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Sorry if this is crazy sounding or not feasible, just a student trying to toy with Exchange in my own lab.

I'm using as my FQDN for my Active Directory install on Windows Server 2008 R2. currently, I also use that domain for my Google Apps account, so I receive email on Google's servers because the MX records for point to Google's servers.

Now, I have Exchange 2010 newly installed on my server. I can send mail to other domains, but if I try sending an email to Exchange, I get the following error:

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

Technical details of permanent failure: Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550-5.1.1 The email account that you tried to reach does not exist. Please try 550-5.1.1 double-checking the recipient's email address for typos or 550-5.1.1 unnecessary spaces. Learn more at
550 5.1.1 j1si5476356icn.36 (state 14).

Now, that makes me assume that it's trying to find a Google account "", because of the MX records. My question is, would it be possible to set up Exchange in a way that it would accept mail NOT using MX records, or at least change some stuff around where anything would go to Google's servers, and anything would go to Exchange?

Thanks much!

share|improve this question

Nope. Mail servers all live and breathe by MX records. Now, outbound email can be sent freely (statement made loosely) as long as you have an internet connection.

Inbound email, however, will not work for any domain (or sub-domain) that an MX record has not been created for.

I also just re-read what you said and wanted to clarify a little bit more.

When you installed Active Directory, if you chose the root zone to be '' and not '' then you've made your domain authoritative ONLY for the SUBDOMAIN ''.

If you wanted to forward DNS, and setup MX records for your server, you should've made the first domain controller authoritative for '', and then created a new MX record pointing to the IP (or mail CNAME) of your Exchange server (basically).


If you DO have control over the top-level domain DNS, you can always create some DNS entries like this (although, MX records are still required) 14400 IN A 14400 IN A 14400 IN MX 30 14400 IN MX 30 

I hope that made sense, and if you need clarification, let me know.

share|improve this answer
Totally meant to just make it, wanted to keep that kinda separated for some other reasons. – Chiggins Feb 8 '12 at 0:11
JohnThePro: an MX record isn't strictly required for a domain to recieve email. Email can be delivered in the absence of an MX record if an A record for the domain exists. The issue today is that the domain A record usually points to the ip address of a web server for that domain as opposed to an email server for that domain. See my answer here for more info:… – joeqwerty Feb 8 '12 at 0:53
Which makes enough sense. I was just merely trying to enforce the knowledge that whenever applicable, MX records are the FIRST thing a server checks for when looking for the ability to receive mail. Fall-back to A, sure, but how many DNS/Hosting providers really don't let you create MX records anymore? – JohnThePro Feb 8 '12 at 15:33

Create an MX record for subdomain that points to your Exchange server. Leave the MX records for pointing to Google. You must also remove the CNAME record that you currently have for

Here's an approximation to your DNS data after doing this, presuming that (for example) is the public IP address of your Exchange server:

;; zone
@      604800 IN MX 10 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
@      604800 IN MX 20 ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
@      604800 IN MX 20 ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM.
@      604800 IN MX 30 ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.COM.
@      604800 IN MX 30 ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.COM.
ad      86400 IN MX 10  3600 IN A

If you had a fallback SMTP Relay server on (say), you'd add to the above:

ad      86400 IN MX 20  3600 IN A

Then, just setup Exchange's 'accepted domain' to allow, and add the domain to some mailboxes.

share|improve this answer
I'm currently using GoDaddy (kill me) for my domains, do you happen to know how to add MX records for sub domains using their interface? – Chiggins Feb 8 '12 at 0:10
Using GoDaddy, you create an A record to define the subdomain, pointed to the IP of your Exchange server. Then you create an MX record that is pointed to the name of your subdomain. When you see the record for WWW, think of that as a subdomain following the sub.domain.tld format. Make sense? – JohnThePro Feb 8 '12 at 0:14
@JohnThePro - Sorry, I'm kind of a noob with DNS, here's my current config: What should go where? – Chiggins Feb 8 '12 at 6:47
Sorry for the late reply. Basically, under the A(Host) section you'll create a record that says "Host: ad" "Points To:<IP of Exchange Server>". Then, afterwards, you'll make a record in the MX section like, "Priority 10, Host: ad, Points" GoDaddy's help page for this exact thing (creating subdomains) is here. – JohnThePro Feb 8 '12 at 15:24

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