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We have our own domain. Our email is hosted by Google Apps.

We switched web servers and name servers to a new provider. In the switch, I forgot to move the MX record.

When people tried to send emails to our domain, there was no bounce back. We fixed the MX record and now receive email.

Is there anyway to retrieve the emails that were sent in the month when there was no MX record?

I doubt it because there was no MX record on our name server. Where would the emails have gone since they did not bounce back?

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Follow up: The emails eventually did come, about an hour later, all in duplicate. – Christopher Altman Mar 19 '10 at 15:18
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It's possible that you had a secondary or tertiary MX record... If so, the mails will be on that server and you should be able to issue an ETRN command and have them sent to your current mail server.
Do you have a copy of the DNS record before you switched the MX records so you can check that possibility?

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Everyone that sent an e-mail would receive a mailer error, and depending on their e-mail provider, the service would attempt to resend the e-mail, but it is highly unlikely you will see old e-mails arriving.

My e-mail provider attempts to resend a failed e-mail for two more days then stops.

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The standard is 5 retry attempts. – Warner Mar 19 '10 at 13:53
@warner- where did you get that number from? – Jim B Mar 19 '10 at 16:58
rfc2821 has the recommendation. "Retries continue until the message is transmitted or the sender gives up; the give-up time generally needs to be at least 4-5 days." I've known that to frequently be the case in my experience. – Warner Mar 19 '10 at 17:42
The RFC recommends a time, not a number of attempts. Also RFC 2821 is obsolete - RFC 5321 is the current standard. – Alnitak Mar 20 '10 at 20:37

Chances are that you won't get any of them unless, as Scott mantioned, you have a secondary email server where the emails may have been queued. If not, the standard retry expiration on most sending email servers is 48 hours. after that the email is deleted and an NDR is sent to the sender.

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If there's no mx record at all then delivering mail servers may try sending to the ip address returned by looking up your domain name (without www). If that ip is running a mailserver configured to listen for emails sent to your domain then they may have gone there.

Since you seem to have received all your emails I would hazard a guess that there was a server accepting your mail somewhere which has now delivered it to you.

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