Why are messages stuck in the "Local Delivery" queue in Exchange 2003 ?

PurityIT
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Some users were reporting that they were not getting messages that they were expecting so we checked and seen that there are some messages stuck in the Local Delivery queue in Exchange 2003.  The emails are mostly from internal users sending to other internal users however there are a few external emails that are stuck in there also.  There are no problems sending emails out.

I ran the Exchange Best Practices Analyser and the Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant on the SBS 2003 server.  The Exchange BPA didn't find any issues but the Exchage TRA returned the following:

Messages pending local delivery

The 'Local delivery' queue (domainname) on server servername is in retry status. Source: 'Default SMTP Virtual Server'. Number of message(s) in the queue: 12. Additional status information:

Can anyone suggest what the problem might be and how we can resolve it ?

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Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Most local delivery queue problems are caused by a corrupt Exchange store and the only way to resolve that issue is to dismount the store and repair the store by doing the following:
eseutil /p
eseutil /d
isinteg -s servername -fix -test alltests (run at least twice)
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Exchange-ISINTEG-ESEUTIL.html 
Once completed, re-mount the store and the local delivery queues should clear.
For external queues, make sure your environment is configured properly and have a read of my article for this problem:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/A_2427-Problems-sending-mail-to-one-or-more-external-domains.html

Author

Commented:
Ok thanks for this.  Our server crashed on Friday and we had to recover it to another server if that makes any difference.

We will need to schedule time to do this and i'll let you know the outcome.

Thanks again for your post
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
No problems - here if you need additional guidance.
Alan
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Author

Commented:
Hi there,

I followed the steps exactly as you suggested and this didn't work.  I also tried creating a new Default Virtual Serer with the Queue's etc in another folder but thisdidn't fix the issue
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Okay - when you recovered the mail store to another server, was Active Directory lost and you had to recreate it?
If a new email message is sent from an external source, does the email arrive?
Are the messages ones that arrived during the recovery process of the server?
You may find simply opening the messages one by one (they should open in Outlook Express) and then sending them manually to the relevant recipient will empty the queue, albeit painfully slowly.

Author

Commented:
Hi,

We used backup software called Shadow Protect which does a bare metal recovery of the server.  It recovers everything including AD.  When the server was restored all the accounts, groups and OU's etc were there and there have been no login issues at all.

The majority of emails are from external senders at this point in time but yesterday it was mainly internal users.  There are currently 20 emails in the queue.  Yesterday before the repair/defrag I tried removing the emails from the queue to see if it would start from a fresh but that didn't work either.

We use a hosted Spam filtering service so when the server went down on Friday, the emails queued up until the server came back online and then they were delivered.  

I have tried what you said in your last point but that empties the queue and then it gradually fills back up again.

In all my years supporting Exchange 2003 I haven't come across this issue before.

Is there anything else you casn think of ?

Thanks again
Alan HardistyCo-Owner
Top Expert 2011

Commented:
Is the following article relevant?
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/828938
Do you see the events mentioned?
Commented:
Hi Alan,

Sorry for the late response.

We ended up using ExMerge to export all the mailboxes out to a PST file.  We then deleted the First Storage Group and created a new one.  We then recreated all the users mailboxes and then imported the mail back in.  After this the problems stopped

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