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  • How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

    Hi Experts,

    **When a user complains that he is not able to send/receive email, then what are the steps do we need to take care of?

    Actually in my org, 30 MB servers(Exchange 2003), 5 FE servers(Exchange 2003), and 6 SMTP Gateway servers (Exchange 2003) are there. And after that we've configured Sprint on a different server. All the SMTP servers ahve Symantec AV software installed to check for virus affected email.

    Now if such** kind of issues are logged by the users then we are bound to transfer the calls to the seniors (who are not at all willing to reveal the STEPS TO BE TAKEN TO TRACE THE ROOT CAUSE AND TROUBLESHOOT THE ISSUE)!!!!

    Whereas, mail recovery/mailbox recovery and others tasks are done by me...

    So, Please please can anybody suggest me how should I approach these problem instead of passing the calls to the seniors???

    I am good at Sprint, and Exchange configurations, so no issues with the technical terms. I NEED SOME HINTS ON APPROACHING THE ISSUE..Hopefully you peoples are not like my seniors..

  • #2
    Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

    The "seniors" may know about things that are happening that you don't (servers offline etc) so I would make sure they know as an outage affects the business and it is probably your job to pass on this info.

    Having said that there are many things.
    Make sure the user is sending the email to a valid address, make sure outlook is not offline, make sure the local AV/AS hasn't caused an issue, message tracking on exchange shows a lot of info, queues on exchange, relay servers, AV/AS on the servers plus externally, DNS issues, etc etc
    cheers
    Andy

    Please read this before you post:


    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for your reply.

      FYI, We are the L2 engineers in E2k3. Basically we are suppose to get their support in reslving these issues. And we do restoration of lost emails/deleted mb, reconnecting mb with users, adding entries to SMTP Relay servers, and many more. The only thing which troubles me is email routing issues. I have the access to AS sw, I do check queues, and for that issues only I needed some helps.

      Moreover, seniors don't mean L3 engineers, they are L2 only but senior to me in terms of work experience.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

        Ok fair enough.
        Message tracking is obviously a great resource but each case can be different. I would start with creating a good diagram detailing the connections etc. Once you know how the messages actually go out then you can follow mails though and find out where they stop.
        cheers
        Andy

        Please read this before you post:


        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

          Hi Andy,

          Thanks for ur help. Now here comes the rewal one:

          One user is complaining that he is not receiving some of the emails from external domains recipients. The whole domain is not blocked, eg. receiving email from [email protected] but unable to receive the mail from [email protected].

          I checked in the Queue of SMTP gateway server (Exchange 2003, w.o. SP), then checked in Sprint but no luck. Later found that emails are coming but somehow they are disappearing from the mailbox within a few seconds. There is no Delete/Redirect rule defined in the Inbox.

          Can you please guide me how to trace this issue? It'll be a great help for me.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

            AntiVirus/AntiSpam would be a first.

            Why on earth isn't Exchange service packed as well?
            cheers
            Andy

            Please read this before you post:


            Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

              Wow! That was real fast!

              Well, actually according to my first post in this thread, all Mailbox servers are patched up with SP2, then all the OWA, i.e. Front-end servers and SMTP Relay servers, i.e. our bridgehead servers are not patched up. I don't have any idea on that why they din't patched up those servers.

              And I forgot to mention one more thing: that mailbox is shared by 5 users. And the problem is happening with all those user.

              Now if you want I can attach the Sprint's configuration details (Rules details).

              **What are things you will suggest me to check in the AV/AS settings?

              You are a lifesaver. You know what this is a Secerity-3 ticket. So I've this Saturday and Sunday with me. Please help me if you have time...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

                Don't forget to investigate anti-spam appliances.
                ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

                  If the mailbox is managed by 5 users are you sure that someone isn't deleting the emails from the inbox or that someone hasn't setup a PST file somewhere for delivery???

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

                    Hi wullieb1,

                    Sorry for the delayed response. Actually I was waiting for some approval.

                    Anyway, none of them are using pst. because it's a scientific R&D company which deals in cell, stem,genetics, etc.

                    So PST is not allowed to be configured.

                    I also checked with the AV/AS appliances, and found nothing important.

                    The main thing I found is the emails are being delivered to the mailbox but disappearing within a few seconds!!!!! Isn't that a surprising issue?

                    Can anyone help me to sort out this?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

                      Firstly, you really should get all Exchange servers at the same patch level. There is no excuse not to.

                      How do you block PST files? If a machine isn't on the domain it wouldn't get a GPO for example.

                      If they get to the mailbox and disappear these really are the most likely reasons even if you don't think they are possible.

                      1. Local PST
                      2. POP3 downloading locally
                      3. Rule
                      cheers
                      Andy

                      Please read this before you post:


                      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

                        Hi Andy,

                        I checked whatever possible aspects u've mentioned in ur post.

                        => There is no PST configured for the user since it is against the company ethics.
                        => All the Exchange Servers have same level of SP and Patches installed in them.
                        => I checked with the rules in Outlook, but found none of them.

                        Solution: I recreated a new profile for the user, and then resolved that issue.

                        Please suggest me if I am wrong anywhere or I could have done it in some other simple way!

                        Thanks a million to all.......

                        Anupam

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

                          Just because PST is against ethics doesn't mean it wasn't being used. A new profile would have removed the PST setup but only if it was that user causing the issue.

                          You wrote "SMTP gateway server (Exchange 2003, w.o. SP)" so that said to me it was without service pack. Either way as long as they are that is good.

                          "Outlook /cleanrules" may have helped to check.
                          If it is working now though it does make it harder to diagnose. Did you scan the machine for PSTs?
                          cheers
                          Andy

                          Please read this before you post:


                          Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

                            I tried the command, but no joy!

                            Ethics, I mean the user are not permitted to create one. Yeah, I scanned for existing PST files, but didn't find anyone of them. I said w.o. SP and it was correct. But recently on last 25TH night we've installed SP and new patches in all those SMTP servers.

                            Do you feel that, the absence of SP and Patches might cause this problem for one user? I am new to this issue actually and might have asked this stupid question. Please don't mind.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How do we trouble shoot mail flow problem??

                              I don't feel the absence would cause this issue it was just for general Exchange health.
                              If a new profile fixes it then it implies it was a local issue. If there were definitely no PST files then I would only guess AV/AS software or a rule. We can't check these anymore so will just have to be happy it is working again!
                              cheers
                              Andy

                              Please read this before you post:


                              Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

                              Comment

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