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Exchange 2013 stops passing mail

Posted on 2015-02-23
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Last Modified: 2015-04-06
I have a windows 2012 server running exchange 2013. Within the last couple of months it would randomly stop passing email. There would be not mail flow at all. i would check the services and they would all be running and there would be nothing in the event view to show anything was wrong. Restarting the server didn't change anything. we found that if we disabled the NIC card and enabled it that mail flow would work. The server has 4 NIC slot on it. We change to every one of them thinking that it was the NIC that was causing the problem. But we go the same results on all four. we then install a new NIC card thing that it may be the on board network chip set, still the same problem. Also even though the mail flow stops we can still access the server through remote desktop and still get to the internet from the server. so with all of this said it has to be something in exchange that stopping or is corrupted and not causing a error to show. Has anyone seen or had this problem that can help me resolve it. Thanks
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Question by:bmic
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Adam Farage
ID: 40626127
You sure there is no back pressure being applied to the system?

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb201658%28v=exchg.150%29.aspx

Next time this happens do this:

Telnet <FQDN of Exchange Server OR IP Address> 25

if you get a "service down" or anything that is not the SMTP banner, then its back pressure. Most likely due to a number of things, but usually comes down to memory allocation / availability along with disk IO.
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Author Comment

by:bmic
ID: 40626208
I don't believe its back pressure we have 3.5tb of free HD space and 4.6GB of free memory that is not being used. As far as memory we are only using 21% of out memory....i will try the Telnet fqdn 25 when it goes down again and let you know the results.....
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Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 40626486
What is the next hop?
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Author Comment

by:bmic
ID: 40626513
the next hop is a ASA 5510. Then the our outside router then the internet. i dont believe its either one of those because when it stops sending and receiving email i can still remote desktop to it internally and externally using a vpn connection from outside. so the NIC card the ASA and the router are working correctly....
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Expert Comment

by:Amit
ID: 40626570
I don't think this is Exchange issue, it looks more to me network issue, it could be related to switch connected to this Exchange server. You might need check that as well.

If this is a VM server make sure all VM related tools are upto date.
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Author Comment

by:bmic
ID: 40626609
it not a VM server and its connected to a nortel POE stack that has all the servers and a couple of labs connected to it. Everything connected to that stack is working ( I.E internet, network browsing, network printing, ETC) the exchange server has and does all of the same function even when it stops passing email.....
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Expert Comment

by:Viral Rathod
ID: 40627992
Do you have any custom Receive connector created for Relay

If yes then try to disable that an check for issues.

Found Similar threads where Restarting the Microsoft Exchange Transport service gets mailflow working again.

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/exchange/en-US/cd03793b-9e99-474e-8f25-11275652882f/exchange-2013-stops-receiving-external-email-after-about-8-hours?forum=exchangesvradmin
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Author Comment

by:bmic
ID: 40628325
nothing special in the receive connector, but after restarting the transport service a few minutes later email started working again. So i believe the service is corrupted. also it only seems to happen at night when there is not a lot of traffic coming through the email server. Any suggestion on how to fix the transport service.
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Farage
ID: 40629813
Wait.. ASA 5510? Please tell me you turned off ESMTP markup right?

The Cisco ASA 5510 ESMTP inspection / markup will actually deform the SMTP packets, thus this needs to be turned off asap. I wrote about this about two years ago when I first saw it at a customer site, and scratched my head for two hours trying to figure it out..

http://exchangelaboratory.com/2013/04/20/troubleshooting-intra-org-smtp-traffic-issues-and-disabling-cisco-asa-esmtp-inspection/
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Author Comment

by:bmic
ID: 40630917
yes that is not configure on the ASA. the email server after resetting the transport service has not when down in 24hr. i don't think that solved the problem, but at least it's still working at this point.
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Accepted Solution

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bmic earned 0 total points
ID: 40701225
issue was resolved. the problem was a time difference between the two domain controllers. The time was off about 10 min and when email server tried to authenticate a user, using that server it would not authenticate because of time difference. Thanks for all your help....
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Author Closing Comment

by:bmic
ID: 40707939
figured out solution on my own
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