Mail suddenly not getting delivered internally or externally - Running SBS 2003 Prem SP1 Exch SP2

Posted on 2006-05-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Apologies in advance for the length of content but want to give a full picture.  We've happily been running SBS 2003 Prem edition now for over 12 months with 35 users and all working very well.  2 Days ago the network appeared to "lock" and no one could access outlook/or files located on the server.  I simply went onto the server and restarted it.  All network access was regained. (This is not something that normally happens)  This is where the fun began with outlook/exchange.  Although outlook would connect to exchange and public calendars, tasks etc could be viewed modified by all, e-mail functionality appeared to stop dead.  Although a user could access there inbox etc and view old mails new messages created would not get delivered either internally or externally.  They would go into the users sent items.  In exchange Queues these were shown as "Messages awaiting directory lookup" By this time there were approx 30 mails built up.  I decided to simply restart the server again in the hope that this would resolve things.  When the server restarted nothing was left in the queues area but no mail had been delievered.  I tried sending further internal and external mail but still this was not been delivered and was not showing in the queues area in exchange either.   I had a look in the event viewer and the only thing that looked out of place was that is said that the mailbox "E-Mail Parser" had reached its storage limits and would not receive or deliver and further mail.  We have a bespoke aspx based crm system that is currently be developed by a 3rd part company and they said this is something they had setup a few months ago but were not actually using.  I decided using the server management facility in sbs to delete the user E-Mail Parser which also deleted the exchange mailbox.  I then turned of auto archiving of mail which was previously turned on.  Again I rebooted the server but still nothing changed with regards to mail.

I looked into the badmail folder on the server and it was empty.  I then learnt that exchange sp2 clears the bad mail folder anyway.  I found an article which I followed which allowed this to be turned back on and set this up.  At the same point via add remove programs and under windows components and re installed the smtp service.  Rebooted the server once again.  Now when sending internal e-mail using outlook the mail is going directly into the bad mail folder.

If I open up the failed item in notepad it says: -

Unable to deliver this message because the follow error was encountered: "This message is a delivery status notification that cannot be delivered.".
The specific error code was 0xC00402C7.
The message sender was <>.
The message was intended for the following recipients.

I’ve re checked the event logs but still no errors?

Can anyone help at all?  As you can imagine having no e-mail is a major disaster for the company and I’m not sure what to try next?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Steve Hallsworth

Question by:shallsworth
  • 2
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 16673836

If this is a SBS exchange, ow large is your .edb and .stm file?? also, try to do some maintenance on the Exchange servers Information Store. From the looks of it, you've just accessed the limit of Exchange..

Are you running ISA on this machine to?? If so, make sure to do an update to SP2 for ISA, this could also be a problem (some known issues with that).. Also check to see if your DNS is in place.. If it tries to lookup the mail domains, it might not be possible (some wild guesses, hard to figure it out without seeing it..)


Author Comment

ID: 16674076
Hi rahamdels,

Many thanks for your reply.  

edb = 8.5Gb
stm = 1.2Gb

I have tried dismounting the information storage and running a defrag and consitency check on it and everything seemed ok.

I'm not running ISA server.  DNS is running on the server and I can resolve domain externally ok.

For some reason the server does not seem to understand what its local domain is as it tries to use smtp to route internal e-mail as well.

LVL 23

Accepted Solution

rhandels earned 1000 total points
ID: 16674832

For 35 users, this somewhat of a heavy amount. We haev 50/10 GB for 1200 users. But that doesn't seem to be the problem..
There isn't any event in the event viewer?? If it doesn't deliver the mail directly, something might be bad with the server and it's domain membership...
Also try to check if the domain settings are in order.. Unfortenately, i don't have an exchange machine here.. Somewhere in the settings (first option in the Exchange System Manager) there should be an option which domain it's serving..
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

flyguybob earned 1000 total points
ID: 16675272
There are quite a few different articles pointing to this problem.  They range from items such as DNS configuration, to the Global Catalog box being unchecked on a DC, to a problem with IIS.

Check your Event Logs and see if there are any major errors.

Double-check the DNS and ensure that your SBS server is pointing to itself for DNS resolution.  It's likely that you have the forwarders setup in DNS.

One thing I would recommend is downloading and running the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer.

I would also recommend running dcdiag and netdiag on the system.  These tools are available if you have installed the support tools from the SBS cd-rom.

I would recommend temporarily turning off any anti-virus applications and/or stopping their services.  Remember to turn them back on.


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