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Exchange 2007, Local Emails delayed in Queue

In my environment I am running 2 Exchange 2007 servers with Mailbox, CA, and Hub Transport Roles, and a single Exchange 2007 with Edge Transport.  (The 2 mailbox servers are running on Server 2003, and the Tranport is Server 2008.)

One of the Mailbox servers (ServerA) is all of a sudden delaying the messages that are sent to itself.  From that same server I can send a message to an external domain and it will process through the queue immediately.  I can send that same message to myself locally, and it will sit in the queue for at least 3 or 4 minutes before it's delivered.  Several times messages have stayed in the queue for 30 minutes.  At that point I can restart the server, or the Transport service, and most (if not all) of the messages will be sent through.  After a minute or two, new messages will again begin to pile up.

Messages that are sent to ServerA from ServerB, or an external domain are having the same result.

Currently there are no errors found that have anything to do with the queue.  When I open the queue up there are also no error messages there and the queue shows to be Active.  I've also tried the Mail Flow Troubleshooter and it reports that everything is fine.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


On a side note, my worst case scenario is to go ahead and upgrade to Exchange 2010.  Since there is no in place upgrade option, I was thinking about converting the current server into a VM using Microsoft's Virtual Machine Manager and doing the upgrade over to the existing hardware.  Sounds a little scary to me...   Any thoughts?
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Allen
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Allen
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1 Solution
 
askurat1Commented:
DO you run anything such as ScanMail?
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AllenAuthor Commented:
I'm running MS Forefront for Exchange.  I disabled it as part of my troubleshooting process and it didn't change anything.  I'm running a disk check now and it seems to have found some issues.  Hopefully it fixes them and the queue issue as well.
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askurat1Commented:
Yea I have seen this issue with forefront as well but hopefully the check disk works. Just let me know.
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ashok_523Commented:
This could happen because of N/W trafic as well. Check the header of the message and find where it is getiing delayed..
To narrow down this use the pickup directory to send mail and check.

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AllenAuthor Commented:
Ashok, what do you mean by N/W and pickup directory?  I've checked the headers, and there's no indication of where the messages are getting delayed.  However, I can look at the Exchange queue and see the messages piling up.

The disk check completed and stated that it fixed some issues, but unfortunately not the main issue at hand.  I've re-created my Edge subscription as well.

Any suggestions before I try the wrong way to upgrade this thing?!?
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ashok_523Commented:
Ok ill make it clear.
N/W - Network-- check with your N/W team for any N/W lattency in your environment.
Pickup directory -- This one exist in Exchange HT server. and you can use this to send mail.
The default path for the Pickup directory is  -- \Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\TransportRoles  --
see the below link to have a better understanding of the pickup directory
http://www.msexchange.org/articles_tutorials/exchange-server-2007/management-administration/exchange-pickup-folder.html

Use this command to check the mail flow...

Test-Mailflow Mailbox1 -TargetMailboxServer Mailbox2
Test-Mailflow Mailbox1 -TargetEmailAddress john@contoso.com

also paste the message header here. we happy to assist you..


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AllenAuthor Commented:
Thanks ashok, I'm running a little short on sleep, so I didn't catch the N/W reference.  I'm actually the network guy as well, and latency isn't an issue.

I've never used the pickup directory and test-mailflow command, but it looks like a useful troubleshooting tool.  Thank you.

I've actually gone ahead and converted the server into a virtual machine and it seems to run just fine there.  I kept getting some disk errors on the original server and was unable to repair them.  I think that must've been the main culprit.  Luckily I was able to move it into a virtual machine with no apparent dataloss and this will get me by until I'm ready to do the upgrade to Exchange 2010.
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AllenAuthor Commented:
I hate to grade my own answer as an A, especially since I can't be 100% sure that the drive errors was actually the issue.  I didn't see another way to close the question though...
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