Relay access denied


#1

Hello everyone,

I’m getting a ‘relay access denied’ error when attempting to send email to one of my accounts. I have read all the posts here for the last 1 year that have to do with ‘relay access denied’, I’ve read the support wiki, and I’ve searched on the web for other resources. I have tried a few things. Nothing seems to work, and I am completely confused.

I have a friend, Friend1, who registered a domain, Domain1, at GoDaddy.com. On Friday, I set up hosting for her on Dreamhost.com. I created a mail address called ‘mail’ that only forwards to my friend’s Gmail address. We’ve tested this setup, and it works perfectly.

I have another friend, Friend2, who registered a domain, Domain2, at Orcon.net.nz. On Saturday, yesterday, I set up hosting for him on Dreamhost.com. I created a mail address called ‘mail’ that only forwards to my friend’s Gmail address. We’ve tested this setup, but all email sent to mail@Domain2 bounces back to the sender with the ‘relay access denied’ error.

I don’t understand why these two situations should work so differently when all that’s different is the registrar.

For Friend2, do I need to add Custom MX Records here on Dreamhost? If so, should they be MX records from Orcon.net.nz?

Or do I need to add Custom MX Records over on Orcon.net.nz? If so, what should they be? Is Orcon.net.nz really even involved at all in the delivery of email, since Domain2’s nameservers are set (on Orcon.net.nz) to the Dreamhost nameservers?

Please, someone help me understand exactly what I need to do in order to fix this ‘relay access denied’ problem.

Thanks!
Paul


#2

Thanks for such a good explanation of the problem; it’s nice to have all that info when trying to figure out what might be going on.

[quote]I don’t understand why these two situations should work so differently when all that’s different is the registrar.
[/quote]

That actually can be a significant difference (though it seems like it shouldn’t be), because of what time lag may/may not be inherent in changing the DNS servers at various registrars’ sites.

I suspect that it may be related to incomplete propagation of the DNS setting changed at the second registrar, coupled with DH sometimes taking up to/over a full day for a new email address to become fully operative.

My experience has been that the single “longest” wait for new services to go “live” at Dreamhost has been the creation of a new email address; I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’ve had that take well over a day to occur.

If it were me, I’d give through the day today to see if it resolves itself; if still problematic after that, then I’d generate a support ticket. Good luck!

–rlparker


#3

Thanks for the reply.

I’ve been using http://www.dnsreport.com/ and http://www.hashemian.com/tools/domain-email.php to compare Domain1 and Domain2. Dnsreport.com isn’t reporting any problems. But the other site at least indicates that it couldn’t find any Domain2 MX records. Confusing, yes. I don’t know why Domain1 would have the usual Dreamhost MX records, but Domain2 wouldn’t.

So I found 2 MX records for Orcon.net.nz and plugged them in on Dreamhost as Custom MX for Domain2.

10 mail.orcon.net.nz
20 smtp2.orcon.net.nz

Just a few minutes ago, they started showing up in my net queries. So I tried another test message to mail@Domain2. Same “relay access denied” error.

I am thinking now maybe I should remove those Custom MX records? Maybe if I go back to “regular Dreamhost email”, and wait until the DNS change has made it through the Internet, maybe it will pick up the Dreamhost MX records like it’s supposed to? Maybe I can even plug in the regular Dreamhost MX data as Custom MX records, just to explicitly force it? I am willing to use a sledgehammer if I can find one, but I’d rather keep the configuration as simple as possible.

I appreciate any help.
Thanks again,
Paul


#4

I think you have the right idea(s), and you obviously understand this stuff well; I’m not sure I have much to add at this point. However:

I think that is the way I would go, and then be patient and see how things “settle” through propagation in hopes that “maybe it will pick up the Dreamhost MX records like it’s supposed to.”

Sledgehammers are great tools, but I’m a firm believer in “simple is better”, especially when others’ scripts are involved (you never really know how your sledgehammer is gonna interact with those!)

Let us know what you find, ok? G’luck!
–rlparker


#5

Thanks again for your advice. As I said, I prefer to keep things as simple as possible, so I’ve removed the Custom MX records, and I guess we will just try to wait it out. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Paul


#6

I checked Domain2 at those two sites again a little while ago, and indeed the Dreamhost MX records are showing up in the data. It seems to have taken a ping-pong of pointing the domain first one way, then another, then back again for the records to really sort out. But I’ve sent my test messages and they haven’t bounced. I will check with my friend later to verify they were delivered, but until then I am 99% sure this is fixed.

Thanks again for your advice.
Paul


#7

Ha! I suppose that is possible, but I think it more likely such a process effectively increased the overall propagation time - we will never know how long it would have taken had it just been left at the original settings :wink:

THese things are “strange”, and not totally predictable. Last week I registered and set up hosting for two different “.com” domains within 10 minutes of each other at the DH panel. Domain1 was (for my connection) propagated and fuctioning in about an hour while Domain2 took just over 24 hours - no differenceat all , that I could see, in how they were set up, yet the propagation time varied significantly. I have no explanation for that! :smiley:

Here to hoping it is all now sorted!

–rlparker