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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Exchange 2003 and Hotmail

    My husband maintains an e-mail server running Exchange 2003, and for some reason, it has stopped sending messages to hotmail or msn domains. The messages show up in the Exchange System Manager SMTP queue, and when he clicks on "Force Connection," it doesn't do anything (no error messages--the messages just stay there). Reverse DNS is set up correctly, and he hasn't tried increasing the SMTP logging level, but he's going to try that now, based on a tip from a friend. Any other help? Please ask for more information if needed!!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Exchange 2003 and Hotmail

    Hopefully the IP address associated with the server has not gotten onto any "lists" of untrustworthy servers. There are many places to check, but one place to start is here: MAPS - Support - Lookup Tool

  3. #3
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    Re: Exchange 2003 and Hotmail

    Thanks for the tip. I just checked the IP address (70.88.64.77) on that site, and it's not listed. He also passed the DNS Black List Test and the SPF Test on dnsstuff.com, so we're hoping that's not the issue.

    Also, he tried telneting to port 25 from the e-mail server to any hotmail or msn mx record or mail.hotmail.com or mail.msn.com and that doesn't work--the connection is refused.

  4. #4
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    Problem Solved!

    My husband e-mailed Microsoft for Hotmail support, and (amazingly enough) got a response in less than 2 hours. Apparently, the problem was on Comcast's end, as they had listed the IP address as dynamic instead of static. So, a quick phone call to Comcast Business Support later, problem solved.

  5. #5
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    Re: Problem Solved!

    I'm RuthieB's (now RuthieS :-) husband mentioned above, and I just wanted to clarify (as it took a few days beyond her last post to finally resolve), that Hotmail actually blocked traffic from some Comcast IPs that are Business Class static IP addresses and were not supposed to be blocked. Comcast was not a fault, but Microsoft was. They were blocking all port 25 traffic coming from our IP address to any of the hotmail.com or msn.com MX servers, so we couldn't even open a connection. They stated that it was their error and that it would be fixed within 24 hours, although it took almost a week before we were able to get mail through. They did respond quickly to my emails even though their resolution took longer than I would have liked. Apparently it was a problem not limited to our IP but instead to many Comcast IPs that were static that they had blocked accidentally as dynamic (as a home user instead of a business, in other words).

    Intitially Comcast appeared to be at fault, according to Hotmail, but they each pointed back and forth at each other until I pointed out to Hotmail that we had a custom reverse DNS entry that we wouldn't have if we had a dynamic IP, and they came back and said, "hey, you're right, we're wrong, we'll get right on that" :-)

    Which also means, if you're trying to run a mailserver on a dynamic IP (Comcast home cable modem at the least), it's likely hotmail.com and msn.com outbound email will not arrive!

    Thanks for the suggestion, jscher2000! I used your link to do some checking during my few hours that night of troubleshooting and conversations!

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