Bizzare issue without outbound faxing through e-mail and Public folders


I recently ran into some very strange issues with an older fax through e-mail solution.  The setup is a mixed Exchange 5.5 (unsupported) and Exchange 2003 site with an old version of RightFax from Captaris (version 8.5 – unsuppored).  After years of working in this configuration, suddenly the outbound fax abilities quit working and you would receive NDR messages anytime you sent an outbound fax.  Incoming was working without problems, only outbound fax through e-mail was a problem.  I checked the Exchange connector for RightFax on the Exchange 5.5 box which was fine, there were some side issues there where some .tmp files weren’t getting purged properly, but I couldn’t find a cause for the issue we were having.  Reboots were done in hopes this would help resolve the issue, but they did not help.  The only errors I was receiving were as follows:

Exchange cannot determine a route for this message or no next hop can be determined.   A routing group topology does not have a routing group connector set up between the routing groups.  Mail destined to a routing group that does not have a routing group connector to connect it to other groups cannot be sent.   

Solution: Add or configure your RGC between RGs

 

and

 

The domain ‘$MSGWIA$.FAX.*’ is unreachable.

 

No route was found for the recipient server.  Please contact your system administrator.
            <servername.domain.private #5.4.4>

After a few days of researching and trying to find a solution to this issue, I happen to notice that I had another problem.  In the Exchange 2003 ESM I could not browse the public folder tree.  I’ve had this issue before and seen various things cause it, so I began researching the exact error codes I received.  (sorry I didn’t write those down, but they said something like “503 service unavailable” when I tried through OWA). 

I ended up restarting the Exchange 2003 HTTP Virtual server from ESM, and also dismounting and re-mounting the public folder store.  After I did that I noticed some events in my application log basically saying the route for FAX was online and mentioned our fax server name.  Out of curiosity I tried sending an outbound fax through e-mail and it worked!  I then asked the staff in the location where the issue was originally reported to try sending some test faxes through e-mail but they reported back and said it was still not working.  I then performed the same steps I mentioned above on all Exchange 2003 servers which seemed to fix the issue of not being able to view the public folder tree in ESM, but also had the side effect of fixing the outbound fax issue. 

I have no idea how an old fax system could possibly be tied into the public folder system of Exchange 2003.  I have no support for either Exchange 5.5 or the version of RightFax we are using, so I will probably never know.  I do know that the two issues were related somehow and the same solution for fixing the public folder tree view in ESM also fixed our outbound fax issues.  I think this is very strange but am glad the system is working again.  I hope this will not delay replacing these old systems and they still need to be replaced asap. 

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About Joe

I am the author of this blog, IT engineer, husband, father, and somewhat of a nerd.

Posted on November 26, 2008, in General, Products I use, Professional/Tech, Software, Technology. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Bizzare issue without outbound faxing through e-mail and Public folders.

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