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Dealing with errors when sending mail

What to do when users have trouble sending mail.


Dealing with errors when sending mail
Adesh Rampat

When users get errors from a mail client, most likely they will not have a clue as to how to proceed to solve the problem. Bingo -- the phone rings on the help desk. So this article examines the various error messages a user may receive when sending an e-mail and possible solutions to the errors.

  1. If a user complains that he cannot send SMTP mail, then the most basic thing to do is to ensure that there is an SMTP address created for that user. Some firewalls allow for SMTP mail mappings. If no mail mappings are created, the user cannot send mail.

  2. If the user gets the following error message: <smtp 29999>: nameserver data inconsistency then this has to do with a DNS problem with the server on the receiving end. The simplest way to resolve this problem is to enter the IP address of the remote mail server into your mail routing configuration of the firewall. This will most probably resolve the problem.

  3. With Exchange 5.5, upgrading to Service Pack 4 can help resolve most mail delivery problems. This is because service pack 3 tends to have some mail delivery issues with the message transfer agent (MTA).

  4. Sometimes mail delivery problems can turn out to be a performance issue on the Exchange server. Use Performance Monitor to perform a baseline measurement of the performance of the Exchange mail queues to determine if the queues are performing slowly. The Microsoft knowledge base has several articles dealing with queues if this is the case.

Adesh Rampat has 10 years experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association Of Internet Professionals, the Institute For Network Professionals, and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.

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