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No outbound mail

Posted on 2007-11-20
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I cannot figure out why the mail is not flowing out. This is SBS 2003 SP2 with Exchange SP2. They're hosting their own mail routing mail out using DNS, no smarthost forwarding in place. Suddenly today they noticed no one was receiving emails they sent. I've checked all the obvious places, event logs, Exchange queues, I can ping the ISP's DNS servers (but only after rebooting the server, which could be a clue),

A fellow tech pointed out that an SMTP queue is missing. He said he tried recreating manually and automatically but it's still missing even after rebooting again. So now I'm wondering:

1) How many queues should exist with no mail waiting to be delivered, or with Exchange "at rest" regarding outbound mail?

2) Does anyone have a suggestion how to get the SMTP queue recreated if it needs to be recreated?

Thanks for any helpful input.
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Question by:WineGeek
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Expert Comment

by:Philip Elder
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1: One
2: Reapply the Exchange SP2 to see if it brings it up.
If not, you will need to run the SBS setup from Add/Remove to reinstall the Exchange component then reapply the SP.
Philip
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by:ormerodrutter
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Using Smarthost may solve your problem temporary.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
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WineGeek,

Looking at the Queues isn't the place to troubleshoot this, and he said he tried creating a QUEUE manually?  that's not possible.  The queues are generated by the Connectors/Virtual Servers.

The first thing to do would be to look in the Exchange Message Tracking Center to see what's happening with messages.  Just enter the Server name and click "Find Now" to see the messages sent so far that day.

You can also just rerun the CEICW, which will generally correct most issues regarding email configurations.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:WineGeek
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I meant to say he recreated the SMTP connector, not a queue, sorry. I also re-ran the CEICW. I'm about to re-install Exchange SP2 but first I'll check the Message Tracking Center as suggested and we'll see what I find. Thanks for the input so far.
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by:WineGeek
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I have not re-applied Exchange SP2 yet. I've enabled Message Tracking in Exchange. When I send an email (having to use their OWA right now to test with), and open that message in Message Tracking Center, I see the following entries for the sent email:

****************************************************************************************************************
11/21/2007 3:31 AM SMTP Store Driver: Message Submitted from Store
11/21/2007 3:31 AM SMTP: Message Submitted to Advanced Queuing
11/21/2007 3:31 AM SMTP: Started Message Submission to Advanced Queue
11/21/2007 3:31 AM SMTP: Message Submitted to Categorizer
11/21/2007 3:31 AM SMTP: Message Submitted to Advanced Queuing
11/21/2007 3:31 AM SMTP: Started Message Submission to Advanced Queue
11/21/2007 3:31 AM SMTP: Message Submitted to Categorizer
****************************************************************************************************************

Are these typicla or normal events that are logged with normal outbound mail flow?
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by:WineGeek
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Anyone know of a website where I can check to see if this domain is blacklisted?
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Author Comment

by:WineGeek
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I also tried using a smarthost but got no mail to flow outbound that way either.
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by:WineGeek
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Because I'm seeing no errors at all I personally do not believe the problem is even with this server but with something having to do with mail routing / DNS / antiSPAM / SPF happening out there on the Net with the ISPs... but I continue to probe.... thanks for all of your help so far.

On a side note, yesterday when I first started troubleshooting this problem, the first thing I came across was the realization that this client has ISP A but their domain still hosted at their old ISP B. We started to move them away from ISP B about a month ago because of this very problem; no outbound mail flow with little or no clues as to where the mail was going.

So far all we had done was switch to the new ISP for Internet connectivity; no domain or web hosting was moved yet (just taking baby steps towards the new ISP instead of moving everything at once, which might or might not be smart to do) until yesterday when I tried talking with ISP A in an attempt to track down this mail flow problem. They quickly pointed out that they have nothing to do with this domain and that they were simply the route being used to get out to the Internet; I needed to talk to ISP B who still has the domain in their control.

So my first thought was that mail wasn't being delivered because this client's mail (they host their own mail) was originating from ISP A's IP range but the name servers for the domain were still set to the old ISP's name servers. So I had the client go ahead and initiate the domain transfer from ISP B to the new ISP A yesterday just to simplify all of their domain stuff.

But if that’s the problem than I cannot explain why mail has been flowing out fine for the past 30 days since we switched to the new ISP A… I cannot find what has changed.
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by:WineGeek
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I opened Message Tracking Center, typed in the server's name, and clicked Find Now. There are a couple dozen messages listed in addition to the two tests I've sent since enabling Message Tracking about an hour ago. Should there be any Senders listed other than users on this internal domain? This almost looks as if there might be some sort of SPAM problem??? Just checking...
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Author Comment

by:WineGeek
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I just tried running that test to see if the Exchange server is an open relay and I got a response I've never seen before. When I go to the part where you enter:

mail from:me@testdomain.com

I got the following response:
***************************************************
message rejected because of RBL policy
connection lost
**********************************************************

so far I haven't found anything by chasing that error but I also noticed this server has both Symantec Antivirus (with an antiSPAM component also loaded) as well as Sunbelt's Ninja antiSPAM solution. Later this morning I'll try uninstalling one of them and see if that shakes anything lose. Again, I"m looking for something that has changed on this server to make mail suddenyl stop flowing out and I have not found anything that has changed yet. Very odd so far.
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by:Philip Elder
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Go to www.mxtoolbox.com and run your domain. Then go to DNSStuff.com and run your domain.
RBL is a blacklist.
Philip
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Accepted Solution

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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 500 total points
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WineGeek,

This does sound like your AV or Anti-SPAM filter is blackholing the email.  You shouldn't have to uninstall to see if that's the problem, just disable it.

You can also install EXInsight (trial version) which is a great way to see what's actually happening on your Exchange Server.  www.exinsight.com

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author Closing Comment

by:WineGeek
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It was Ninja antispam and Microsoft said it was a known problem. We uninstalled Ninja and the mail started flowing again. Thanks!
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