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    Problem receiving emails with attachments


    I've come across an annoying problem, and wanted to see if anyone else has had a similar experience.

    The problem I'm having is receiving email from anyone on the Comcast ISP. It doesn't necessarily have to be from *@comcast.net, just through their email servers.

    The strange part is... it's only emails with attachments. Users using Comcast can email us all day long successfully without attachments, but they get a bounceback if they try to send us anything even with smaller (less then 2~3 mb) attachments.

    It's not usually a hard bounce initially - it's a "this message has been delayed" message. According to System Manager tracking, the messages never make it to our Exchange box.

    I may just have to put a call into Comcast, but I just wanted to check for any suggestions first. Thanks.

    Usually the first bounces are in the form of:
    Delivery to the following recipient is still underway after 24.8 hour(s)
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    What kind of mail server are you running? Can we get information regarding the actual error clients are getting?
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    Originally Posted by seack79
    What kind of mail server are you running? Can we get information regarding the actual error clients are getting?
    The only errors they've specifically reported are the "Delivery to the following recipient is still underway after xx.x hour(s)" and then after a certain period, a "this message cannot be delivered in the time specified" message. I'll see if I can get any more details on that.

    We're running an Exchange 2003 SP2 box (version 6.5 / build 7638.2).
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    It's been a while since I've used Exchange but you might want to check under mail properties and verify the size limit for incoming mail isn't too low. You can try adjusting the UCE filter set tings but I doubt that's it. There should be a way to add Comcast's mail servers to some kind of safe list in the Exchange management console to test that out.
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    Originally Posted by seack79
    It's been a while since I've used Exchange but you might want to check under mail properties and verify the size limit for incoming mail isn't too low. You can try adjusting the UCE filter set tings but I doubt that's it. There should be a way to add Comcast's mail servers to some kind of safe list in the Exchange management console to test that out.
    I checked and the incoming size limit is set to 15MB. There were two attachments to this email, one is 9MB and one is 9KB, so that doesn't appear to be the problem. I haven't looked at the UCE yet.

    Something else I just discovered, and I have no idea what this means...

    had the individual using Comcast resend the message to two of my email addresses on different systems (internal and gmail), and also two co-workers. When she resent it, I received it at both of my addresses, but my co-workers did not, and the three of us are all on the same Exchange box and mailbox store. When I look the message up in my Outlook, it clearly has all four proper email addresses listed. But when I look that message up in the Exchange "Message Tracking Center", it only shows it was sent to me... ?
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    Check your public MX records, you don't have any inaccurate or retired entries in there do you? I ask because it sounds like sometimes mail gets routed your mail server gets routed properly and other times it doesnt. If thats fine, what do the exchange logs arouns that time indivate; I know you said the tracking queue showed only mail destined to you but the logs may give some more info.
    Last edited by seack79; October 17th, 2011 at 07:57 PM.
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    Sorry, I missed this reply. I checked our MX at mxtoolbox.com and it only shows the IP address of our server here. PTR record looks right as well. If there is anything else I need to check there please let me know.

    As far as the exchange logs, I can handle most Exchange administration, but I fully admit I'm not an expert at all of the intricacies of the different logs and such. Is there a certain log in particular I should focus on? Thanks in advance.

    FYI Just another example of this, we had the same client send us an email on Monday 10/17 at 9:55AM. It had an attachment of approximately 5MB in size (our limit per email is 15MB). It showed up in my inbox, but not until 10/20 at 2:13AM...
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    In Outlook view the message header for that email and post the contents here so we can review the path the message took. Check here for instructions on how to do it.
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    Slightly redacted to protect the innocent. If I removed anything necessary, let me know and I can PM it. I try to be as careful as I can when it comes to security. Thanks for trying to help out.

    Microsoft Mail Internet Headers Version 2.0
    Received: from qmta01.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net ([76.96.62.16]) by xxxxxxx.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.3959);
    Thu, 20 Oct 2011 02:13:00 -0400
    Received: from omta13.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net ([76.96.62.52])
    by qmta01.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net with comcast
    id lpkY1h00617dt5G51pvHt0; Mon, 17 Oct 2011 13:55:17 +0000
    Received: from DC60RNK1 ([69.255.169.121])
    by omta13.westchester.pa.mail.comcast.net with comcast
    id lpvF1h00p2dVvaV3ZpvFN0; Mon, 17 Oct 2011 13:55:17 +0000
    From: "Sender" <someone@comcast.net>
    To: "'Receiver'" <xxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.com>
    Subject: xxxxxxxxxxxx
    Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2011 09:55:16 -0400
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    Just a couple of questions:
    - Are there any firewall/AV software running? (McAfee for instance)
    - Are the attachments of certain file types only, or any? Even though the one email had 2 different files of different sizes, if one of them was blocked, it wouldn't allow either through. Of course, certain extensions are blocked unless you choose otherwise (.exe, .bat, etc)
    - Do you have this email server linked up to your phone as well? If so, do you receive the message on the phone?
    "I don't need to get a life. I'm a gamer. I have lots of lives!"
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    Are there any firewall/AV software running? (McAfee for instance):
    -- We have a hardware firewall and Symantec for Microsoft Exchange on our server. Symantec Endpoint on each client.

    Are the attachments of certain file types only, or any?:
    -- Various, but mostly PDFs, Word docs, real text (.rtf) files and other non-executables. Occasional image files.

    Do you have this email server linked up to your phone as well? If so, do you receive the message on the phone?:
    -- I do have my phone linked to Exchange, but I don't usually check it unless there is a problem outside of business hours (which is thankfully quite rare). So I'm not sure on this one.
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    Is there a certain log in particular I should focus on?
    Look in the log file to see if there's anything that may give you insight.

    Do you have this email server linked up to your phone as well? If so, do you receive the message on the phone?:
    -- I do have my phone linked to Exchange, but I don't usually check it unless there is a problem outside of business hours (which is thankfully quite rare). So I'm not sure on this one.
    Next time you are sent an email that you cant receive, check your phone to see if it has been received there.

    Also, have you tried outlook web access to check for the mail?

    Been awhile since I've used Exchange, but I think there's a global allow (or deny) feature within Exchange. You may be able to try globally allowing comcast to see if that helps. (Also, possibly try disabling Symantec to test as well.)
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    Looking at the message header there appears to be a delay from comcast; provided I am reading it right.
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    Originally Posted by hiker
    Next time you are sent an email that you cant receive, check your phone to see if it has been received there.

    Also, have you tried outlook web access to check for the mail?
    I haven't received another message from this person yet to test this, but the messages don't seem to even be making to the mailserver in the building until a few days after they are sent. So I suspect they wouldn't show in OWA or on the phone either unfortunately.
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    Originally Posted by seack79
    Looking at the message header there appears to be a delay from comcast; provided I am reading it right.
    That's the way I read it too. If that's the case, I'm not sure what to do about it. It almost seems to be a connection problem between the last Comcast server and our mail server, but I don't know why they'd be having a problem when everyone else can connect just fine.

    Is there an exchange log that specifically details connection attempts so I could see if the connection was being attempted but not successful?
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