Exchange 2003 ignoring receive size limits

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    This has been driving me mad for some time, and a thorough Google hasn’t thrown up any answers, so I’m holding my hopes out here – and if it turns out I’ve missed something obvious, the relief will outweigh the shame!

    Exchange 2003 patched to SP2, running in mixed mode, as part of an SBS2003 installation.

    One user in particular frequently reports that clients are receiving 5.2.3 size restriction violations when sending him emails with moderate to large attachments.

    I have been through and checked (and increased) the limits at:

    • Global Settings > Message Delivery
    • Virtual SMTP Server
    • ADUC User profile

    I’ve also checked and tweaked aspects which shouldn’t directly affect receipt, just in case there’s a weird interaction:

    • SMTP connector
    • Store limits

    There are no System Policies in place (or at least, none that I can find).

    The limits are now set to a rather overly generous 30MB across the board, just to rule out the 30% inflation issue.

    Today I managed to get a test message of ~4MB through, but a subsequent test at ~9MB failed (sizes on disk, rather than with the inflation) – I’m sending from outside the domain, so it mirrors real-world behaviour with his correspondants.

    Late last week a client had a 2MB PDF rejected, although when it was sent to the user’s Gmail account and forwarded in … no problem.

    I’ve quadruple-checked that there are no size limits on the AV/anti-spam (PureMessage).

    It seems that despite all of the relevant areas being set to a very high limit, anything that approaches/breaks the original default 10MB limit is still being bounced.

    Having gradually increased the limit to 12, then 15, then 20 and now 30MB across the board, without any difference in the rejection point, it seems clear that something isn’t actually getting adjusted under the hood, but … I’ve run out of places to look. After each limit change the various Exchange and SMTP services have been restarted.

    What’s the obvious thing I’ve missed that will have me blushing furiously, please?


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