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Exchange 2003 doesn't deliver mail until reboot

Posted on 2006-11-15
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
This has happened to me on a number of occasions already across multiple servers and multiple domains so it's not an anomoly.  When i add a new domain to my recipient policies, then i add an Active Directory user and assign him/her that domain i try sending them a test email.  This test email does not get delievered although sending works fine.  I don't receive the mail via pop or don't see it in OWA when i log in.  I do see it in the mailbox for that AD user in ESM.  It will say 3 messages waiting.  However if i try to d/l the mail with a pop account set up for that mailbox it checks the server but nothing comes down.  i authenticate and do not get an error message.  Just no mail comes thru as if there was none in there.  If i log in to the mailbox using OWA nothing is in the inbox either.  If i keep sending mail from an external domain, i see the queue in the mailbox folder in ESM growing (the messages are not bounced back) but it just doesn't get displayed or d/l to the pop account.

Everything telnets without any problems and DNS info is all correct.

Now, this stays like this for hours.  I can send out mail, however i am just not receiving external mail.  In the past i have rebooted the server, then they all come through.  So tonight, i decided as a last straw to reboot my live server which hosts many clients.  I hated to do this but was left desparate.  Sure enough, i logged in after the reboot and there all the messages finally came though.  WHY IS THIS??  Why do i have to do this each time i add a new domain to the recipient policies?  I should never ever have to reboot the server for something like this.

Any thoughts?  Using Exchange Server 2003 with all latest updates, patches, SP's..etc...
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Question by:tags266
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7 Comments
 
LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17955373
What you are seeing is not normal behaviour.
Therefore it is either something that you are doing, something that you have not configured correctly or some other option that is common between all the servers.

What else is on the server? I find that most email delays are caused by antivirus products. Are you using the same AV on all of the servers?

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:tags266
ID: 17955602
Nope, no antivirus.  It's a fresh install with all updates...no ISA server.  Just plain SBS 2003.  I'm not getting any errors in the event log, no DNS errors or even notices.  Everytyhing seems to check out.  You are right, that doesn't seem like normal behanviour but i have noticed this with other servers in different locations.  Does it normally take time to "kick in" once you add a new domain to the recipient policies.  ??
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LVL 104

Accepted Solution

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Sembee earned 2000 total points
ID: 17955941
Are you adding the new domains manually or using the wizards?
You should have said this was SBS, as SBS everything must be done with the wizards to work correctly.

Recipient policy should take affect immediately, although RUS will take a short while to stamp the accounts with the new address. Recipient policy has to update the IIS Metabase to accept the email for that domain. However that must be happening for the server to accept the messages.

I certainly have not seen Exchange accept the messages then sit on them until a server reboot. It usually rejects or delivers, no half measures.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:tags266
ID: 17956244
Where is there a wizard to add a domain?  I go into ESM and right click recipient policies and add it manually there.

I know it's a strange problem.  I mean, when i check the mailbox in ESM it shows there are 3 messages waiting and if I log into OWA there is nothing there for that user.  Make sense of that one.  Obviously once it finally goes through than the email works flawlessly from that point on.  It's just the initial setup of the domain that glitches.
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 17956313
There is a wizard for everything in SBS. You should not be hacking around an SBS server manually as that will usually break something. It is probably the internet and email connection wizard (or whatever it is called). Post in the SBS topic area and Jeff will tell you.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:tags266
ID: 17956341
there is a wizard to change internet and email settings but that just edits the defult server one.  I will ask.
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Author Comment

by:tags266
ID: 18005628
Sembee,

I found out the problem and you were close.  You first said i needed to find a wizard in exchange to add the new domain/recipient policy.  This is not the case and not the cause of the problem.  That's why i was confused, because there is no wizard to add the recipient policy and domain at all.

There is a wizard to add users however and that's where i was going wrong.  I was adding the user directly into Active Directory and the email wouldn't sync up for some time at least until i reboot the server.  However i just created a user and mailbox using the wizard and i sent an email to that address and it arrived immediately rather than sitting in the mailbox store for that user.

I just thought of you when i figured it out and decided to give you your points and put it down for others in the future for the record.

IF YOU USE SBS 2003 IN ORDER TO ADD USERS YOU SHOULD BE USING THE CREATE USER WIZARD IN SERVER MANAGEMENT.  IF YOU ADD THEM DIRECTLY INTO ACTIVE DIRECTORY, LIKE I'M USED TO DOING FROM MY WINDOWS SERVER 2003 ENTERPRISE, THE OTHER FEATURES WILL NOT LINK UP UNTIL A REBOOT.  YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!
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