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email to msn.com "transfer delayed"

GroupWise 7 user continually having troubles sending email to two different users on msn.com.   The client Sent Items Properties is "Transfer Delayed".  In the GWIA log I'm seeing a lot of  Command:  msn.com   Response: 450 Host down (msn.com) entries.

He receives messages from these users, and receives messages where he and the msn.com users are in the receipient list of another user on another email system.

My question is what is causing the problem with msn.com?   Please help, thank you.
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facutvivo
Asked:
facutvivo
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2 Solutions
 
billmercerCommented:

>He receives messages from these users
Sending and receiving email are separate processes, so it's quite possible for there to be a problem with one but not the other. If this is an ongoing problem, it might be a DNS issue.




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PsiCopCommented:
As billmercer pointed out, sending and receiving are two separate operations, and all you know is that the trouble is not a network communications issue.

I would suspect that MSN, like Verizon, has recently ratcheted up their anti-SPAM efforts, and are probably, like Verizon, catching a lot of legitimate E-mail. They may have even implemented some sort of greylisting system that initially rejects E-Mail, figuring that legitimate senders will re-queue and retry, where SPAMmers generally won't. The end result is that if you're not on their whitelist, your E-Mail TO them gets delayed. Mail FROM them is not affected.
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dotENGCommented:
My guess is that it has to do with the new 8 bit encoding in GW7, not supported by msn.com, check the following TIDs.
http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?10100678.htm
http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?10100918.htm
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facutvivoAuthor Commented:
yo, ok dotENG I made the changes the TID's suggested:  checked the 'Use 7-bit encoding...', unchecked the 'Enable quoted priintable text line wrapping', and /force7bit in gwia.cfg so we'll see what happens.  

What is the downsideof making these changes?
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facutvivoAuthor Commented:
Still not working.  Guess my next step is to get whitelisted by MSN.  

thanks for the help.
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billmercerCommented:
The HOST DOWN error really looks like a connectivity problem to me. This indicates that GroupWise can't get a response from the MSN server, so it would be happening before you ever get to the point where  an actual SMTP transaction takes place. It could be stale DNS entries. You may want to try telnetting into one of the servers on port 25 and see if you can get a connection that way. Also, lots of ISPs are now doing RDNS lookups, so if you don't have reverse lookup on your server, that could result in you being ignored by the MSN system. It's possible the Hotmail server is simply taking too long to respond, and your GWIA is giving up.

For what it's worth, this is a perennial problem. MSN/HotMail is notorious for having connectivity issues. Here's a thread with some suggestions that might be helpful to try.

http://groups.google.com/group/novell.support.groupwise.6x.gwia/browse_thread/thread/2f559cde6d5e9ec9/23c7d73e7f59c1ea

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facutvivoAuthor Commented:
billmercer, That's a good thread, thank you.  could youlook over the actions I've taken and give me your expert opinion on WTF is going on?  

I checked with my ISP and there is a Reverse entry to my mailserver.  I telnetted to mx2.hotmail.com on port 25 and sent a message to the address that is being delayed from our mail server.  asked them to reply to me.  haven't heard back yet

I added entry in route.cfg
msn.com [65.54.190.50]

restarted GWIA and sent message but Mailer-Daemon informed me that:
Message Status - Undeliverable
        Command:  65.54.190.50
        Response: 550 Host unknown (65.54.190.50)

changed route.cfg to
msn.com mx2.hotmail.com
sent message, Here's GWIA log:
 
DMN: MSG 22880 Receiving file: TEEGW/SYS:\DOMAIN\WPGATE\GWIA\receive\b689e844.457
230 MSG 22881 Analyzing result file: TEEGW/SYS:\DOMAIN\WPGATE\GWIA\result\r48e9812.057
230 MSG 22881 Detected error on SMTP command
230 MSG 22881  Command:  mx2.hotmail.com
230 MSG 22881  Response: 450 Host down (mx2.hotmail.com)
230 MSG 22881 Deferring message: TEEGW/SYS:\DOMAIN\WPGATE\GWIA\defer\s48e9812.057

Why can I telnet to mx2.hotmail.com, yet GWIA reports it as 450 host down?

