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Not receiving inbound email from specific domain

Posted on 2006-05-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
We are running Exchange 2000 w/ SP4 on a Windows 2000 Server. The problem I am having is not being able to receive email from one particular domain. According to users in that domain, they do not receive any bouce back or error messages. The emails they send to us just disappears. I do not believe our SPAM filter is interfering. I checked the SMTP logs. I found the problem domain's email server IP address, but one of my problems is translating this log file.

Here is an exert from the log file...

13:42:50 172.184.49.5 - - 0
13:42:50 172.184.49.5 HELO - 0
13:42:50 172.184.49.5 - - 0
13:42:52 172.184.49.5 MAIL - 0
13:42:52 172.184.49.5 - - 0
13:42:52 172.184.49.5 RCPT - 0
13:42:52 172.184.49.5 - - 0
13:42:52 172.184.49.5 DATA - 0
13:42:52 172.184.49.5 - - 0
13:42:52 172.184.49.5 - - 0
13:42:52 172.184.49.5 QUIT - 0
13:42:52 172.184.49.5 - - 0

What could be the reason(s) for the 'disappearing emails'? Am I looking in the right direction?

Thanks,
Scott
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Question by:sldoom
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:amaheshwari
ID: 16668329
Is message tracking enable on your exchange if so please try to track the message that where is it going after receiving in your domain.


If Message tracking is not enabled then enable it:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;246856
and then track the message:
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/The_Exchange_Message_Tracking_Center_or_How_to_Save_Your_A_in_a_Pinch.html


Note:Messages send from other domain can't be tracked before enabling message tracking.
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Author Comment

by:sldoom
ID: 16668407
Actually, I have message tracking enabled, and I have tried to track these messages. Message tracking does not show them, which is why I was trying to use the SMTP logs.
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:amaheshwari
amaheshwari earned 400 total points
ID: 16668438
if it is not showing in your message tracking that means messages from that domain does not arrive in your domain.If possible than talk to other domain person to track the essage as they are not coming out from there domain.
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Author Comment

by:sldoom
ID: 16668463
Not a problem. But why would this problem domain's IP address be in the SMTP log? Does the exert from above mean a connection was never made? Just some curious quesitons.
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 16669503
Trying to deal with email delivery problems when you are the receiver is almost impossible. You have almost no control to resolve matters - it has to be done by the sender.

Have you spoken to the administrator of the server that is trying to send you email messages? They are the ones best equipped to deal with these problems.

If they will not speak to you, or tell you that it is your problem, then you will have to tell the recipient that there is almost nothing you can do and they will need to speak to people on the sender's side to get it escalated.

You need the NDR messages from the sender.
You need them to do a telnet test to your server from their site to see what happens.
As it is just that one domain, it has to be a compatibility issue - but you cannot test it because all other email flows in correctly.

Simon.
0
 

Author Comment

by:sldoom
ID: 16669638
Simon - I agree. And I am trying to work that out. The questions I am asking are just ways to prove the problem is not on my side.
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 16669694
You can't prove you haven't received something.
If your server had done something to tell the remote site to go away, then I would be surprised if there were any logs. I would also expect an NDR on the other side. The NDR is the critical thing - without that you are just blindly wandering around taking guesses.

Simon.
0
 

Author Comment

by:sldoom
ID: 16669775
OK. Following this line of thought, why would my SMTP log show the problem domain's IP address?
And, yes, there should be an NDR. They are claiming they are getting nothing back. Why would that happen?
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LVL 104

Accepted Solution

by:
Sembee earned 1000 total points
ID: 16669874
If the remote server made an initial connection and it wasn't successful for some reason - that would possibly cause a log in the SMTP log. Firewalls are often the cause. It will not be your firewall causing the problem (because if it was all email would have the issue). Similarly it will not be their firewall causing the problem. It could be a combination of the two.

NDR failure could be down to any number of reasons - including that they have them disabled. It happens.
Or the NDR has been eaten by a spam filter.

Can they prove the message was delivered to your server?

Unfortunately you are in a no win situation. The sending side needs to prove the problem is you. You cannot prove that it is NOT you, because you have no control over the delivery of the email message.
If the other side is not being cooperative, then get your people to speak to their upper management and go at it that way.
I have had to do that many times, and getting senior management involved has resulted in techies from some very large companies suddenly becoming a lot more co-operative.

Simon.
0
 

Author Comment

by:sldoom
ID: 16670175
Thanks. You have told me exactly what I needed. Anytime there is a problem with email or anything else IT related, the users first point fingers in my direction. Since I am still learning Exchange, I did not have enough information to prove otherwise.

Good day.
Scott
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