Messages remain in an outbound queue until a non-delivery report is generated when you send e-mail to a remote domain

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Article ID: 818222 - View products that this article applies to.
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Symptoms

When you send e-mail messages to certain external domains, they may remain in an outbound queue on the Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 or Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server computer until a non-delivery report (NDR) is generated.

Additionally, the following event may appear in the Application log in the Event Viewer on a Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000-based server that is configured as a firewall for the remote domain:
Date:     date          Source:   SmtpEvt
Time:     time          Category: None
Type:     Error           Event ID: 20031
User:     N/A
Computer: computername

Description:
An unknown SMTP command

Data:
0000: 58 45 58 43 48 35 30 20    XEXCH50
0008: 31 30 32 30                1020

Cause

This issue may occur if a firewall blocks the binary large object (BLOB) data following the Microsoft Exchange Server XEXCH50 command.

Workaround

To work around this issue, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Configure the XEXCH50 Registry Subkey

In Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3), you can suppress the sending of the XEXCH50 command to external domains.

To suppress the sending of the XEXCH50 command to external domains automatically, go to the "Fix it for me" section. To suppress the sending of the XEXCH50 command to external domains yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me

To configure the XEXCH50 registry subkey automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Click Run in the  File Download dialog box, and then follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.
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Fix this problem
Microsoft Fix it 50341
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Note this wizard may be in English only; however, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.

Note if you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Let me fix it myself

To configure the XEXCH50 registry subkey yourself, follow these steps.

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Locate the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SMTPSVC\XEXCH50
    Note If the XEXCH50 registry subkey is not present, create it. To do this, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click Key. In the New Key #1 box, type XEXCH50, and then press ENTER.
  3. Right-click XEXCH50, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
  4. In the New Value #1 box, type SuppressExternal, and then press ENTER.
  5. Right-click SuppressExternal, and then click Modify.
  6. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  7. Quit Registry Editor.

Method 2: Configure the SMTP Connector

Configure the SMTP connector properties to use the HELO command instead of the EHLO command. When Exchange Server sends the HELO command, it does not receive the list of commands that the remote server supports, and reverts to simple SMTP commands. None of the extended SMTP command verbs are used.

To configure the SMTP connector properties to use the HELO command automatically, go to the "Fix it for me" section. To configure the SMTP connector properties to use the HELO command yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me

To configure the SMTP connector automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Click Run in the File Download dialog box, and then follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.
Collapse this imageExpand this image
assets fixit1
Fix this problem
Microsoft Fix it 50342
Collapse this imageExpand this image
assets fixit2

Note this wizard may be in English only; however, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.

Note if you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Let me fix it myself

To configure the SMTP connector yourself, follow these steps:
  1. Start the Exchange System Manager utility.
  2. If Administrative Groups are turned on, expand Administrative Groups, and then expand First Administrative Group.
  3. Expand Connectors, right-click the SMTP connector that you use to connect to the remote domain, and then click Properties.
  4. Click the Advanced tab, click to select the Send HELO instead of EHLO check box, click Apply, and then click OK.

More information

The following steps outline the process that occurs when an Exchange Server 2003 or Exchange 2000 Server-based server tries to send mail to a host over the Internet:
  1. It performs the equivalent of an Nslookup for the MX (mail exchanger) record of the remote domain.
  2. It opens a TCP/IP connection to port 25 of the remote host.
  3. It receives a banner from the remote host.
  4. It sends an EHLO command followed by the local domain name to the remote host.
  5. It receives a list of supported commands from the remote host.
  6. It sends a MAIL FROM command followed by the e-mail address of the sender.
  7. It receives an acknowledgement from the remote host.
  8. It sends one or more RCPT TO commands followed by one or more recipient e-mail address.
  9. It receives one of the following acknowledgements:
    • One acknowledgement after a batch of RCPT TO commands if the remote host supports PIPELINING.

      -or-
    • One acknowledgement for each recipient.
  10. If the remote host advertised support for the XEXCH50 command, the Exchange server sends the XEXCH50 command followed by the number of bytes that it intends to transfer, and then the numeral 2. For example, the following command indicates that the Exchange server intends to send 1124 bytes of data:
    XEXCH50 1124 2
  11. It receives a 354 message from the remote host permitting it to send the data.
  12. The Exchange server sends the number of bytes of data that it specified in step 10 of this process.
  13. When the data has been sent, the Exchange server expects the remote host to immediately respond with an acknowledgement.

    If there is no more mail to send, the Exchange server sends a QUIT command.
  14. The Exchange server receives an acknowledgement of the QUIT command from the remote host.
  15. The Exchange server ends the session.
The issue described in this article occurs when the Exchange server does not receive the expected acknowledgement after transmitting the data associated with the XEXCH50 command. A firewall may be configured to block the binary large object (BLOB) data that follows the XEXCH50 command.

References

For additional information about how to obtain the latest Exchange 2000 Server service pack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
301378 How to obtain the latest Exchange 2000 Server service pack
For additional information about how to obtain the latest Exchange Server 2003 service pack, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
836993 How to obtain the latest service packs for Exchange Server 2003

Properties

Article ID: 818222 - Last Review: September 18, 2013 - Revision: 9.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server
Keywords: 
kbmsifixme kbfixme kbbug kbprb KB818222

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