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  • Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installation

    Hi Daniel,

    I have been an avid fan of your tutorials and expert advice. I am a brand new Exchange Admin and have done a brand new setup which i'll describe as below.

    I haven't found a complete solution to the problems i'm facing on the installation and hence i think i'll try and create a full blown post for everyone.

    Or e-mails are currently hosted by 3rd party providers and i'm setting up the e-mails servers in my companys premises. I have created a brand new Exchange installation and have been facing teething problems mainly with Incoming E-mails.

    The setup is as follows:

    Server-1 (NAT Server)
    2 network cards
    External NIC card connected to and External IP asigned by ISP
    Internal NIC card connected to the internal network (192.168.100.x) network
    IP - 192.168.100.254 (My default gateway)

    Server -2 (DNS/AD server)
    IP address -- 192.168.100.50
    This server is acting as the DNS and AD server for the network.
    The internal domain has been defined as apr.local

    Server-3 (Exchange 2003 + SP2 server)
    IP address --- 192.168.100.5
    This server is my e-mail server

    I have natting and port forwading (ports 25 and 80) set on my nat server.
    I have configured a recipient policy on the Exchange server which has adfactorspr.com set as the external e-mail domain.

    I have configured new MX Records for my new domain ie. owamail.adfactorspr.com with a preference setting of 5. I still have the 3rd party MX records set at preference of 0.

    Now the problems that i've not been able to resolve
    1. I am able to send e-mail to external domains ----- but e-mails are not being delivered to my my email addresses.
    2. Some e-mails are being delivered at random.
    3. When i send a message from my exchange organisation, replies do not com back from eg. gmail.... I get NDRs in gmail
    4. I'm not able to login into OWA from an external browser.
    5. OWA asks for authentication contnuously and then times out with a message saying 'you don't have permission'

    Request to all the experts including Daniel ofcourse, I'm sure i'm making a silly mistake somewhere b'cause of which the mailing systems is behaving ackwardly.

    Could you kindly help all of us with sequential instructions on how to get an exchange system working on the Internet.

    Many thanks in advance

    Regards

  • #2
    Re: Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installati

    Originally posted by avidblogger View Post
    I have configured new MX Records for my new domain ie. owamail.adfactorspr.com with a preference setting of 5. I still have the 3rd party MX records set at preference of 0.
    I think you meant the opposite. The adfactorspr.com MX records show owamail.adfactorspr.com at the cost of 0 and the next one was 5.

    Either way, when I telnet into owamail.adfactorspr.com at port 25 I do not get any response which means that there is something not opened in the firewall into the Exchange server. Make sure all the services are running including the Microsoft Exchange Information Store, and re-check the firewall ports.

    -Eli

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installati

      Hi Kingbear,

      Thanks for pointing out my goof-up....... absolutely new to this and hence the slip..... Anyways, i just changed the MX record back to priority of 5, because users in my organisation are having problems with e-mail...... mail delivery and receipt is very slow......

      Now as suggested by you, i have enabled ports forwarding on the External NIC on the RRAS console. I have ports 25 and 80 forwarded to the internal exchange server IP --- 192.168.100.5 an i'm still not able to telnet to this server....

      Can u tell me where are the other points of failure that i need to chk....

      or what could be a better option of connecting my exchange server to the internet....

      I have a broadband connection and a static IP.

      Wuz wondering as to do i need to enable SMTP services on the NAT and DNS/AD boxes for external e-mail to get into my exchange server....

      Also ----- a very stupid question.... "How do i attach an image captured on my PC and load it on this board "

      Thanks for all the help....
      Regards

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installati

        Hi there,

        If im not mistaken, if you want to nat mail server then you have to consider about some port such as : active directory port, netbios port even icmp port. If you have a firewall then you have to allow that port.

        Regards,

        Ojeg

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installati

          Hi Ojeg,

          Appreciate the observation, but i don't have any firewall....

          i just have a Server with 2 NICs ------

          one connected to the static IP given by the ISP and the other Internal NIC connected to the internal network.

          I have RRAS enabled on this server with ports 25 and 80 forwarded to the IP ---- 192.168.100.5 which is the Exchange server's IP.

