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How can I determine why emails are sent to BadMail folder?

Posted on 2007-08-07
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How can I determine why an email is being sent to "BadMail"?

See the following pic:  http://i12.tinypic.com/678tovt.jpg

I don't have logging currently turned up, so I need to know which logging features to crank up to find out why, since some of the emails are getting through and some aren't and there isn't any emails actually in the BadMail folder.

Any help is appreciated...
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Question by:TheCleaner
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Expert Comment

by:peakpeak
ID: 19648147
The Badmail folder only collects mail that has no valid recipient and no valid sender .. aka spam mostly. It's a folder of last resort where the mail server has no option but to discard it. It does that in the Badmail folder and the files are ASCII files so you can use any text editor to look at them.
Your mails sent have a valid sender (return address) so they'll never end up there. What you need to do is turn on Message Tracking (and leave it on, it's very handy). Read about it here:
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-2003-Message-Tracking-Logging.html
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by:TheCleaner
ID: 19648204
Message tracking is enabled.  Did you see the picture in the link?  The email is coming through to a valid recipient ok, and then in the Advanced Queue it is being discarded as Badmail, and there is nothing actually in the Badmail folder.

The sender is external and is replying to an email from our user...some come through, some say what is in the picture.
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by:peakpeak
ID: 19648309
picture is inintelligible
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by:TheCleaner
ID: 19648444
You have to open the browser full screen or maximize the picture...I see what you mean if you just click the link...

It is the message tracking for the email in question and says:

SMTP:  Message submitted to Advanced Queuing
SMTP:  Started message submission to Advanced Queuing
SMTP:  Message sent to Badmail
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by:peakpeak
ID: 19648457
What messages are not getting through? From you? To you?
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peakpeak earned 1200 total points
ID: 19648480
And yes, do you have Exchange Server 2003 SP1? If so, here's the answer:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/884068
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by:TheCleaner
ID: 19648596
Thanks for the link...we are on SP2, but it appears that the KB article is still valid.  If I reconfigure it will the email in the Badmail folder actually tell me anything about why it is bad, or will it simply be the email itself?
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Assisted Solution

by:Sembee
Sembee earned 800 total points
ID: 19649116
If you are on Exchange 2003 SP2 then badmail functionality was disabled by default. Did someone re enable it? Most admins are glad to see the back of the badmail folder. It was simply a pain.
Do you have recipient filtering enabled? If not then you should. The bulk of the badmail folder is usually unknown recipients, which shouldn't even be delivered to your server - recipient filtering should block them. Saves bandwidth.

Bad mail items are usually made up of two elements - the email message itself and in a separate file the NDR with the NDR code.

However I would strongly advise disabling the bad mail functionality.

Simon.
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by:TheCleaner
ID: 19653694
Sembee,

Here's our mailflow:

Internet >> Ironmail appliance (strips spam, does recipient filtering, etc. etc.) >> Exchange

The emails are to a good recipient, Exchange receives them fine from Ironmail for processing, and it is random that 3 out of 10 emails from say, abc@theirdomain.com to def@mydomain.com get caught in the Advanced Queue and sent to Badmail.

It was disabled and simply logging that it went to Badmail in the message tracking logs, I "re-enabled" it yesterday per PeakPeak's link, if that's what it takes to enable it.

I have yet to see anything in Badmail as of yet, the folder still shows a modified date of 2005, so maybe nothing new has come through that would be badmail yet, but hopefully I'll see the emails and NDRs soon enough.

Should the original sender be sent an NDR as well?  They seem to act like they don't even know we aren't getting the emails correctly.
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 19655489
An NDR will be generated and sent back. However your appliance could be blocking the NDRs going back out again.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:TheCleaner
ID: 19661708
Thanks all, I'll take it from here.
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