mail server c ommunication problem

We are using a windows 2003 server with around 8 XP workstations. We are not using exchange server, and the outlook 2000 clients collect mail directly from our mail server. The problem we have is that the mail server seems to keep disappearing.

The outlook client reports an error, and when we then try and ping the mail server, it just times out. When the connection is working OK, we can ping the mail server OK.

Has anyone got any ideas as to why this should be happening?

Our broadband connection is OK, ie we can access the internet OK. Our website and mail server are hosted by a different company to the ISP, ie our website is not hosted by the ISP who we connect to the Internet through. They tell me that we have a shared IP address for our website, so when we enter the assigned IP address, we do not get our website, only generic web page for their company.

I have tried to collect mail, using a connection away from our site, and this seems to work OK.

In addition, we cannot use the www. prefix with our own domain name, as it produces the dreaded "page cannot be displayed" web page. If we enter ourdomain.co.uk without it, it works fine. This only happens with our domain name, no other sites have a problem.

I mention this as I thought the 2 may be related.

Any help you can give would be appreciated.
LVL 1
nigelbeatsonAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

x
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

nigelbeatsonAuthor Commented:
In addition, I have just been checking this out from home, using a totally different connection, and again I cannot ping www.ourdomainname.co.uk, but ourdomain.co.uk responds just fine. I thought it could be a local DNS issue, but does this show that it is a problem with our external host server?
Keith AlabasterEnterprise ArchitectCommented:
try www.dnsreport.com

put in ourdomain.co.uk and look at the full report. At the bottom it will report on the state of your mailserver(s)

keith
nigelbeatsonAuthor Commented:
I have done as you suggested and got a "server failure" when we entered our mail server address. I presume this means what it says and the server is not recognised or available.

Any ideas on the www prefix when entering our domain name into a browser? As the server is the same location as the mail server, do you think the problems are linked?

When I enter our domain name into the dnsreport slot, we get several erors. Some ar OK but several are red and describe an error.

Nigel.
Starting with Angular 5

Learn the essential features and functions of the popular JavaScript framework for building mobile, desktop and web applications.

Keith AlabasterEnterprise ArchitectCommented:
On the screen I sent you to put in the entry on the left hand side and just put in the domain name  ie exclude the www or ,ail part in the front. Is this the option you chose?

Do you host your own dns or is this done by your ISP?
go to www.dnsstuff.com and do an nslookup for www.yourdomain.com, does it return the IP address (probably will be equal to the ip address you get for yourdomain.com when you ping it.
Keith AlabasterEnterprise ArchitectCommented:
Do you want to tell me your domain?
DrDave242Senior Support EngineerCommented:
When you ping www.yourdomain.co.uk, do you get timeouts or a "host cannot be located" error?  If the name resolves to an IP address but your pings time out, make sure the IP address that was resolved is the correct one.  If you get "host not found," then it sounds like the DNS server that's authoritative for yourdomain.co.uk doesn't have a host record for "www" in that domain's forward lookup zone.
nigelbeatsonAuthor Commented:
The domain name in question is www.dolphin-sheffield.co.uk and our mail server is mail.dolphin-sheffield.co.uk.

We do host our own dns on a windows 2003 server, however I am currently working from home, and get the same kind of problems here.

I have run several of the reports suggested and several errors are listed. One said that www.dolphin-sheffield is actually dolphin-sheffield.co.uk.

When we run the dns lookup, we get an IP address, but when we enter this in a browser, we get a generic web page from our website host. They inform me that we have a shared IP address.

When I first wrote, I could ping our mail server and our domain name (minus the www part), as I write now, neither are available. We get the "Host not found" error.

Things are so unstable, do you think it is our website host who is the root cause here. I know they have had problems with their name servers, and they tell me the IP address for our site has also been changed.
nigelbeatsonAuthor Commented:
That should read "One said that www.dolphin-sheffield.co.uk is actually dolphin-sheffield.co.uk"
Keith AlabasterEnterprise ArchitectCommented:
OK. The MX record (for mail) points to your IP (dolphin--sheffield.co.uk) but you do not have an A (host) record for www so it goes to your domain by default when it looks up the dolphin-sheffield.co.uk part of the name.

Yes, you need to speak to the web site host/ISP. If they have made changes of this nature it can take up to seven days for the new info to propagate around the Internet so that everyone is aware of it and picks up the new information.

regards
Keith

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Keith AlabasterEnterprise ArchitectCommented:
Thanks :)
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Networking

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.