Exchange 2003 on SBS -POP3 catchall and email loops
Think I asked about this a long time ago but got nowhere... Now our email system is getting more use the problem is occurring more frequently and starting to drive me slowly insane. Any tips from Exchange masters much appreciated...
I'll start by saying - yes, this is a godawful way for an email system to be set up! I know this, but there's nothing I can do about it so I'm stuck trying to keep it going in the way that breaks least often with the exact setup we have - can't switch away from using POP3, a catchall, move to a different host etc...
We have an email system set up on SBS 2003, the school has an external email address - @ourdomain.com
When this was purchased, it didn't occur to the supplier/configurator/cowboy that since we are split site some email addresses would be external to our SBS system but still require the @ourdomain.com email address. The mail was set up to be hosted on a provider who offers a catchall address plus individual POP3 accounts. This means we have one main email@example.com address plus several firstname.lastname@example.org accounts on their server. Our broadband isn't reliable enough to support SMTP delivery direct to our server or a VPN link for all off site users. This works fine internally - POP3 connector picks up catchall and distributes fine (yes, BCC doesn't work but again, stuck with it unless anyone knows a free improved POP3 collection agent!)
In order to get Exchange to allow emails to be sent from the internal system to the individual POP3 addresses I had to set unrecognised mail to go out to the SMTP server on our email host. This works fine, but :
1) I can't put the external email addresses which use @ourdomain.com into the global address book or the mail will not be delivered - it has to be unrecognised so that it will go out to the SMTP server then bounce over to the individual POP3 accounts. No biggie but it would be nice to be able to get all addresses into the list for all users.
2) This is the one that's driving me nuts. If someone misaddresses an email but CCs it to a valid address, a mail loop is created and the email is delivered to the correctly spelt recipient every time the POP3 connector connects - eg every 15 mins. This sticks until I manually connect to the POP3 box, delete the offending email and forward it on to the intended recipient.
eg mail sent to email@example.com + cc'd to firstname.lastname@example.org - mispeltindividual never gets mail, loop starts and every 15 mins POP3 connector downloads mail, delivers correct address, decides misspeltindividual is an external/unrecognised address which gets sent back by SMTP, which lands in catchall... Which gets collected, delivered to correctaddress@ sent back to POP3 catchall... Which gets collected, delivered to correctaddress@ sent back to POP3 catchall... Forever. Or until everything grinds to a halt.
Does anyone have a similar (god help you!) setup or has successfully reconfigured themselves from something like the above to something that actually works? Or anyone who's an exchange master simply fancy offering a few tips?