          Regards

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installati

            You say you are running OWA. Are you using FBA (Forms Based Authentication)? Open and forward port 443 to the Exchange server.

            To upload an image.
            Click image for larger version

Name:	attache_image.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	27.1 KB
ID:	463075

            Click on the paperclip again to attach it. Please save file as a JPG so as to save loading time for dialup users and space on this database. Ta.
            1 1 was a racehorse.
            2 2 was 1 2.
            1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
            2 2 1 1 2

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installati

              Hi there.

              Just trying to imagine your network.
              1. Broadband connection to server on NIC 1.
              2. NIC 2 on the server connected to a hub or switch.
              3. Your DNS etc Server and Exchange Server connected to same switch\hub

              Is this right?

              Next, I would test connectivity. This will lead you to the right path to fix.

              DNS
              So, from the outside world, we should look at your DNS to see how mail gets to your server. Currently, DNS says mail should choose any of:
              0 spam.netbizsystems.net.
              5 owamail.adfactorspr.com.
              10 webmail.adfactorspr.com.
              10 spamnet.netbizsystems.us.

              This is the order of mail server that any message would choose. Should the spam service from your ISP be first? Does it scan and then forward to your mailserver? You might need to confirm how this works with your ISP.

              This might also explain the randomness of your incoming mail. Most mail will firstly go to spam, but a few will come in via your owamail server, and so on.

              I'm not sure what your spam service does but the 'usual' way to order your DNS MX records are something like:
              10 owamail.adfactorspr.com.
              20 webmail.adfactorspr.com.
              30 spamnet.netbizsystems.us.
              40 spam.netbizsystems.net.

              ... so that mail generally comes to your two mail servers first and then only if you are down does mail go to your ISP for later forwarding back to you.


              CONNECTIVITY
              I couldn't connect to your owamail and webmail servers from the outside world. They might presently be down because you are testing?

              If not, then you'll need to sort this out too. From your dual NIC machine that connects to the Internet and your internal network, you should use PING and TRACERT to ensure that you can get to your two internal machines (owamail and webmail).

              Once that is sorted, do a connectivity test from the outside world. www.dnsreport.com is very good for this.


              If you can sort these two stages out, then you should be fine for email flow. Well, inbound anyway.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installati

                If it was me I would start by dumping the idea of trying to NAT through a Windows server. Windows makes a pretty poor firewall/NAT device.
                Get a router to begin with, even one of the basic Linksys devices and use that for NAT. Then set all the servers to use that router as their default gateway.
                Life will be so much easier.

                Simon.
                --
                Simon Butler
                Exchange MVP

                Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
                More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
                Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
                In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

                Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installati

                  Hi Sembee,

                  Thanks for the tip ... yes i wud like to have a linksys router in place , but budget constraints at the moment .....

                  By the way i did sort out the port 25 problem.....

                  Well to document this......

                  I have a direct cable from my ISP's router to the external NIC on the NAT server. Incidently, the route entry of my private network (192.168.100.x) was not updated on the router tables and hence it was blocking port 25 from coming into my exchange server.....

                  However, i'm still not able to receive replies from external mail like gmail, or yahoo into my exchange server.....

                  In the meanwhile i'm trying to get screenshots of my settings so that u and all the experts can see them and help me with any mistakes i've made so far....

                  I'm sure i've made a lotta mistakes


                  in the meanwhile i wud like to ask a few more questions ....

                  DNS
                  So, from the outside world, we should look at your DNS to see how mail gets to your server. Currently, DNS says mail should choose any of:
                  0 spam.netbizsystems.net.
                  5 owamail.adfactorspr.com.
                  10 webmail.adfactorspr.com.
                  10 spamnet.netbizsystems.us.

                  As observed by Robby
                  The situation gos like this .....

                  We currently have our mail servers hosted 3rd party and they are routed through the servers at spam.netbizsystems.us ...... and we have live users at our office with POP3 settings on outlook to grab the mail........ I do not want to disturb mail transfer by setting my MX at 0 currently, till such time my exchange server is online .....

                  Now if i set owamail.adfactorspr.com with priority of 0, wud'nt it hamper the current flow of mails ?? and why is my id [email protected] not being routed to the MX record at 5 ir. owamail.adfactorspr.com.....

