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emails not being received

Posted on 2011-05-13
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For about a month, we haven't received emails from a specific location.  These are notification emails that of course are sent from an address that is not monitored.  From what I've been told, these emails stopped arriving when I enabled the anti-spam in exchange 2007.  I had a threshold of 9 set to be rejected, and a threshold of 6 set to be quarantined.  I then took off the reject message, and still no emails (not even in quarantine). Then yesterday I completely disabled the spam filter altogether, and still no emails.  I have a ticket in with the place that is sending these notifications, and they say according to their message log messages are being sent out.  Is there anything I can do on my end to help troubleshoot this?  
Don't know if the two are related, but also other internal notification emails are not being received as well.  These come from our timecard program, but ever since I switched the server they are supposed to be sent through, they are not arriving.  I even switched back, and still no notifications.

 Thank you.
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Question by:Winstink
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Expert Comment

by:serchlop
ID: 35753602
I don't know if you have restarted the transport service after you make the changes. To enable this changes is necesary restart transport service. Maybe a full server restart would be a good idea. Look at the tools in exch. Management console to verify if these emails are arriving to your server. Maybe could give you a trace to solve the problem.
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Expert Comment

by:Praveen Balan
ID: 35753609
2 things,

Is the notification comes from your network or from internet?

If it is internal, check for your relay configuration for that application/ If they have changed the application server, you need to do the configuration changes at your end as well.

If it is external you may ask them to get the NDR/error if any, if nothing get the email address/domain and do a white list on your anti-spam configuration. ref - https://exchangepedia.com/2007/01/exchange-2007-content-filter-the-whitelist-is-here.html
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Author Comment

by:Winstink
ID: 35753702
Well, both really.

For internal, the only thing I changed was the mail server.  Perhaps I need to change something else in a different place.  I'll look into that.  However, when I changed it back, still nothing.

External, the mailbox isn't monitored, so I don't think they know if they get an NDR/error.  I've disabled the spam filter for now.
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Expert Comment

by:ckeshav
ID: 35753794
Anti-Spam is not disabled until you restart the Transport Service.
If you have a quarantine mailbox configured, you can even release the Quarantined mails
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Author Comment

by:Winstink
ID: 35753813
sorry, I should have specified.  Yes, I restarted transport service,  had a quarantine mailbox, but the messages weren't showing up there.  when using mail flow troubleshooter, I get "The SMTP host was not specified.."

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Expert Comment

by:Praveen Balan
ID: 35753855
Did you do the changes at the Application server, since you changed the mail server.

For, get the email address which is used to send out emails to your exchange and white list that ID(add exception). restart transport services..

Let me know the results, we will use some alternate way to workaround this.
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Author Comment

by:Winstink
ID: 35753970
I didn't at first, then I did, and the messages weren't being received.  Then I switched back, and they're still not being received.

I disabled the spam filter for now until the messages start arriving
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Expert Comment

by:-Juddy-
ID: 35754121
Are you using any other software on your mailserver such as MS Forefront?
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Author Comment

by:Winstink
ID: 35754126
Vipre, from Sunbelt software, but it's malfunctioning, I think.  :-)
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Expert Comment

by:-Juddy-
ID: 35754139
No familiar with it.  Is it just AV gateway software or does it handle Spam also?
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Author Comment

by:Winstink
ID: 35754151
it handles spam also.  Supposed to quarantine it in users' individual mailboxes.  
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Expert Comment

by:-Juddy-
ID: 35754165
If you think it's malfunctioning, why not uninstall or disable and see if it sorts your problems?  We use Forefront and I think it's excellent.  If you download it you get either a 60 or 90 day trial:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=2ceb14d4-404b-4d8f-8a21-ebfc71b2e82b&displaylang=en

It's very easy to install / uninstall, just make sure you run the Windows update post install.  You will get another quarantine with this software, more control over Spam, it integrates with Ex 2007 and handles AV.
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Expert Comment

by:-Juddy-
ID: 35754190
I forgot to say, it also quarantines Spam (or suspected Spam) in a queue on the server so you can release or delete it without bothering end users.  It also has 6 different AV engines giving far greater protection from viruses than a single solution.

If you track the mail using the message tracker on the Ex 2007 console, can you find them?
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Author Comment

by:Winstink
ID: 35754616
we've been evaluating different anti-spam/AV programs, as our support renewal is up next week.  I haven't liked the spam filter that you can install as part of ex07, but I will give forefront a run.  
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Expert Comment

by:-Juddy-
ID: 35754678
With Forefront, they run like a charm.  Uninstall Vipre and reboot, install Forefront and reboot if required, then run Microsoft Update.  I would then enable the Exchange anti spam agents (info here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb201691%28EXCHG.80%29.aspx) and configure Forefront; good guide here:

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/fine-tuning-microsoft-forefront-server-security-for-exchange/190671

If you go down the Forefront route, you should use the Exchange 2007 Anti-Spam functionality as well as the inter-mesh.

Another thing; I'd make sure you are running the lastest service packs for 2007; remember we are up to SP3 now with subsequent updates.
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Author Comment

by:Winstink
ID: 35754934
is there a way I can see if these messages are at least coming to my mail server while I evaluate forefront?
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Expert Comment

by:-Juddy-
ID: 35754944
Use message tracking in the Exchange Console (toolbox).
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Author Comment

by:Winstink
ID: 35755246
either I am not doing it right, or this isn't working right.  I've done a search for emails from that address, and I do not see anything, even before the spam filter was enabled.  
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Expert Comment

by:-Juddy-
ID: 35767446
Do you have NDR's enabled?  So if I'm correct, mails from a certain domain are not arriving?  Do they get an NDR?
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Author Comment

by:Winstink
ID: 35769608
I have NDR's enabled.  Cannot tell if the sender is getting an NDR, as the reports are automated, and come from a mailbox that is not monitored.  

i did a search on the old mail server (switched ex07 mail servers, long story) and found messages before I routed mail to the new server.  
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Accepted Solution

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Winstink earned 0 total points
ID: 35832092
Problem resolved.  for the external addresses, it was the sender had a "Soft fail" on the SPF.  with the spam filter with ex07 disabled, vipre was still rejecting it.  I re-enabled the spam fitler, and set SPF to just stamp and send on.  

For the internal notifications, the application itself wasn't sending out the notifications.  I opened a ticket with the application company, and they pointed me in the right direction.  
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Author Closing Comment

by:Winstink
ID: 35872670
problem was with SPF and the application was not sending out notifications.
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