How to test outbound mail flow with a file in the Pickup folder

This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.


This article describes how to test outbound mailflow by using a file from the Pickup folder.

More Information

The Windows 2000 Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) service is able to process messages that are placed in the Pickup folder. Exchange 2000 SMTP relies on the Windows 2000 SMTP service; therefore, it has same functionality. If you use a properly formed message, you can verify that the server is able to send outbound SMTP messages. This functionality can be useful when you are testing firewall and DNS configurations, or for general troubleshooting.

For Windows 2000 Server, the default location of the Mailroot folder is %SystemRoot%\Inetpub\Mailroot; however, you can designate a different location during Setup. For Exchange 2000, the default location of the Mailroot folder is %SystemRoot%\Program Files\Exchsrvr\Mailroot\Vsi_1. To designate a different location for Exchange 2000, you must modify the registry and the metabase.

The SMTP service accepts SMTP Request for Comments (RFC)-822 formatted messages for delivery. The service builds the RFC-821 header based on the 822 information in the file. To create an SMTP RFC-822 formatted message, follow these steps:
  1. Create the file using a text editor such as Microsoft Notepad, and then type the message information into the file.
  2. Save the file without an extension. To do so in Notepad, insert quotation marks (" ") around the file name, and then save the file.

    When the file name includes quotation marks, Notepad saves the document as a .txt file by default. The name of the file is irrelevant, you can name the file to suit your needs.

The following text is an example of a basic RFC-822 formatted file:
subject:This is a test.

this is a test.
When you place this file in the Pickup folder, this file is processed as an outbound message. If the configuration of the SMTP service is correct, the message is delivered to the e-mail address in the "to" line in the .txt file. If the file is displayed in the Queue or Badmail folders, there is a problem with the SMTP service configuration.

Messages that are dropped in the Pickup folder display the following text at the start of the message header:
Received: from mail pickup service by with Microsoft SMTPSVC;
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

266686 How to configure a SMTP virtual server Part 1

198022 Using the Windows NT Option Pack SMTP Pickup directory


Article ID: 297700 - Last Review: Oct 4, 2011 - Revision: 1