                  From what i understand by robby, if my server has a priority of 5, any e-mail will first try the MX record with priority of 0, and if it doesn't find the designated e-mail id on the first mail server then it'll try the next mail server.....

                  Now what i've observed is that, when i send an e-mail out from say [email protected] to [email protected], the following happens.

                  1. My e-mail from [email protected] reaches the [email protected] id.
                  2. but when i reply back from gmail, i get an NDR at gmail, saying that the server at spam.netbizsystems.net has not found the user id [email protected] and is hence returning the mail.......

                  So how do i get this priority problem solved ......

                  Thanks

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installati

                    It seems to me you need to make up your mind where you want your e-mail being delivered to. I have never seen MX records as messed up as yours. Normally if all you have is one Exchange server, then that should be your only MX record, due to the fact that there is nowhere else for your mail to go. When I recently set up my first exchange server, I used a test domain (my domain followed by the word "mail.com) to make sure everything was setup properly, and only in a few weeks will I actually make the switchover. So whatever you plan on doing you have to set the MX records to that server. If it's Exchange, then delete all the other MX records. Make sure that the proper mailboxes are setup on the Exchange server, and assuming everything is configured properly, you should be able to start receiving e-mails from anyone.

                    Based on an SMTPDiag I just ran, your owamail.adfactorspr.com MX record seems to be working fine, but your webmail.adfactorspr.com MX record is incorrect. Therefore, if you remove the spam filters and only leave the owamail.adfactorspr.com (which is actually the external address of your exchange server which is located at tech-exchange.apr.local), you should be able to receive messages coming back to you. Now your exchange server should not be returning tech-exchange.apr.local, rather it should be returning something like owamail.adfactorspr.com. I can't remember off the top of my head where to change that, but I believe it's in the initial configuration of Exhange mail.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installati

                      Thank you

                      Kingbear,

                      totally understood, but i wanted a small clarification, regarding the sequence in which mail delivery happens..

                      Can't we have a fallover procedure wherein, certain e-mails are routed to certian MX records ........

                      I understand, these maybe stupid questions, but we can only gain from the Experts Experience's...

                      Thank you again

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installati

                        I am very far from being an Exchange expert. In fact, that's what I'm doing at this site - getting expert help on Exchange issues. I happen to come across your post so I thought I would answer.

                        If you want a failover you can set the Exchange server to be Priority of 10 and the 3rd party hosting to be a priority of 20, but then your users will need to access their exchange mailboxes AND their 3rd party hosting mailboxes. That would be insane! Like I said earlier, you must decide where you want the mail to go.

                        Another possible solution, is that it seems that you are having all your mail routed through a SPAM filter, so you can tell that SPAM filter (netbizsystems.us - which BTW I couldn't find any info on them on the net) to send your messages to owamail.adfactorspr.com when it's done checking them for SPAM. The upside of this would be that it will probably hold and spool your messages if your exchange server happens to be down. Even if you don't want to do that, rather have the messages go directly to your exchange server, you still don't have to worry too much about e-mails getting lost, because most sending servers will keep trying to send the message for up to 24-48 hours before it gives up. So a simple reboot of the Exchange server won't cause you to lose any messages.

                        -Eli

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Problems of Incoming/Outgoing E-mails - Brand new Exchange Server 2003 Installati

                          Fail over on MX records for incoming SMTP records simply does not exist.

                          In theory, all email should go to the server listed with the lowest cost first, and only if that server is not available does it go to the servers with the higher cost.

                          In practise, that doesn't happen.
                          Email will go to all of the MX record servers.
                          Spam in particular will go to the higher record MX servers.

                          Therefore my suggestion is that you remove all of your MX records except for the one to your Exchange server. Set its cost to 10 as some sites cannot cope with 0.

                          A correctly built Exchange server on a good ISP should mean that you don't have to worry about outages. If you are down for more than 48 hours then you have bigger things to worry about.

                          Is your budget that tight that you cannot get a cheap router for $30? If you have a cable modem then you only need a standard router and it will make life a lot easier.

                          Simon.
                          --
                          Simon Butler
                          Exchange MVP

                          Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
                          More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
                          Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
                          In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

                          Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

                          Comment

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