Incoming mail to invalid SharePoint addresses not bouncing RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    We're using SharePoint 2007, and after I applied a service pack, I've seen a change in behaviour for incoming email.

    We monitor the mail drop directory to ensure that it's empty, as if it contains files for any length of time, that might indicate that SharePoint isn't picking up the .eml files.

    Since the upgrade, the monitoring system has been constantly warning about files existing in that directory.  There are usually about 6 or 7 files.  When I open them, I can see that they've been sent to dead email addresses.  After a while, they get cleared away (and don't generate a bounce), but I'd prefer that they're immediately returned to sender.

    Is this an expected change in the way that incoming mail works, or does it indicate that there's something wrong?  Am I able to change the way the mails to invalid addresses are handled?

    [edit] The failing mail generates one line a minute into the logs, for 24 hours.  The line looks like this:

    10/23/2013 15:47:53.40 OWSTIMER.EXE (0x0C74)                   0x06F4 Windows SharePoint Services   E-Mail                         6873 Warning An error occurred while processing the incoming e-mail file d:\mailroot\drop\a83b7cc501cecf3500000255.eml. The error was: Unknown alias. 

    So, SharePoint does know that the mail needs to be bounced, but doesn't do so for 24 hours, and then just deletes the mail. [/edit]


    I checked this on the development environment we have here, and the behaviour is the same.  It's had the same service packs applied, so I don't think there's anything broken on our farm.

    Right now I'm considering writing a script which parses the log file for the above lines, and then sends a bounce mail to the sender.  What do other people do faced with this behaviour?  I'd be surprised to learn I'm the only person who has ever faced this?




    • Edited by YellowNote Thursday, November 7, 2013 12:24 PM test environment note added
    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 3:07 PM


  • I wasn't able to get any help with this from either this posting :( or the couple of support partners I tried, so if anyone finds this and wonders what I did, I wrote a perl script.

    Once every few minutes it:

    • Find the most recently modified file in the "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\LOGS" directory
    • Searches the file for lines containing "The error was: Unknown alias" and pulls the name of the .eml file on that line from it
    • Moves the .eml file with that name from the maildrop directory to another directory
    • Checks that second directory for files, and uses blat.exe to reply to the sender of the mails telling them the mail bounced, and deletes the file

    This solves the problem, and implements the functionality I was looking for, which as best I can tell the service pack removed.


    • Marked as answer by YellowNote Thursday, November 14, 2013 3:21 PM
    Thursday, November 14, 2013 3:21 PM