Exchange queue backs up with mail

StarfishTech
StarfishTech used Ask the Experts™
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We have several clients running exchange 2003 sp2. These clients are also running AVG for exchange. Just recently, several of the clients are having issues where outbound mailflow shuts down. The mail just backs up in the queue. We tried disabling the AVG 8.5 for exchange plugin to see if that was the problem however that didn't release the mail. THe only way we can get the mail to release is by doing an IISRESET. After that the server runs fine for a while and then we have to do another IISRESET eventually. AVG's support is worthless so I haven't really talked to them as of yet.
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What are in the queues - just legitimate email or are there SPAM items in there for outbound delivery, or do you have any NDR's in the queues?

Shaun

Author

Commented:
No these are legitimate emails. Also, if I attempt to send an email from their server, I will see it get queued.
1) Do you see any event logged in the event logs? If any post that information here...
2) IIS reset or just SMTP service reset works?
3) Check the bad mail folder, make sure it's clean
4) If non of above helps try deploying http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950757 hotfix, you can uninstall later if you face any problem due to this, but I noticed this fixes some of they type of problems.
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What queue is the inbound message getting held in?
Do you use a Smarthost or DNS for outbound delivery? If you use a smarthost, you may wish to check if they have introduced any policies on the number of connections they accepts etc - I've seen this happen when smarthost tighten up their servers. Only relevant if your clients use smarthost.

Shaun

Author

Commented:
XchangeKnowledge - I believe only an IISReset works. The badmail directory is empty - atleast at the moment. There are some events but they don't seem all that significant.

In system log there is nothing except for when we actually performed the IIS Reset. When we did the IISReset, we got the following events in the log:

IIS Reset encountered an error while stopping services, which was requested by BPCD01\Administrator.  The logged data is the status code.  Since the force option is on, IIS Reset will now terminate the services' processes.  This may cause SCM to report errors about the services exiting.

In the system log, I see the following entries while the problem was occurring:

The Unsolicited Commercial Email default filter level has been updated. The new value is 8.

I also see that it was doing database maintenance as far as cleanup and defraging. Other than that, there are no unusual error. Schauncroucher - All of these clients use DNS for outbound delivery. DarrellArbaugh - its just getting stuck in the outbound message queue for whatever domain the user is trying to send email to.



Author

Commented:
I would also like to note that we seem to have found a pattern - the mailflow issue mainly occurs after a server reboot. To clarify the order - the server is rebooted for an unrelated reason - once the server has been rebooted, email starts to backup in the outbound mail queue, we do an IISRESET and the issue clears up. Then the server is fine until it needs to be rebooted for one reason or another.
When mail stops, try to connect to a remote mail server using telnet such as

telnet smtp.google.com 25

Does this return a 220? If not, then try

telnet 74.125.45.25 25

Does this work?

If it does, DNS issue. Check DNS settings.
If not, then try to establish why there is no connectivity to port 25.
See if restarting just SMTP service fixes the issue.

Shaun
Also, after a reboot, sort services by StartUp type. Are there any that are set to Automatic where the Status is NOT STARTED. There will be performance monitor in this state, but shouldn't be any others. If there are, let me know what they are.

Shaun
In the Recip Policy, goto properties and choose the SMTP address you created, then click Set as Primary..  This will solve your issue.  You can then do an update now on the RUS, which should start the propogation.  Have patience.  It may take some time for the changes to be made.
Sorry.  Posted in wrong area.

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