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Cannot send emails outside of domain

I have Exchange 2007 setup but cannot send mail outside of the domain.  I use popcon to retrieve email which works perfectly. the problem is that anyone within the organization cannot sent email to someone else within the organization but have no issues sending to anyone whois outside of the domain.  When sending an email to anyone within the org, I get an error message, "The recipient's e-mail address was not found in the recipient's e-mail system. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please check the e-mail address and try resending this message, or provide the following diagnostic text to your system administrator." I have not created and exchange mailbox for users as I have to migrate individual user one at a time from POP account using outlook 2003 to an exchange account.  I want to be able to move user to exchange and still function without any problems.
Email ProtocolsExchangeWindows Server 2003

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8/22/2022 - Mon

You must configure accepted domains (e.g "*"):


domains must be "*"

I have already done that. The doc in MS states I need to have an Edge Server role installed! i am not running edge currently.  If I need the edge than can I install in on the same server?

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Will this resolve my problem with sending mail outside of the domain if the user in the domain does not have a mailbox setup?
I started with Experts Exchange in 2004 and it's been a mainstay of my professional computing life since. It helped me launch a career as a programmer / Oracle data analyst
William Peck

If i install the edge server role, then I will have to setup an edge server outside of the DMZ Zone which requires additional OS and Exchange.  Do not want to do that.  All I want is to setup a way for the exchange to check the local domain to see if the mailbox for a user exists, if it does then send the mail there if the mailbox for the user does not exist then sent to external mail source.  Is this possible and if so  how do I set it up? Worked through all of microsoft docs but have npt had any success.  If the mailbox on exchange does not exist, i get an error msg. if the mailbox exists then the mail is sent to the mailbox  but user will not get the email if the exchange connector is not configured on outlook