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Intermittent connectivity to Exchange Server 2003

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    I have been trying to troubleshoot this issue for more than a week now. After reading several message boards and news groups, I am almost giving up. I hope somebody with a kind heart will help.

    Here’s what we have in our office:
    – AD Server – Win2K3 SP2
    – Exchange Server – Exchange2K3 SP2 on Win2K3 SP2
    – Web Server – Win2K SP4
    – Checkpoint’s firewall appliance
    – Symantec Antivirus Corporate v8.00.9374 on all servers

    Here’s what we have for our home pc’s:
    – Windows XP SP2
    – some with Outlook Express 6
    – some with Outlook 2K3
    – I have built one PC with the anti-virus’s email scanning feature turned off

    Here’s what we have been regularly doing:
    – We use Outlook or OE to retrieve email from home using pop3
    – We use ftp to edit our website
    And everything used to be fine, but…

    Here’s our problem:
    – We get intermittent “good” connections when we hit “send and receive” button.
    On “good” connections, we are logged in and message are quickly retrieved.
    On “bad” connections, after we hit the “send and receive” button, the status window pops up and say “connected” with the status “executing”, but after a minute, a new window will pop up and say that the pop3 server has not responded. When “stop” is chosen, on Outlook Express, it gives error number 0x800CCC19; while on Outlook, it gives error number 0x8004210A
    – Checking the Exchange server’s event log, I see no errors and everything looks clean
    – On a side note, this might be of help too. Around the same time that we started to see this problem given above, when we ftp to our web server, we also get intermittent connections. To test, I use the DOS FTP client. On “good” connections, login prompt shows up and I can get in it. On “bad” connections, it will only say “connected to {our web server}” and just freeze there. I don’t even see the login prompt. Used to be, we can use windows explorer and enter “ftp://{our url}”, after the login prompt, we are in. But now, it just gives us the “rotating flashlight” and just freezes.

    Changes done:
    None, firewall appliance was never touched, no firmware upgrade was applied for a while now.

    I have seen discussions on message boards ranging from MTU issues to antivirus software. I’ve read and did some recommendations but nothing worked. I need help. Thanks!

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