Setting SMTP Banner In Exchange 2010…

MS Exchange

All Exchange admins are familiar with the SMTP banner. It is the response received by a remote server after it connects to the receive connector of an Exchange 2010 Hub or Edge server. If the SMTP banner is not set on a receive connector, the default response will have the fqdn of the server, along with the information that the server in use is a Microsoft one.

Below is the default response from my telnet client. As the internal information becomes visible to outside servers, exchange admins tend to change it.

Default Telnet response 2010 SP1

I have seen companies using the “Specify the fqdn this connector will provide in response to EHLO” option in the receive connector as a means to set the banner. It is NOT the right way to do it.

Wrong way of setting smtp banner

The “banner” parameter of the Set-ReceiveConnector cmdlet needs to be used to configure the banner. Run the command below to set the banner. The banner text should start with 220, as stated in RFC 2821.

Set-ReceiveConnector –identity “ServerConnectorname” –Banner “220 banner text”

Set SMTP Banner

Once it is set, a telnet session will respond with the new banner.

Telnet Banner Response

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  1. Hello Rajith

    Help me in the case, we are facing on it.
    My mail system have 2 hub-cas Ex 2010, mail to internet via smtp gateway call name Fortimail.

    One external mail system call name vnu.edu.vn have just rejected all email of us. And this is alert

    qmail-smtpd[25603]: before greeting: [xxx.xxx.xxx..xxx] client disconnected

    a client is forcibly disconnected because they sent data before the server sent the banner (which is a violation of RFC 2821.)

    So, how can i fix it?

    Reply
    • Additonal infomation: we can send email to every outside domain, but only one vnu.edu.vn can not.

      Pls show me where is root cause. Thanks alot

      Reply
  2. I am getting error message ” Smtp banner mismatch”. I am new to exchange. What possibly i find out that our sending and recieving connectors are having different fqdn’s. Our reverse Dns Ptr is pointing towards the fqdn which is in the sending connector. We are using microsoft forefront for exchange. Our local exchange server ip is mapped to public ip in our firewall.We are using split domain .local and .com.
    Gmail is tagging our email as spams.
    Mxtool box results shows no spf configure.
    Please help me out.

    Reply
  3. Good Day
    Can you help me out, our mail server suddenly cannot receive incoming mails… my ISP change my public IP after i publish the static IP that ISP given to me cannot receive any incoming mails but rather it bounce back to the recipients. Outgoing is fine and run smoothly. Can anyone help me thanks in advance our email runs in Server 2003 and under Exchange System Manager.

    Reply
    • Hi Zaclipat,

      Once you change your IP address, you need to update your MX record in the public DNS to point to the new IP. Otherwise, external servers sending emails to you will try to route the emails to the old IP and will fail.

      Thanks

      Reply
  4. I followed your instructions and the SMTP banner changed.after two months again i changed the SMTP banner but it wont reflect…please advice

    Reply
  5. Rajith,

    I followed your instructions and the banner changed perfectly. I see the banner if I telnet to if, but if I run a test from mxtoolbox.com or send a bogus email to the server, the domain.local hostname is being exposed? Not sure I want the local exchange server hostname and domain being on display like that. Is there a way to change this or should this not have been changed when I set the banner?

    thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Scott,

      That should have been changed. Do you have more than one server? If so, it needs to be done on all servers.

      Reply
  6. Hi Rajith Enchiparambil,

    Thanks a lot for clear instructions, I really needed a superior professional guidance on this and looks like I am on right blog:

    Our ISP handles rDNS of this IP to mail.mydomain.com and it is working fine.

    Can you please clarify this line more: Then create a new receive connector (say from Internet) and use the exchange ip rather than all ips which is the default for receiving ip.—-We use NAT in firewall (it forwards mail request coming from Static IP to dynamic IP) and exchange server LAN card has dynamic IP address only- Did you mean ‘use the exchange IP (dynamic IP’)?

    Can you also please provide any link that shows step by step configuration to create new receive connector along with the settings that shows the using exchange IP?

    thanks,
    Roshi

    Reply
    • Hi Roshi,

      Any reason why you use dynamic IP for Exchange server?
      Why don’t you have static IPs from the private range for servers?

      Yes, I meant that IP of Exchange server. Do you have a DHCP reservation for the Exchange IP?

      Thanks.

      Reply
      • I thought it is always safe to keep exchange server on Dynamic IPs as the server will be behind the firewall and only necessary traffic will be forwarded to the exchange\windows server 2008 R2 server. Its working fine in this way and we have exchange server 2003 in same way set up.

