Delivery Status Notification (Failure) intermittent errors on incoming mail with Exhange 2003 server

Hi, We've been running Exchange Server 2003 for about 1.5 years with no problems.  Then recently we've been having incoming emails bounced intermittently with the following message (i've changed the addresses, obviously):

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mail Delivery Subsystem <mailer-daemon@googlemail.com>
Date: Jul 20, 2006 11:36 PM
Subject: Delivery Status Notification (Failure)
To: xxxxxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

     press@yyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.com

--

It only happens once in a while.  and if the person re-sends the email a couple minutes later it will usually go through in 1 or 2 more tries.

I'm not very familiar with managing exchange server.  is there a place i can look to see what happened (like a log file)?  any idea why this is happening?
thanks!


pvmattAsked:
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pbeckfordConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hmmm.... That actually looks pretty good. And looking at the NDR more closely, it appears that Sending server (Google) is generating the NDR you listed and not your Exchange Server. Sorry I didnt spot that earlier. At this point, I would start with the basics as this would seem to indicate problems accessing your exchange server from outside the network.

Sorry this doesnt seem more focused but at this point, I think you need to find some sort of lead in which to follow. So... Start checking everything from the bottom up... Suggest you verify connectivity to your exchange server from outside your network. Try to telnet to port 25 on your exchange server from outside the network, attempt a few connections in a row.  Double check any firewall settings and/or logs looking for dropped connections. Check your MX and A records,  for example, check out http://www.dnsreport.com/ to check your DNS settings and also run their mail test.

If DNS and connectivity checks out, see if there "any" events at or around the time the problem occurs. Can you recreate the problem at will or is it totally random? Is there any commonality between sending addresses/domains? Receiving addresses? Does it happen to all internal addresses or only a few? What does message tracking show for the successful messages? Was there any other information in the NDR. Check the NDR headers for return path information? Compare the delivery path of the successful messages against the headers on NDR messages.

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pbeckfordCommented:
This looks like directory access problem, at least that is where I would start looking as it appears that when exchange receives the email, it looks up the recipient but cannot access a GC or access to a GC is timing out. Where is your DC/GC in relation to your Exchange server, are you having any other authentication problems on the network?

The first thing I would do would be to check if all the Domain controllers listed under the Exchange Server Properties / Directory Access Tab are available? Next, try increasing the logging level on the exchange server properties / Diagnostics Logging / MSExchangeDSAccess to Maximum and watch your event viewer. With logging at maximum, restart the System attendant and check the logs very carefully for any errors.
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pvmattAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the help.  We have two Domain Controlers: 1. the exchange server (MAIL) and 2. another server (PVSERVER01).  they are both in-house on the same network switch.

Under the Exchange Server Properties/Directory Access tab, i see: MAIL listed three times, 1 for each type: Config (auto), DC (auto), GC (auto).

Does that all sound OK?

I've got the DSAccess at Maximum and i have the event viewer open and watching.

Thanks again

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pvmattAuthor Commented:
also: this info was posted in the event viewer:

Event Type:      Information
Event Source:      MSExchangeDSAccess
Event Category:      Topology
Event ID:      2080
Date:            7/21/2006
Time:            2:15:22 PM
User:            N/A
Computer:      MAIL
Description:
Process STORE.EXE (PID=3852). DSAccess has discovered the following servers with the following characteristics:
 (Server name | Roles | Reachability | Synchronized | GC capable | PDC | SACL right | Critical Data | Netlogon | OS Version)
In-site:
pvserver01.PVRECDOM      CDG 7 7 1 0 1 1 7 1
mail.PVRECDOM      CDG 7 7 1 0 1 1 7 1
 Out-of-site:
 

For more information, click http://www.microsoft.com/contentredirect.asp.
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pvmattAuthor Commented:
thanks so much! when you say "message tracking" what do you mean exactly?
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pvmattAuthor Commented:
Thanks again for your help.  you pointed me in the right direction.  as it turns out: it was ONLY gmail that was bouncing.  We were using SpamCop and it was blocking *some* gmail server IP's, but not all.  So sometimes the email would come through, sometimes not.
I went ahead and turned off spam cop, sent over 50 test emails in an 8 hour period with 100% success.  Just as a test, as soon as i turned SpamCop back on, i would get about 25% of gmail test messages blocked!

Thanks again
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