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Microsoft KB Archive/103960

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Knowledge Base

Article ID: 103960

Article Last Modified on 10/30/2006


  • Microsoft Mail for PC Networks 3.0
  • Microsoft Mail for PC Networks 3.2

This article was previously published under Q103960


If there are several mail transfer agents (MTAs) on a hub postoffice and some of the MTAs have the -V20 command-line parameter enabled, Microsoft Mail users may receive messages returned from the Postmaster with the following error message:

Error: [021]
Message was not delivered due to missing routing file.

This message will also appear in the SYSTEM.LOG file, and the following corresponding errors will appear in the SESSION.LOG file:

opening FIPS file. Failure to open file
File I/O: Error opening "M:KEY\INQUEUE3.KEY" error code=32
File I/O: Error opening "K:P1\0000000E.0LK", error code=2
File I/O: Error finding "M:MAI\MAE\0009DF5E.MAI", error code=2


There are two causes of this error:

  • The mail is delivered--the MTA is able to read the P1 file in memory; however, after delivery the MTA failed to delete the P1 file and declares it missing. Therefore, users see mail being delivered, but they still receive the original error.
  • The P1 file really is missing when the MTA tries to read it into memory.

This error only occurs when multiple MTAs are processing a single INQUEUE3.MBG file. In Mail version 3.0, if the INQUEUE3.KEY file gets locked open, the MTA will not handle the open failure properly; therefore, the MTA cannot delete the mail item. However, it does successfully delete the P1 file.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in version 3.0 of Microsoft Mail for PC Networks. This problem was corrected in version 3.2.


This error may occur in Mail version 3.2 if SOME External Mail programs or gateways have the CompatV20 (V20) option enabled. The solution is to be consistent with how this option is implemented on each hub postoffice: the option should be set to All or None.

Having -V20 on some of the Externals will force those Externals to lock the INQUEUE.KEY file differently. The following is an analysis of having three Externals without, one PROFS 2.1g gateway without, and one External with the -V20 option, all of which process mail on a single hub postoffice.

  1. The External Mail program creates the INQUEUE.OLK file, opens it RDWRT|DENY_ALL, and processes Inqueue.
  2. The PROFS gateway locks Inqueue with READ | DENY_READ and starts processing mail time (oblivious to INQUEUE.OLK)
  3. The PROFS gateway may outpace External, deliver its mail, and delete its .MAI and .P1 files.
  4. External delivers the mail, but is unable to delete the .P1 files properly. (It misses the window and cannot find the .P1 and/or .MAI files the gateway just delivered. External will log that it is unable to open or find the FIPS file when trying to deliver mail). It is also possible for both the External and the gateway to successfully process the .MAI and .P1 files (in this scenario, the users could get duplicate mail).

Additional query words: Backboning 3.20 mta

Keywords: KB103960