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Serious Exchange delivery problem

By Shanghai Sam ·

I have an exchange 5.5 server with SP4 installed. All patches installed, too.

My ISP keeps a backup of the received messages while my Exchange Mail server is offline. The ISP sends the messages to the Mail Server when it is becomes available.

The Problem
Today 2/04/2002 a user complained that he received a message from a hotmail account that was sent on Thu 5 Jul 2001. Actually the message header displayed the following:
from mail pickup service by with
Microsoft SMTPSVC; Thu, 5 Jul 2001
13:13:51 -0700
from by
with HTTP; Thu, 05 Jul 2001 20:13:51 GMT

Does it mean that my MAIL SERVER received this message a year ago? What caused the late delivery to the client?

The user said that he uses Netscape and connects with POP3 (everyday) to the mail server. Also, he has not enabled any "leave messages at server option". He said that he accesses the messages only from his computer.

What happened
Yesterday, we faced a serious problem with exchangeserver and we had to restart at least 6 times in row. It crashed - SERVER hangup! I checked my log files with event viewer and it reported that my exchange had lost connection with my primary domain controller and could not log in but this problem is normal.

Obviously Exchange reset something inside that caused that old mail to pop up (from queue? - I do not know).

Is it possible that the message was sent by my backup ISP service?

Is it possible that SENDERS PC DATE/TIME WAS WRONG IN THE FIRST PLACE? Can this cause a problem?

I had the same problem with Exchange 5.0, 2 years ago.

Thanks in advance.

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Serious Exchange delivery problem

by dmiles In reply to Serious Exchange delivery ...

Consider that the message may have been part of the back up and was the last message recieved before backup and was never delivered,but it would not explained why the message was not retrieved after the backup was completed.

Any number of the afore mention possibilities could be true,and also possible that the reciepient could have received the message and saved it for future reference.

You may not find the exact cause,but it may be wortwhile to consider updating the service pack to 6.It may be a bug in the software,that has been addressed in the latest updates.

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Serious Exchange delivery problem

by curlergirl In reply to Serious Exchange delivery ...

It's really hard to say which of your possible explanations is THE one. I doubt, though, that this message came from your ISP's backup server, unless your Exchange server is routinely off-line for periods of time that would cause the ISP's backup server to store a LOT of messages. Even so, the ISP's backup server would generally be programmed to deliver all messages within 7 days or else return them to the sender as undeliverable. It certainly could be that the sender's date/time was wrong, although from the header that you supplied above, it actually looks like the hotmail server was the one that date-stamped the message with the 2001 date. It's also possible - maybe more likely - that this message had a damaged header and might have actually caused your Exchange problems when it was received. SP4 of Exchange handles messages with damaged headers pretty well, usually, but this one might have made it choke. It could also have been stuck in Exchange as an uncommitted message fromsome prior time and when you had to restart your Exchange services yesterday, this uncommitted message was finally coughed out into your info store. It might even be that this message dates back to your Exchange problems 2 years ago - was this before or after July 5, 2001? Just a thought. . .Anyway, unless this type of thing reoccurs, I would say it's probably an isolated incident caused by one of these events that will be very unlikely to happen again. Hope this helps!

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