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Groupwise 5.5 outbound mail problems

Posted on 2011-02-11
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I have recently taken over the IT position at a small company.  I do not have any networking experience and have been tossed straight into the fire.  

The problem I'm having is with the email.  The mailserver is running on Windows NT and is using Groupwise 5.5.  There is also a Cisco PIX 501 for firewall.  The only problem with the email is the outbound side. Internal and inbound emails work perfectly.  Outbound emails work about 10% of the time.  Senders will sometimes receive a message saying their email didn't go through due to the IP being banned or it is undeliverable or no response at all.  The errors numbers I have seen are 550, 553, 571, and 554.  

The Cisco Pix 501 IP address (209.252.73.106) is listed on the CBL.  I do not know how to change any settings in the Cisco because the device manager never loads in IE.  I have spoken with the previous IT manager and he had never seen this problem.  He did say that port 25 is blocked except for the mailserver.  From what I have researched it seems like this would fix my problem, but I've been told it was already done.  Do I need to redo this? It is odd because their doesn't seem to be a pattern as to what emails are blocked.  

I'm not sure what to do at this point and any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Question by:SnoopJre
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by:tjdabomb
ID: 34875513
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but, there are multiple technologies at play here that you have no experience - that will make working on this problem extremely difficult.

Well, let's try:

first off, is the outbound issue a new development or has it always been this way?
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SnoopJre earned 0 total points
ID: 34875661
Well this could be interesting.  The mailserver apparently crashed about a month ago on the last day of the previous IT manager.  He rebuilt it and it seemed to be working great for a couple weeks.  The outbound email issue started 2 weeks ago.
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by:tjdabomb
ID: 34876083
Just happened to crash on his last day, eh???

*cough* sabotage  *cough*

The 10% of the time that it works, do you know if that 10% represents email that is addressed to the same recipient(s)??
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by:tjdabomb
ID: 34876108
I am not familiar with groupwise under Windows, though, I have had experience with groupwise under Netware (which it should be, IMHO).  Under Netware, you could see each email inbound and outbound as the MTA addressed each instance - is this the case under windows?  Is there a utility that will show you email traffic?  If so, there should be errors inside of the log.

Also, try this:

http://www.yuki-onna.co.uk/email/smtp.html

but from the windows server running groupwise and see if you can manually send an email to one of the blocked recipients - this will narrow down the problem(s).
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by:BudDurland
ID: 34878833
You say "The Cisco Pix 501 IP address (209.252.73.106) is listed on the CBL.".  If you're referring to the CBL anti-spam list, that the first thing you need to correct.  ALL outbound mail will appear to be coming from this IP address, and if it is on the CBL spam list, many mail servers will not accept mail from you, and he mail will be rejected with 5xx error codes.  Go here http://cbl.abuseat.org/ to start the process of being removed from the list.
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by:ZENandEmailguy
ID: 34889687
If the problem is outbound internet mail only, you've likely got some sort of DNS resolution problem with your GWIA which relies on the DNS settings of the server it is running on.  Can you ping to www.novell.com or some other domain?  Can you successfully do a nslookup?  Open a command prompt on the GWIA--GroupWise server and use ping and nslookup.  The syntax:

ping www.novell.com
nslookup www.aol.com  or mail.<your company>.com

If these work (you won't get ping back from novell but it should resolve to a 130.x.x.x address as I recall).

First, see in the Services control panel and find the MTA, POA, GWIA listed and check the Properties | LogOn tab and see if you can make the GWIA interact with the local desktop.  You'll likely have to shut the service down and restart it if that option is available.  If it is, you'll be able to see the GWIA screen like we see on NetWare and if you use the --show switch on Linux.

Send an email outbound and watch it.

If you can't get the graphical console to work, go into ConsoleOne, find the GWIA under the domain (under the GroupWise system) and assuming you can get into the properties of it, on the GroupWise tab, Network Address, confirm there is port 9850 appearing in the HTTP box.  This way you can launch the webconsole and check the log file on an outbound message.

Let us know.

Scott
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by:tjdabomb
ID: 34984586
Well, how's it going?
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by:deroode
ID: 35073120
It seems to me that the solution isn't really a solution. Better delete this question..
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Author Closing Comment

by:SnoopJre
ID: 35120654
Email started working correctly for no apparent reason.  Possibly due to clearing up space on hard drive.
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