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dotENGCommented:
mx2.hotmail.com has a problem, the line
230 MSG 22881  Response: 450 Host down (mx2.hotmail.com) is correct (at least now when I've checked).
try using mx4.hotmail.com[65.54.244.232]

To be sure run:
http://www.checkdns.net/quickcheck.aspx?domain=msn.com&detailed=1
And pick an MX that works.
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billmercerCommented:
Interestingly, I just tried today, and mx2 is working, while mx4 is not. I really think this is just a chronic problem with hotmail's servers, and there's not much you can do about it.
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facutvivoAuthor Commented:
dotENG, just checked msn.com - mx1, mx3, mx4 up, but mx2 is down.  what a crock.    Can I send the same message to multiple mail servers?  Any other work-arounds?  Is this a ms vs. novell thing?   How to get whitelisted by msn.com?   'preciate the asst.
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dotENGCommented:
Ask your ISP for smart-host, or proxy SMTP, it will relieve you from searching the entire Internet for mail servers, you will be surprised how much load is taken off the connection.
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facutvivoAuthor Commented:
I created a hotmail account for myself and using telnet was able to send a message that was successfully received, but same problem with Groupwise, "Response: 450 Host down (msn.com)" .  I sent an email to hotmail support and got a quick response that I replied to with details, so that's where I'm at.  Here is text of hotmail message to me:

Thank you for writing to MSN Hotmail Technical Support.

My name is Sharon and I have noted that you are unable to send an e-mail message from user@mycompany.com to your user@hotmail.com account.

I can imagine the inconvenience this may have caused you and the need for this to be resolved immediately.

We appreciate the time you took in bringing this to our attention. I have checked your patengent@hotmail.com account, sent a test e-mail message and confirmed that it is receiving e-mail messages properly. The incident might be the result of general Internet speed or connectivity problems.

If you continue to experience issues sending e-mail messages to your patengent@hotmail.com account, please write back with the information below.

- Has the sender successfully send an e-mail message to you at this address before?
- Was the e-mail message returned to the sender? If so, please ask the sender to send us a copy of the undeliverable e-mail message. Please suggest to him or her to make sure that the full message headers is exposed. He or she can ask the support group of his or her e-mail client to set the message headers to "Advance".

We appreciate your patience as we attempt to locate the issue with the delivery of your e-mail message. Many e-mail companies/servers process an e-mail message before it is delivered and the issue (more than likely) might not involve the MSN Hotmail servers.

You are valuable at MSN and we look forward to hearing from you again and providing you with consistent and effective service. Thank you for your continued support of MSN Hotmail.


Sincerely,


Sharon Sa.
MSN Hotmail Technical Support

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billmercerCommented:
Well that's a completely useless generic response, of no value whatsoever.

Doing some digging around on msn.com, I have noticed several things that probably contribute to the problem.

First off, it took quite a while to get a response from MSN's name servers. That alone might be enough to cause problems.

Second, MSN.COM has four separate MX records, but each of these MX records resolves to four separate IP addresses.
This is a bit odd, and it's possible GWIA doesn't like it.

Third, at any given time during my random tests over the past few days, MANY of these addresses were NOT responding.
Right now at this time however, they are, and my GWIA test messages are going through with no problem.


Here's a quote from a Microsoft support tech regarding this same issue I dug up on USENET
"Additionally, it is very important that you allow your mail server to try
all 16 IP addresses that are published for Hotmail.  If you are only
attempting a subset of those IP addresses, you will experience degraded
connections (as you have a higher likelihood of attempting multiple IP’s
that are down for Maintenance). "

You might want to try adding all 16 addresses to your route.cfg...

