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Easy mail server changes

Here's an easy way to change everyone's e-mail settings while running Windows 2003 Server.

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We recently encountered a headache when our e-mail provider lost one of its servers. After two full days of no e-mail, we were forced to move to a new hosting company. This meant going to each computer and changing the POP3 & SMTP settings.

Everything seemed fine for a few weeks, and then our DSL provider decided to change the naming of the SMTP server we used to relay our mail. So, this meant another trip around the office to each computer. I thought to myself, "There must be a better way!" What I came up with was this:

We have a Windows 2003 Server doing internal DNS for use. Under the forward lookup zones, I added two new entries, one for pop3.mycompany.local and one for smtp.mycompany.local. On my second trip around the office, I simply changed everyone's e-mail settings to the ones I had just created, so if any changes are needed in the future I only have to change it once! Some may call me lazy, but you have to conserve time when you are the entire IT staff!

Steps:

Server Side
1) Open DNS and expand your Forward Lookup Zones.
2) Find your internal domain name (i.e. yourcompany.local) & Right Click
3) Choose New Host (A)...from the list
4) Enter in a name like POP3 or SMTP and give it the correct IP address of your REAL mail server
5) Click the Add Host button and repeat this for the other mail server.

Client Side
1) Open your client E-mail program (i.e. Outlook 2003)
2) Under the mail settings input the POP3 and SMTP names you had just added to your DNS server.

That's it! Good luck!

This was last published in July 2005

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