Exchange 2003 not returning SMTP Banner


I’m having issues on my Exchange 2003 server that I think are happening because it’s not returning an SMTP Banner. I perform a local telnet and the SMTP banner displays correctly, but when any outside connection is attempted, it says an "SMTP Banner was not returned within 30 seconds".

Additional Information

I found this out when I attempted to put a external spam filter in place for my company. The testing software in the spam filter needs the Exchange server to return an SMTP Banner within 30 seconds or it will not deliver mail. Each time I run a test is returns “SMTP Banner not returned within 30 seconds”. Any thoughts?

Note: firewall is set to allow all inbound port 25 traffic
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Carol ChisholmCommented:
Look at your default SMTP server  advanced delivery properties and check the Fully qualifed Domain name.
Or have you got a relay server between your exchange server and the internet?
JacobCAuthor Commented:
There is a FQDN in place and a DNS check returns as valid. Also, there is a mail relay right now between the Exchange server and the internet. Would that affect its ability to return a banner?
Carol ChisholmCommented:
Yes it might strip the banner, or replace it. What relay system is it? Check that is is either passing the banner on or add it in the relay settings.
Problems using Powershell and Active Directory?

Managing Active Directory does not always have to be complicated.  If you are spending more time trying instead of doing, then it's time to look at something else. For nearly 20 years, AD admins around the world have used one tool for day-to-day AD management: Hyena. Discover why

JacobCAuthor Commented:
Right now its surf control, but I might be a bit confused becuase the connect test is being sent directly to the mail server, not through surf control. Wouldn’t that bypass the surf control systems all together?

Some additional information, I also tried a manual telnet test to the Exchange Server on port 25 and it rejected the request. I wonder if that has anything to do with it. I kind of inherited this server so I’m still finding little things out here and there.
Carol ChisholmCommented:
So would this summarise your config?
Outgoing mail: exchange -> internet
Incoming mail : internet -> surf Control -> exchange

Is port 25 open outgoing and incoming between the surf control and the exchange server in your firewall?

JacobCAuthor Commented:
Thanks Carolchi,

I think I actually muddled through it and figured it out. The Connection control list was set to only allow access from specific IP addresses to the server. I added the external spam hoster IP addresses and its returning banners!

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by ConnectWise

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.