I'm trying to configure the included POP3/SMTP services in Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition. The POP3 service is only receiving messages from accounts on the domain and from no place else.

I'm using Outlook to send and receive messages. I can send email from joe@mydomain.com to my GMail account just fine, but when I reply in GMail, it never hits the mailbox on the server, nor do I get any error messages. To troubleshoot it, I created a second user on the POP3, and using the same public connection (mail.mydomain.com) sent an email to joe@mydomain.com. It came through just fine.

Is there some type of blacklist/whitelist for the POP3 service that I'm not finding? It seems that might be the problem, as its clearly accepting email, but only letting through messages from its own domain.

  • Just clarifying - when you created the dummy test user - that was also on gmail, and was able to send email that your internal 2003 box received? – Kara Marfia Aug 6 '09 at 12:47

Sounds to me like this is a Mail Exchanger issue.

An MX is a type of entry in your DNS. It tells email systems how to route mail, as your mail server is often completely different to your web server.

When you created a 2nd POP3 account and emailed someone else on the same server, the email never left the box, so it never had to look up the MX record.

Go to whereever your DNS is hosted, and check the MX record for your domain. You will likely find it's pointing somewhere completely wrong (or missing).

  • You can also check where the MX record for your domain is pointing to using something like IP tools -iptools.com – Sam Cogan Aug 6 '09 at 9:05
  • Yeah the information provided pointed me in the right direction. Knowing that the mail was just shifting accounts behind the scenes and never actually moving anywhere, and seeing the MX record as a possible culprit, I ran a lookup and diagnostics on it. The lookup came back fine, but diagnostics failed. It turns out that while I opened the ports on the hardware firewall, I managed to forget to open them in RRA. Thanks for getting me on track. – user15754 Aug 7 '09 at 5:45

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