Here's the list...
======
06/16/06 16:07:35 dns mx1.hotmail.COM
Canonical name: mx1.hotmail.COM
Addresses:
  65.54.244.8
  65.54.244.136
  65.54.245.8
  64.4.50.50

06/16/06 16:11:31 dns mx2.hotmail.COM
Canonical name: mx2.hotmail.COM
Addresses:
  65.54.244.168
  65.54.245.40
  65.54.190.50
  65.54.244.40

06/16/06 16:11:40 dns mx3.hotmail.COM
Canonical name: mx3.hotmail.COM
Addresses:
  65.54.245.72
  64.4.50.179
  65.54.244.72
  65.54.244.200

06/16/06 16:11:49 dns mx4.hotmail.COM
Canonical name: mx4.hotmail.COM
Addresses:
  65.54.244.232
  65.54.245.104
  65.54.190.179
  65.54.244.104

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dotENGCommented:
Another quality product from Microsoft Corporation.

Check this document:
http://www.securityoffice.net/mssecrets/hotmail.html

This one explains how Microsoft succeeded in converting a perfectly working mass mailing Unix solution to Microsoft software base.
No more words needs.

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facutvivoAuthor Commented:
<Well that's a completely useless generic response, of no value whatsoever>

I've gotten two more responses from MS, but the bottom line seems to be (verbatim from MSN Hotmail Domain Support):

"This is an issue that XO communications is aware of and have been aware of for sometime.  We use a round-robin lookups and XO does not support that type of look up.  That is why you are not able to send only to MSN Hotmail customers.  There is nothing else that can be done from our side.  Again, this issue is something they are aware of."

To me, this seeems very strange.  I'm working with XO to find out what they can do for us.  

I would like to try adding all 16 mx addresses to my route.cfg.  What format would I use, billmercer?  

65.54.244.8 mx1.hotmail.com
65.54.244.136 mx1.hotmail.com
..
65.54.244.168 mx2.hotmail.com
65.54.245.40 mx2.hotmail.com
..                                                       etc, etc   ???




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facutvivoAuthor Commented:
still wondering about correct format to add all 16 mx addresses in route.cfg
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dotENGCommented:
In a previous comment I suggested you contact your ISP and ask for RELAY HOST services, you didn't address why not.
Let the ISP wonder the Internet for MX records.
Also if you send one message to many recipients it only travels once between your LAN and the Internet, if you do your own SMTP your server transfers the same mail to all recipients.

Check here: http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?10053557.htm

The correct syntax for route.cfg is:
domain [ip_address]

In your case:
hotmail.com [65.54.244.8]
hotmail.com [65.54.244.136]
hotmail.com [65.54.244.168]

Check here:
http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?10010997.htm

Anyway, your problem is that there is no round robin mechanism for MX, if GWIA will find the domain it is looking for it will not look further.
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facutvivoAuthor Commented:
This change didn't help, unfortunately.  
Here is my  \domain\wpgate\GWIA\route.cfg

mail.engent.com [192.168.1.1]

hotmail.com [65.54.244.136]
hotmail.com [65.54.245.8]
hotmail.com [64.4.50.50]
hotmail.com [65.54.244.8]
hotmail.com [65.54.190.50]
hotmail.com [65.54.244.40]
hotmail.com [65.54.244.168]
hotmail.com [65.54.245.40]
hotmail.com [65.54.244.72]
hotmail.com [65.54.244.200]
hotmail.com [65.54.245.72]
hotmail.com [64.4.50.179]
hotmail.com [65.54.190.179]
hotmail.com [65.54.244.104]
hotmail.com [65.54.244.232]
hotmail.com [65.54.245.104]
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facutvivoAuthor Commented:
Good news.

I can send mail to recipient@hotmail.com now.  Forgot to restart GWIA

Doesn't work for msn.com though.

I've duplicated all the mx records for hotmail.com and changed them to msn.com;  give that a try.
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facutvivoAuthor Commented:
working with msn.com now also.

THANKS for the expert help!



"Nerve gas is not a toy"
Bart Simpson
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