Best way to trace exchange receive delays


I am having problems with Exchange.

We are getting problems in receiving delayed emails from certain clients.

If I view the message headers then I see that the hop before us was received at (for example) 9:15am and then our exchange server received it at 13:13.

I have been able to get a couple of people to send in any error messages that they receive


the mail system : Host or domain name not found. Name service erro for type MX: host not found, try again


There was an SMTP communication problem with the recipiant's email server

It's always the same clients that get delays.

If I use my home account to send a mail it arrives almost instantly.

I have spoken to my ISP and they tell me that they do not see any problems
I have spoken to the hosting company that hosts our websites (the MX record is configured to route email to our static IP address, this has been set up for a couple of months) and they are happy that the DNS is all correct.

Where should I start to look?

Who is Participating?
SembeeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Oh its message labs.
Are all of the delayed emails coming from Message Labs? Message Labs has gone downhill recently, I have nothing but problems with them. Unfortuantely the headers do not show anything of interest, other than to show the delay was coming out of Message Labs to your server. What it doesn't show is the reason for the delay.

If was being really picky, I would suggest that your MX record is changed from cost 0 to cost 5 or 10. I have seen some sites have issues with cost of 0. As the receiver of the email, diagnosis is almost impossible. You would need to see what is happening on the sender's side. You haven't said what the last hop before your server is, but if it is another server (ISP for example) then there is almost nothing you can do.

abenbowAuthor Commented:
ok, thanks for that. I have changed the value to 10.

Here is a copy of the headers for a message that was delyed for 4 hours
Microsoft Mail Internet Headers Version 2.0
Received: from ([]) by with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.3959);
Tue, 13 Nov 2007 13:16:28 +0000
X-VirusChecked: Checked
X-Originating-IP: []
Received: (qmail 30932 invoked from network); 13 Nov 2007 09:16:16 -0000
Received: from (HELO email.sunshine.internal) (
by with SMTP; 13 Nov 2007 09:16:16 -0000
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft Exchange V6.5
Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
Subject: RE: 59497 ListLab List Order
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 09:12:27 -0000
Message-ID: <D3CC906EAF79DE4BA8BD62CEE8E419C21590BA@email.sunshine.internal>
In-Reply-To: <>
Thread-Topic: 59497 ListLab List Order
Thread-Index: AcglJ7yisqe3aPWSS6+v5DpQOicBzQAq2C9wAAB0z9A=
References: <D3CC906EAF79DE4BA8BD62CEE8E419C215901D@email.sunshine.internal> <>
From: "Joanna McIntyre" <>
To: "Michael Smith" <>
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 13 Nov 2007 13:16:28.0780 (UTC) FILETIME=[668E22C0:01C825F7]
Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Type: text/html;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

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abenbowAuthor Commented:
What I meant to add was

does anything in there give you a clue as to where my problem might be if it's not the MX value?

abenbowAuthor Commented:

any ideas on how to fix it?
abenbowAuthor Commented:
sent an email to message labs to see if they can doo anything
Good luck on getting anything out of message labs. Unless you are a customer they will probably send your email to the dumpster. The only people who can really complain are their customers. Then they will probably turn round and say everything is fine with them and say it is a problem with you.

abenbowAuthor Commented:
Message labs have said

"However looking into this issue it appears that one of our towers ( was having problems resolving your MX record host name.  We have tried re-replicating this issue using this tower (mail35) which is now able to resolve your host name"

we'll see if that solves it.

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