How do I fix an SMTP server that is returning a metabase key error?

I have MS Exchange 2000 running on Server 2000. This system has been running perfectly for about a year.  Suddenly, yesterday I started getting delay notices.  I checked the queues and noticed that all my sent messages were stuck in queue with a "retry" message. (screen shots attached) I then checked the event log and there were 2 messages from smtpsvc.  1) Virtual Server 2: SMTP server cannot read metabase key MailPickupDir  2) Virtual Server 2: SMTP server cannot read metabase key MailQueueDir (screen shots attached)  These errors are recorded each time I restart smtp so I assume this is part of the problem.
How can I resolve this problem so I can send email from this server again?
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jbasiliere67Asked:
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TG TranIT guyCommented:
jbasiliere67Author Commented:
Thanks.  I tried the solutions mentioned in the article and it did resolve the error messages in the event log, but the emails continue to be hung up in queue.
jbasiliere67Author Commented:
When I click on one of the queue's on look at properties at the bottom there is a mesage that there is an internal DNS error caused a failure to find the remote server.  Can this be the issue?  DNS reports it is working.  Again, this system was working fine and then suddenly these problems started without any intervention from me.  

Thanks,

John
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TG TranIT guyCommented:
Check out this article:
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/SMTPDIAGdiagnose-Exchange-2003-SMTP-DNS.html

You said DNS is working fine - have you checked it using NSLOOKUP?

You can specify which DNS server that Exchange will use (the link above will show you how to configure that).  Please try to specify another DNS server and see if messages still hung

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TG TranIT guyCommented:
Oh, one more thing - have you reboot the box?  At the very least, have you restarted the IISadmin?  SMTP service?
jbasiliere67Author Commented:
Adding an external DNS server did the trick!  Thanks so much for the help.  Now that I'm up and running again I can try and figure out why this happened.  Thanks again!

John
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