MS Server 2003

Posted on 2012-03-13
Last Modified: 2012-03-16
I have being told by my boss that they are not getting emails, I checked the POP3 Connector and I see this : Messages in Failed Mail Folder, Value =188. They are telling me that the mailbox of all users are full, how do I clean and fix this problem.

Question by:jcbcompu1
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Andrew Davis
ID: 37718682
bit hard to tell from this exactly what the limit is, could be that you have reched store limit of could be the users mailbox limits

store limit see
Mailbox limit see

having said that, POP3 connector for exchange is a bad idea long term. The pop3 connector was only ever designed to be a temporary fix whilst you converted your domain to receive the mail via SMTP.

you really should look at converting away from external POP3 and getting the messages via SMTP connector, for this you will need to have your own email domain (eg. Most people who are using POP3 ongoing are doing so for false reasons, generally it is because they dont know how to do it correctly.

Reason 1.
if our server goes down we wont receive emails.... Well if your server goes down you wont get the email via pop3 either, but once you get your server back up any emails that have been sent will start to flow. when a sending server is unable to deliver the message it will continue to try for a period of time (Days or weeks each server can be configured differently), if after all this time it still is unable to send then the sender will get notified that the message could not be delivered. As oposed to it going to a pop3 somewhere and them thinking that you got it when you didnt.

if we get it via SMTP then spam will increase.... Maybe. But this is because you are relying on the POP3 provider to filter for you. There are plenty of spam filtering options out there that can act as an inline filter for you ( ) . This way all incoming messages are still being cleaned before delivery to your server.


Author Comment

ID: 37719534
Hi Andrew, I have heard that, how hard is it and how long you think it will take to do.
Any procedures, instructions ?

LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Andrew Davis
ID: 37719695
Do you already have your own domain for email that you are hosting with pop3 service or are you using theirs.

If you have your own it is simple,  and takes about an hour of test and set.

Assuming you have your own domain, you will need access to whoever is hosting the dns for the domain (this is different from the dns for your internal network).

step 1. Ensure that hour server is receiving email by SMTP. From a client computer, internal to your network, open a command prompt and type telnet {ip of server} 25
you should get a reply from the server. If so move to next step, if not let me know..

Step 2. In your router port forward port 25 to your server internal ip. If you are not sure then I would need to know your router make and model to assist.
Test your port forwarding by telnet from a computer external to your network. Telnet {your external ip}  25
you should get a reply as before.  
Now that you know this works,  you are ready to receive emails from the outside world.

Step 3. Get your dns provider to change the mx record for your domain to your external ip address.

Leave pop3 connector in place for 48 hours as due to dns propagation you will receive emails via both for a period until all sending servers have updated their records.

That's it in a nutshell.
Hope their's not too many typo's above, but I am typing this on my phone keyboard.

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Author Comment

ID: 37723141
Hi Andrew, great. I was able to do the first step but before to continue, how can I make sure I don't have what we are trying to do. Is there anyway to verify that.
One question. You are saying to port forward my port 25 to my server internal ip, is there any risk opening this port.
Also, I need to clean the mailboxes on this server. Doing this change won't fix that problem right ?

I will continue when you get back to me.
You guys don't have a service to remotely access a computer so you can verify everything easier. Let me know, even if its a fee based.

LVL 18

Accepted Solution

Andrew Davis earned 100 total points
ID: 37723276
you are right doing this will not rectify your underlying problem for that we need to fix the reason. as originally stated this can be a couple of reasons.

"You guys don't have a service to remotely access a computer so you can verify everything easier. "  EE do not have this as a service.
I personally am a consultant whilst the EE rules state "5f. Advertising, promoting in any way or offering to sell any goods or services for any commercial purpose.  Strictly prohibited" But as i didnt offer, advertise, or promote. I will hope that the EE gods look favourably on me if i simply ask you to email me outside EE for this. my email is

However i will try to answer your questions here.
for the SMTP configuration
step 1. Ensure that your server is receiving email by SMTP.
From a client computer, internal to your network, open a command prompt and type telnet {ip of server} 25
you should get a reply from the server. that looks something like below.

"220 Microsoft ESMTP MAIL Service, Version: 6.0.3790.4675 ready at  T
hu, 15 Mar 2012 11:58:42 +0930"

if so you are good.

Cleanup your pop3.

Step 1. fix the cause
store limit see
Mailbox limit see

Step 2.
Open Windows Explorer. To open Windows Explorer, click Start, point to
All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Windows Explorer.

Step 3.
Browse to the following folder: \Program files\Microsoft Small Business
Server\Networking\POP3, and then move files from the Failed Mail folder to
the Incoming Mail folder.

The Microsoft Connector for POP3 Mailboxes reattempts delivery of
failed POP3 mail at the next scheduled download. To force the connector to
reattempt delivery immediately, on the Scheduling tab, click Retrieve Now.

Hope that helps.

Author Comment

ID: 37724428
Ok Andrew, I check the limit size for every mailbox user and I had set it up at 175000 KB to issue a warning and 190000 to prohibit to send emails. but how do I know how much each mailbox is taking and if its reaching this limits.
I also check this folder : \Program files\Microsoft Small Business
Server\Networking\POP3, and there are like 30-40 files but only 2 from 2012, I guess I can delete them right ?
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Andrew Davis
ID: 37724464
To check sizes go into exchange system manager and expand out to mailboxes. Here you can see the sizes.

Yes you can likely delete the old messages, if you want to check you can open them with a mail viewer like outlook express.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37728726
Andrew was excellent, very knowledgeable person. Did everything he said and it worked like a charm. Thanks

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