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having major problems with the Queues in exchange 2003

Posted on 2012-03-20
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Last Modified: 2012-03-21
Ok we had a new sales person come in here and took it upon himself to send a mass email to over 6,000 people. And of course, the minute he did so our email shut down.

so here is what I have been experiencing.

The queue's in System Manager show 2004 queues. I stop SMTP services and go to the Queue folder and delete all messages in it.

I then turn back on SMTP and the system manager queue still show 2004 queues. I have about 5 minutes to delete some of the messages in the queus before my email server lags hard. I then have to turn off smtp again  and when i go back to the queues folder i only see like 90-200 messages in there, not 2004. (in the queues in system manager it seems like its mail going out however in the queue folder it seems as a "delay" NDR

this just goes in a loop.

things i have done.

I have uncheched  allow DR and NDR
I have put the user who sent the mass mail in the restricted "sender" and "recipient" fields.
In submit and relay I set the user as deny for both.

when none of this worked I then removed the user's email accounts, deleted him from active directory, and purged him.

still the same 2004 messages in the queue
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Question by:rickybeare
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by:kollenh
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It's been a while since I worked with Exchange 2003.  Have you tried these steps?  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/822944
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by:rickybeare
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Yes we have tried to freeze and delete queues (with no ndr). and of course SMTP has to be ON to be able to see these queues, but once again when we turn ON SMTP we have about 2 minutes until the server freezes because of all the 2004 queues.

when we do freeze and delete messages of course the queue goes down to lets say 1998, but once I have to stop the smtp to gain my server back from lagging, once I turn smtp back ON it still shows 2004 queues.
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by:rickybeare
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another thing i would like to add that makes no sense is when smtp is ON the email queues in the vsi1 queue folder show 0 file size, then as soon as smtp is turned back OFF, they go to 4,863kb, not really sure if this helps at all.
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by:kollenh
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The queues will come back; IIRC, it takes a while before Exchange tears down the queue connector even after there are no messages to send.  The question is do you still have messages pending in all of those queues?
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by:rickybeare
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ok for the first time I have been able to leave smtp on and not lag up the server, Im in the queues and was able to freeze all the queues email that has the 6332 total message size. Before I froze them I saw alot of them were on rdy status alot were on active status, and alot of them were on retry status, as of now they are on frozen status.

so after i froze them all it shows 1960 queues.  So I started deleting emails in the frozen queues and wierd thing is i go down the list, I get to queue 20 of 1960 and then a flicker happens and all those emails from 1 to 20 are back in there!

Do I ignore that for now and continue to keep going down the list deleting the emails?
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kollenh earned 500 total points
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I'm not sure but I *think* it's refreshing the System Manager but because the queues are frozen, it isn't refreshing accurate data.  I would roll through a bunch and then unfreeze and refresh ...see what happens.
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by:rickybeare
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Ok well I hope this response gets me somewhere, I did what you said, lets say 1700 of the queues are the 6 meg emails. I "paused" smtp, went to the queues and froze all the 6 meg emails, i would do 30 at a time, then i would highlight the 30 that i deleted the email from the frozen queue and then I would unfreeze, then i turn refresh rate back on (while freezing and deleting i turned refresh queue rate off) once it refreshes, the emails that I froze and deleted go to the "bottom" of the queue list as filze size saying 0 . also the total number of queues is going down as i go.

now lets refresh, i stated in the beginning that this salesperson sent a mass email to about 6,500 people, but the maximum ive seen in the queues is 2000, is this because the queue list has a limit of what you see at a time? can this be why i am thinking the same queues are coming back because in all reality its just allowing more of th 6,500 in?
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by:kollenh
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What do you mean you "Paused SMTP"?  I know your server is choking but unless you want to keep trying to manually clear the queues (stop service, delete files), you'll need Exchange/SMTP running to clear the queues.

Do you know about the Aqadmci tool from Microsoft?  I've never used it myself but apparently it's designed to deal with mass queue cleanup.  Here is a good example of how to use it.

You're dealing with 2,000 queues right, now 2,000 messages?  A queue will 'come back' every time a message needs to be sent to that domain.  If they're common domains for your company to send to, it's not surprising you see those queues come back.

If you're seeing 2,000 messages keep reappearing, yes it could be due to working it's way through the 6,000 message backlog.  Assuming your server has enough memory, they could have been queued up before you stopped the service & manually cleared the files.
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by:rickybeare
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Thank you very much kollenh for your help, your feedback helped alot, everything is back to normal.
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