Exchange 2003 NDR’s are sent a long time after email was sent.

The past two reboots (where the server has been offline for a while) has resulted in non delivery reports being sent back to some of the mailboxes for mail that was sent several weeks ago and that had not been reported as failed when the mail was initially sent.
The first time this happened I thought it was just one of those things, especially as I had not seen mail in the queue before rebooting the server. After the second occurrence I knew it was time to investigate.
SBSisyphus has a great posting including a link to the exchange2003 (sp2) patch that should fix the “kb950757 Email senders do not receive an indication that some messages have been held by Exchange Server 2003 until the SMTP service, The Microsoft Exchange Information Store service, or the Exchange server is restarted”. I applied it to my machine and I’ll have to see what happens.
For what it’s worth you do not need to reboot the server (unless wmiprvse.exe is running – but you get an option to kill this process if it is running before proceeding) but it will stop and start your mail and web services so don’t apply it during the day and it goes without saying that you should have a backup first.

3 thoughts on “Exchange 2003 NDR’s are sent a long time after email was sent.

  1. I had a very similar thing happen last week. I honestly didn’t think much of it because everything came through after a reboot (there were other issues, too). One more thing to check tomorrow. 🙂

  2. Exchange 2003 server was brought down because of a bad vm host. Upon reboot users were getting ndr for messages sent over a month ago and some recent ones as well. Also seems that some mail that was sitting there was actually sent. I am surprised I check the queues often and there was nothing there. I have to investigate this further. I will look to apply this patch and please post back with your results, I will do the same.

  3. Its great to see you found the information helpful. Let me know if you find any new information on Greylisting or other related Anti-spam measures.

    Dale aka SBSisyphus

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