8bitmime – disable or keep ?

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    On an Exchange 2003 setup I recently saw, the following config is given: out of 4 servers, 2 have the 8bitmime flag on and 2 have it off. one of the servers with the flag on (has a bit more computing power) is set to receive all emails from the edge solution and distribute the mails to its sister servers. edge solution also advertises 8bitmime flag.
    the setup ran ok for months, till one day when NDRs with 561 – body type not supported by remote host were starting to come in.
    I was unaware of the setup but when it was discovered, i simply promoted another server that does not advertise 8bitmime flag to receive the emails from the edge solution and pass them on. the NDR was ok to appear as I know Exchange 2003 can receive 8bitmime but cannot pass them on to non-8bitmime servers (cannot do the conversion to 7bit). Still can’t understand why it has worked without a flaw for a long time.

    Question – now i want to set things right. Should i just enable 8bitmime on the other 2 servers – thus having this flag ON as microsoft intended it in the first place (the advantage will be less bandwidth used between the servers – but the question is why was it disabled in the first place) or remove it from advertisment on the other 2 servers thus have everything without the 8bitmime flag?


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