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Mail to valid addresses rejected with error 550 5.1.1 <xx@yy.zz>: Recipient address rejected: User unknown in relay recipient table

Posted on 2010-08-17
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
I am running Exchange 2007 on Windows 2008 Server R1.
Symantec SMSMSE 6.5 is provides spam protection.

Generally, there are no problems in receiving mail from thousands of senders.

The problem is with a few specific senders - that is specific companies/server/domains cannot send mail to any of our recipient addresses - no mail from any sender at those locations reach us..
Despite the addresses they send to are entirely correct, for instance a reply to our mail to them, they receive an error (and we can send to them with no problems).

In error messages there will be a peamble from their own server, ending with

550 5.1.1 <xx@yy.zz>: Recipient address rejected: User unknown in relay recipient table

However, as mentioned the address they send to on our server is correct.
I have added the sender to our whitelist, for safety's sake, though the error is not spam related anyway.

Any suggstions on probable cause or how to pinpoint the cause?





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Question by:Flemming50
15 Comments
 
LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
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Have you changed MX records recently? New server or changed ISP, hosting service etc?
I have seen this when a site is accessing cached MX records that are out of date.
 
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Author Comment

by:Flemming50
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No changes for the last year,
and i have checked the IP setup and MX myself, I have asked a friend to do same for me and have had my internt provider check it as well.
No problems, we all conclude.
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
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Have you got one of the remote sites to try and tenet to you mail server on port 25? I know this ask a lot but this eeror NORMALY indicates either an error at there end, a mising/blocked account or a server to server to server error such as DNS/MX
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
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P.S.
Its not much use you checking your MX records as this is not what they will see from there site if it is a cacheing issue. You would need to see what they are seeing from there mail server.
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Author Comment

by:Flemming50
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I have not had senders use telnet - unfortunately, these are not very sofisticated IT wise, nor part of larger organisations, so they have no particular IT support. Mail may well be online with some ISP, so perhaps I could figure it out by contacting their provider, but in reality it is quite difficult. to get support from an ISP as a non-client...
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Accepted Solution

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shauncroucher earned 250 total points
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Go to http://www.mxtoolbox.com/ and run the tests there, see if they reveal anything.

Sounds DNS to me, as neilsr already states.

Shaun
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Author Comment

by:Flemming50
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Thank you shauncroucher:, nice tool.
All tests resolve fine and gives correct reply back, so seeming no problems with configuration.
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Author Comment

by:Flemming50
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I did resolve the issue.
As I said - the problem was with a few specific senders, different companies in different Scandinavian countries.
Turns out they were all hooked up with mail through the same web hotel company.
Incidentally I host my web site there as well, but no other services through this supplier.
The ISP had set their DNS up to point mail to us to their server, which is wrong. I am only hosting a web site with them. They dont correctly sync their MX / DNS with the Danish hostmaster, but keep their own setup for their clients. So my correct MX record was nullified for all their internal mail users, but remained correct for the rest of the world.
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Assisted Solution

by:Neil Russell
Neil Russell earned 250 total points
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My very first post said "Have you changed MX records recently? New server or changed ISP, hosting service etc?
I have seen this when a site is accessing cached MX records that are out of date"

This surely pointed the questioner to investigate the MX records as i said?

His close stated...
"The ISP had set their DNS up to point mail to us to their server, which is wrong. I am only hosting a web site with them. They dont correctly sync their MX / DNS with the Danish hostmaster, but keep their own setup for their clients. So my correct MX record was nullified for all their internal mail users, but remained correct for the rest of the world."

The MX records were at fault.
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Expert Comment

by:Glen Knight
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I read it as the MX record was fine it was the DNS zone transfers that were the problem?
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
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"The ISP had set their DNS up to point mail to us to their server, which is wrong. I am only hosting a web site with them"
Done with the MX record on the hosting companies internal setup?
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Author Comment

by:Flemming50
Comment Utility
Actually the MX record was correct, and nothing was changed.
Actual problem was that a WEB hotel ONLY was set up with a web hotel.
Mail and all other services unchanged.
Turns out that when, web site was set up, hosting company internally pointed their own mail users towards a non-existing mailbox on their own mail server.
This had no effect on the "real" MX record, and was invisible for all, exept hosting companys administrators.
Which is reason why only a select few senders of email was affected.
Hosting company did not host DNS for our domain, and could not set MX record or any other records, rather I ponted our WWW to their site manually.
Against all guidelines, they did not sync their internal mail routing with official records.
I found solution by investigating which ISP handled the mail of those who could not send, and then called that ISP, told them they were not forwarding mail sent to us.

Anyway, I attempted to split points between shauncroucher: and neilsr, but was unable to - got error message. Their solutions not quite correct, but still gave a hint to check that in fact MX record was not right, and mxtool helped figure out pattern in senders.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Flemming50
Comment Utility
Solutions suggested convinced me what was in fact NOT wrong, and inspired in looking for other patterns. Tool helped track senders ISP (the culprit)
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