Microsoft KB Archive/249796

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XGEN: Outlook Rule Creates Message Loop in Information Store

Article ID: 249796

Article Last Modified on 2/21/2007


  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q249796


An Exchange Server computer may receive a large number of non-delivery report (NDR) messages (Event ID 290), and the Mtadata folder may be filled with messages, all from a particular user. When you check the message transfer agent (MTA) queues on that server, a large number of messages are bound for the local information store.


This issue can occur if a rule automatically forwards all messages sent to a particular mailbox to another mailbox or group of mailboxes. If one or more of the target mailboxes are deleted, an NDR is generated and returned to the sending mailbox, which creates a message loop local to that server.

The generation of an NDR forces the message to route through the MTA, which is why the MTA may be filled with messages that are bound for the local information store from a sender on the same information store.


To resolve this issue, use one of the three following methods (the methods are listed in order according to the severity of the symptoms that you are experiencing, from least severe to most severe):

  • Log on at the client computer that the autoforwarding rule was created on. Delete the rule. -or-

  • Log on at the client computer that the autoforwarding rule was created on and install and run CleanSweep. For additional information about how to install and run CleanSweep, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    174045 XCLN: Installing and Using the CleanSweep Tool

    Delete all local and server-side rules. -or-

  • Delete the mailbox that is automatically forwarding the mail.

In some cases, you may need to stop the MTA service to prevent it from causing the server to stop responding because of hard drive or processor overuse. After the rule is no longer running, you can allow the MTA to empty normally. If there are too many messages in the Mtadata folder, contact Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) for assistance.

Additional query words: OL97, OL98, OL2000

Keywords: kbprb KB249796