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Confused with sbs2003 exchange setup / dns

Posted on 2011-09-02
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi.. Im probably doing something very dumb but am having a problem receiving mail in my exchange.  I have set up MX records for autodiscover.domain.dom and remote.domain.dom with a records for both.  i have run the internet and email wizard and tried to repair the system, but I just keep getting mail undeliverable its been a while since i played with SBS 2003.. spoilt by SBS 2K8! anyway, I have the error 5.1.2 bad destination host DNS Hard error looking up remote.clarusprojects.co.uk but if I ping it, it comes back with my ip address.. must be the exchange server not recognizing the email address at domain name (xyz@clarusprojects.co.uk) .  any help gratefully accepted.

Thanks.. Omar
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Question by:OmarSenussi
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davorin earned 250 total points
ID: 36474974
If you look at www.mxtoolbox.com it seems that you have invalid DNS records for your domain names. Both are pointing to 0.0.0.0!!!
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Author Comment

by:OmarSenussi
ID: 36475188
Strange.. this is the result of my query..:

autodiscover.clarusprojects.co.uk   86.144.70.233

24 hrs
reported by ns0.phase8.net on Friday, September 02, 2011 at 1:24:15 PM (GMT-5)

a:remote.clarusprojects.co.uk  a  

remote.clarusprojects.co.uk  86.144.70.233 (outside of my firewall/router)
24 hrs
Reported by ns0.phase8.net on Friday, September 02, 2011 at 1:23:40 PM (GMT-5)
a:clarusprojects.co.uk     85.233.160.70 hosting co.
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Author Comment

by:OmarSenussi
ID: 36475220
Oh.. I see what you mean.. I'll have to have a word with the hosting co... thanks..  I was checking the A records.
Will let you know
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Assisted Solution

by:footech
footech earned 250 total points
ID: 36475275
Yep, if the names you gave above are correct.  Your MX records are missing an "r", i.e they're pointing to .clausprojects.co.uk instead of .clarusprojects.co.uk.
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Author Comment

by:OmarSenussi
ID: 36476415
Oh man! I said it was probably something dumb!

Thanks guys.. I think I need a new pair of glasses .. and maybe a brain transplant!

While I'm here, I don't need to have a reference to the clarusprojects.co.uk in my internal DNS do I? my internal domain is clarus.local.. should I have a OU for clarusprojects.co.uk?
strange that OWA and RWW both work fine..

Thanks again for your help
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by:davorin
ID: 36476481
No. You should have that if your internal domain name was the same as external.
Again you don't need to have two host names listed as MX records (remote and autodiscovery) if they are actually the same server (IP address). Two different MX records you normally use if you have second backup SMTP server which have higher MX value. Autodiscovery DNS record is used only by external outlook clients to automatically discover/setup exchange account.
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Expert Comment

by:footech
ID: 36476487
For basic operation, no you don't need to have a Forward Lookup Zone for clarusprojects.co.uk.  Or an OU, but that's a different matter.

However, if you want to utilize things like Outlook over the Internet (Outlook Anywhere, HTTP over RPC) without having to reconfigure your client each time they switch between inside the network and outside, then I would suggest yes, it would very helpful to configure the Forward Lookup Zone and add entries for remote and autodiscover that point to your internal IP instead of the public IP.  

The only caveat here is that if you have web pages or other resources that live in the clarusprojects.co.uk domain that are externally hosted, you will need to create entries for them as well that point to their (public) IP, and these will need to be updated manually if they ever change.  You may see this referred to as a "split DNS".  Actually, I think I have come up with a way around this last issue.  Instead of creating a zone called "clarusprojects.co.uk", create one called "remote.clarusprojects.co.uk".  Then create a single host (A) record that uses "same as parent" and point it to the internal IP.  Do the same thing for "autodiscover.clarusprojects.co.uk".  This allows only these names to be resolved, while anything that ends with just "clarusprojects.co.uk" will still be resolved by external DNS.  To be honest, I've only run this through one test scenario, and it appeared to work great, but I haven't implemented it on my production system yet, so I can't guarantee it, but the logic is sound.

As a side note, maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but I don't think autodiscover will work with Exchange 2003, even if you're using Outlook 2007 or 2010.
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by:davorin
ID: 36476516
Sorry, normally I do not comment other posts. Footech is right, but only in case if your router does not support DNS loopback, which is really rare case.
You can simply check that with this procedure:
If your owa can be accessed from internet at address https://remote.clarusprojects.co.uk/exchange (or https://remote.clarusprojects.co.uk/owa if SBS 2008) try to access the same address from internal network. If you are able to access it, your router is DNS loopback capable.
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by:footech
ID: 36477434
@ davorin - No problem.  Discussion is always helpful for clarification.  You're absolutely correct.  Personally I like to implement it even when the router supports loopback, since equipment can change.  And I've experienced the issue enough to always keep it in mind.
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Author Closing Comment

by:OmarSenussi
ID: 36499472
Once again thanks all round.
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