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End user can't receive e-mail from a specific company

I am experiencing an issue where a single individual in my office cannot seem to get e-mail from a specific company. He receives all other e-mail communications, just not from anyone at this particular company. I have been in touch with the IT contact at that company, and I had him send me an e-mail from the contact that is trying to e-mail to my user -- the e-mail did not come through to me either.

However, when the IT contact sent me an e-mail from the administrator account, it came through just fine. The administrator account can also send to my end user. I turned on message tracking to see if we could determine what the problem was. We had already ruled out DNS issues, mail intercept/quarantine programs and incorrect addresses.

In the message tracking, for the messages that do come through, there are seven lines of data tracking, beginning with the message being submitted to Advanced Queue and ending with the message delivery. For the messages that do not go through, there are only two lines in the message tracking log: Message submitted to advanced queuing and Started Message Submission to Advanced Queue. I don't know if this is indicative of my Exchange dropping the message because of something on my end. Perhaps something contained in the message header is triggering something. I just don't know.

Neither I nor the IT contact on the other end have the foggiest notion of why this problem exists only in mail from any account other than the administrator account at this particular company. Have you had this bizarre experience before? Willing to share your fix?
I have not had this bizarre experience before, but if I had, I would be willing to share the fix. Obviously, something is causing the messages to be dropped. The biggest culprits for missing e-mails are typically:

  • Delivery restrictions. Are there any restrictions on the mailboxes in terms of who to accept messages from?
  • Message filtering. Are you filtering out any messages, perhaps based on sender or domain?
  • Antivirus or anti-spam software. Have you checked those logs to see if one of these applications is killing the e-mail (or perhaps sending it to quarantine).
  • Mailbox views or rules. Are any views hiding the messages, or are the messages being killed because of a rule?

    Also, have you checked the badmail folder to see if any of the missing messages are in there? Do the senders ever get a Non Delivery Report (NDR)? If the senders turn on delivery receipts, do they get one? Have you tried turning on diagnostic logging to see if that yields any clues? Are there any restrictive policies on the sending or receiving e-mail server? Are both e-mail servers running Exchange? If you telnet to port 25 on your SMTP server and send a message via telnet using a FROM address that does not get delivered, does the message make it to the mailbox?

    I realize I've given you more questions than answers, so I hope some of this helps.

  • This was last published in August 2003

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