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Mail not flowing to external addresses

Posted on 2008-10-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Exchange server 2003 farm with 1 front end server.  Email is flowing internally, and email is coming in from the outside.  But, any email sent to sources outside of our domain are not going out.  I'm not getting any error messages, or NDRs.  All back end servers send their email via the front end.  There are queues on the mail server called "messages with unreachable desinations" that have outgoing mail sitting in them.  I cannot unfreeze, or force a connection for them.  It seems to me that the back end servers are not finding the front end, and if they do the front end isn't sending anythign out.


Additional info:  We've been playing with a 2007 Exchange server that was added to the system.  i currently have it shut off.
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Question by:brett_apfc
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by:nyxyn
ID: 22828272
What do you mean by "playing with Exchange 2007"... Did you join it to the main domain? Or are you just running it on a different test domain?
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by:brett_apfc
ID: 22828279
It has been joined to the domain.
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by:nyxyn
ID: 22828316
By default, when Exchange 2007 is installed on the domain, it expects that it will be the new mail server for this domain. What is happening now is Exchange 2K7 trying to deliver the messages from now on. So, this leaves you with one of two approaches,
1. Cleanly uninstall the Exchange 2K7 installation.
2. Finish the migration of the users to Exchange 2K7. But of course, this step requires preparation and being familiar with Exchange 2K7 interface which is relatively different from that of 2K3.

I would recommend option 1.
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by:brett_apfc
ID: 22828324
is a "clean" uninstall simply running the add/remove and removing Exchang 2007 from the server?
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Expert Comment

by:nyxyn
ID: 22828354
Theoretically, yes, just uninstall Exchange 2K7 from the Add/Remove programs.

However, there might be a chance that you might get an error message that prevents it from being uninstalled. If this happened, please provide the error message so that I can help further.
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Author Comment

by:brett_apfc
ID: 22828381
there are 118 messages waiting on the exchange 2007 server\unreachable queue.  Proceeding with removal may result in data loss.




If the data loss is necessary, i guess I could live with it.  If there is a way to get those messages sent back to the 2003 Front End for delivery, it would be nice!
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Author Comment

by:brett_apfc
ID: 22828415
Exchange 2007 has been uninstalled.  Is there anything that needs to be done on the 2003 servers at this point?
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by:brett_apfc
ID: 22828428
I guess the only thing left from the System Manager is the Exchange Administrative Group.  Is this safe to delete at this point?
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by:nyxyn
ID: 22828435
In this case, the easiest way would be to allow/configure the Exchange 2K7 to send the emails. (Does it have the correct DNS/gateway?)
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Expert Comment

by:nyxyn
ID: 22828447
To confirm whether or not you need to do anything on Exchange 2003 side, just try sending a test message to an external email address.
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Author Comment

by:brett_apfc
ID: 22828456
Still no mail to external email addresses.  On all servers I have mail building up in the "messages with unreachable desinations" queues.
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Author Comment

by:brett_apfc
ID: 22828477
Additional info:

prior to Exchange 2007 server introduction our config was:

4 backend 2003 servers
1 front end 2003 server

Front end is smart host for 4 back ends.  all mail is sent through front end server.

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nyxyn earned 500 total points
ID: 22828486
Yes, just fix the connector as described below. (From http://searchexchange.techtarget.com/generic/0,295582,sid43_gci1281195,00.html)



If you have Exchange 2003 servers installed, thenExchange 2007 doesn't natively use routing groups, but will create themfor backward-compatibility purposes. To eliminate necessary routinggroup connectors:

  1. Go to your Exchange 2003 server and open the Exchange System Manager.
  2. Navigate through the console tree to Administrative Groups -> your administrative group -> Routing groups -> your routing group -> Connectors.
  3. Select the Connectors container and the details pane will show you connectors for the routing group.
    The actual connectors that exist will differ from one deployment to another. Typically, there will be an Internet Mail SMTP connector and a routing group connector.
     
  4. Right click on the routing group connector, and select Properties from the menu.
  5. Go to the Remote Bridgehead tab, and check that the remote bridgehead server listed is one from which you want to remove the Hub Transport server role.
  6. If so, you can do one of two things:
    • Point the connector to a different remote bridgehead server.
    • Remove the connector completely.
  7. To remove the routing group connector, click OK to close the connector's properties sheet.
  8. Right click on the connector and select Delete from the menu.
  9. When Exchange asks if you really want to delete the connector, click Yes.
    If you have Exchange 2003 servers installed, then Exchange 2007 doesn't natively use routing groups, but will create them for backward-compatibility purposes. To eliminate necessary routing group connectors:
      Go to your Exchange 2003 server and open the Exchange System Manager.
     
    Navigate through the console tree to Administrative Groups -> your administrative group -> Routing groups -> your routing group -> Connectors.
       
    Select the Connectors container and the details pane will show you connectors for the routing group.
     
    The actual connectors that exist will differ from one deployment to another. Typically, there will be an Internet Mail SMTP connector and a routing group connector.
       
    Right click on the routing group connector, and select Properties from the menu.
     
    Go to the Remote Bridgehead tab, and check that the remote bridgehead server listed is one from which you want to remove the Hub Transport server role.
     
    If so, you can do one of two things:
      Point the connector to a different remote bridgehead server.  
    Remove the connector completely.
       
    To remove the routing group connector, click OK to close the connector's properties sheet.
     
    Right click on the connector and select Delete from the menu.
       
    When Exchange asks if you really want to delete the connector, click Yes.
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Author Comment

by:brett_apfc
ID: 22828501
should I have an Internet Mail SMTP connector?  Currenlty, I don't have any connectors in the Connectors folder.   The routing group connector has been deleted.
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Expert Comment

by:nyxyn
ID: 22828541
No, you do not necessarily need to have an "Internet Mail SMTP Connector"...

If still not working, I would recommend going through the Exchange 2003 Exchange System Manager and correct any references to the Exchange 2007 server.

Unfortunately, I am not familiar the setup in case of Front End Exchange server. So I cannot help on this point.
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Author Comment

by:brett_apfc
ID: 22828548
thank you for you help to this point.  

I currently have a case open with Microsoft technical support.   I was rooting for you to get this fixed for me prior to them.


Your help has been extremely helpful, and appreciated.  


i'll post Microsoft's findings when they get back with me.
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Expert Comment

by:nyxyn
ID: 22828576
You're welcome.
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Author Comment

by:brett_apfc
ID: 22853218
Microsoft Technical support was able to get my mail flowing correctly again.  After some reconfiguration (I'm still confused as to how our mail system worked for 3 years the way it was set up...), we got things working again:

PROBLEM

                Unable to send emails to internet

RESOLUTION

-      We corrected FQDN & removed Smart host entry on Default SMTP Virtual Servers of all Exchange servers.
-      We mounted Mailbox Store on Front End server and kept PF Store dismounted.
-      We deleted SMTP connector and created a new SMTP connector.
-      We tested mail flow and confirmed that it is working.


nyxyn -- thank you for your help.  I will be awarding you the points.  Your solution was pretty much the correct solution.  We just had to get the right settings on the connector.
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Expert Comment

by:nyxyn
ID: 22853788
Glad that it is working again.
Thank you.
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