Exchange 2016 sent mails go to drafts – 421 4.3.2 Service not active

Just yesterday, following the installation of some windows updates, I found myself in a situation where the flow of emails from an exchange 2016 no longer worked. All services were online but both incoming and outgoing emails did not work.

Specifically, all the emails that I tried to send remained in the drafts and from there they did not unpick. Doing a bit’ troubleshooting I noticed a couple of errors that led me to the solution (thanks above all to Google).

In the SMTPReceive logs every incoming connection was blocked with this error:

Rejecting the non-probe message and disconnecting as transport service is Inactive.

While if I tried to send an email to the exchange via telnet, the error I received was this:

421 4.3.2 Service not active

This sent me a little’ in confusion since the transport service was active and even restarting it the situation did not change.

After a while’ by searching the internet I found someone with the same errors. First he advised to see the status of the exchange components with this command:

Get-ServerComponentState -Identity ServerName

And actually all the components were in the Inactive state so the problem was definitely that:

To put them back on I had to give this command:

Set-ServerComponentState -State Active -Requester Functional -Identity -Component ServerWideOffline

Instantly all the components went into the Active state and exchange resumed managing emails by creating queues for delivery and receiving all messages queued on the antispam.

8 Responses

  1. Bruce
    Bruce 5 March 2021 at 1:01 |

    Thanks, fixed my issue not receiving emails.

  2. Michal
    Michal 7 March 2021 at 22:42 |

    Thank a lot, help to made Exchange working again after complete restore from Windows Backup.

  3. Jon Hatfield
    Jon Hatfield 9 March 2021 at 19:27 |

    This saved me! I had the same problem after recovering from a backup. I could not figure out why the transport was running but not working.

  4. Jay
    Jay 12 March 2021 at 23:51 |

    Life saver – dont know what caused it but THANK YOU!!!

  5. Giddy
    Giddy 12 April 2021 at 21:24 |

    Thank you… God bless you. I had this issue for 3 days and could only solve it now

  6. Luis B
    Luis B 20 August 2021 at 5:29 |

    Also worked for me! We restored Exchange from a snapshot/backup after a failed Cumulative Update. SMTP service was running but not accepting any email. Once I followed this article, SMTP started working again. Thank you.

  7. Miss7ic
    Miss7ic 27 November 2021 at 0:25 |

    Merci ! Problème rencontré suite à la restauration d’un snapshot après une erreur sur une màJ CU. Tu viens de me sauver ! Ca a fonctionné nickel.

  8. Tommie bei Lübeck
    Tommie bei Lübeck 19 December 2021 at 16:32 |

    Super, Danke, Sonntag gerettet, darauf soll man erst mal kommen. THX 🙂


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