in the GAL and for each entry they have two addresses: SMTP and x.400. There is only one server at this location. When mail is sent to an Exchange contact in another division the Message is addresed to and is sent to the  corporate mail servers. The corporate mail servers then look up the recipients division and route the mail to the appropriate divisional server by adding the division to the address: Currently, when sending to one of these contacts the message bounces immediately. Messages are only delivered to these contacts once they are removed from Exchange. This started after I made a change to x.400

    Author Comment

    Here's the solution:;en-us;321721
    My Exchange server belileved it was responsible for all mail in when is was really only responsible for What scares me is that we've been operating in this state for over a year.

    Accepted Solution

    PAQed with points refunded (250)

    Community Support Moderator

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