        Our firewall forwards SMTP,IMAP and POP traffic to the server that is coming to static IP (set up on firewall).

        Static IP 123.123.123.123 it forwards it to 192.168.1.1 (just a example).

        Reply
        • Hi Roshi,

          All internal servers including DCs, Exchange etc should have a static IP from the private IP range. This is best practice and recommended.

          Thanks.

          Reply
      • The situation was: I migrated SBS 2003 to Windows server 2008 R2 enterprise with exchange 2010-Now what I did:

        SBS server dynamic IP was – 192.168.1.111 and we have DHCP scope from 192.168.1.192 to 254.

        I provided 192.168.1.191 IP address to the new WIN2k8 Server and now after migration I want to give SBS 2003′ IP (192.168.1.111) to new server and change the IP of SBS server.

        Is it possible to change the Exchange server IP address after exchange installed?
        please let me know.

        Reply
  7. Hi All,

    can changign SMTP banner will require new exchange certificate as with new SMTP banner OLD self signed certificate will not work,

    isn’t it?

    I have a situation:

    I have migrated exchange 2003 to exchange 2010, moved all the mailboxes over to exchange 2010 but HAVE NOT moved public folder yet and using exchange default self signed certificate:

    Now few domains are not accepting our mails as Under:

    Organization configuration –> Hub Transport–> send connector does not have FQDNS name that matches with my A reocrd, there is no option to change the FQDNS name.

    I tried maxtoolbox utility and found that it says Warning – Reverse DNS does not match SMTP Banner.
    Ran command: Get-senconncector |fl and it shows NO FQDN name for it….

    Under server configuration–HUB transport—Default receive connector properties it shows the local comouter name of my server (Server.mydomain.local) not mail.mydomain.com.

    Please suggest how to reslove this issue.

    Thanks

    Roshi

    Reply
    • Hi Roshi,

      SMTP Banner has nothing to do with cert.

      You can change the banner to what you have externally, eg; mail.domain.com points to your public ip for smtp.
      If mail.domain.com points to your public ip, say 1.2.3.4, then you need to create a reverse dns record / ptr record in your public dns to resolve it back, ie; 1.2.3.4 points back to mail.domain.com.

      Then create a new receive connector (say from Internet) and use the exchange ip rather than all ips which is the default for receiving ip.
      Set mail.domain.com as the fqdn in the new connector.

      Default connectors doesnt allow you to change fqdn and hence the need for a new one.

      Thanks

      Reply
  8. Hi Rajith,

    but it is also recommended to create a separate Receive Connector, so there is no problem i think, to customize this Line in the GUI on the newly created Receive Connector.

    Michael Seidl aka Techguy

    Reply
  9. Hi Anonymous,

    You can't set a banner (except internal server name, null value etc) on the default receive connector. You will need to create a new receive connector and play with the IPs to make the connector unique, then apply your banner text.

    Shell makes it easier, just a one-liner, no need of new connectors.

    Reply

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Disable Windows Copilot Using Intune

Windows Copilot is Microsoft’s take on making life easier for Windows users using the power of AI. This article explains how to disable the feature using Intune, if your organization is not ready yet to walk into the AI world.

Disable Windows Copilot Using Intune

We need to create a Configuration Profile for Windows devices in the Intune portal to disable Windows Copilot. Below are the steps that we need to create the profile.

Launch the Intune Portal and login as a Global Admin or Intune Admin.

Navigate to Devices -> Windows -> Configuration Profiles.

Windows Configuration Profile Intune

Click on Create -> New Policy.

Select Windows 10 & later as the platform and Settings Catalog as the profile type & click on the Create button.

Settings Catalog Intune CoPilot

Give the policy a meaningful name & description and click Next.

Policy Name Disable CoPilot

Within the configuration settings, click on the Add Settings option.

Add Settings Disable CoPilot

Search for ‘copilot’, Windows AI will come up as the category. Click on Windows AI and the Turn off Copilot in Windows (User) setting will come up. Check the box and click Next.

Turn off CoPilot Setting Intune
Turn off CoPilot Setting Intune Summary 1

Specify scope tags if required and click Next.

Select tags CoPilot Intune

Select who this policy should apply to in the Assignments section. I have selected to add all users. If you want to test the setting, you can create a test group and select that group here.

Similarly, you can also exclude certain group from disabling AI (say IT team) if required.

Add all users disable copilot intune

A summary of selected settings will be displayed. Click on the Create button to setup the policy to disable Windows Copilot.

Create configuration policy disable CoPilot Intune 1

Wait for the replication to complete in the cloud backend and login to your machine. Your chatty Copilot should now be disabled.

Disable Windows Copilot On Windows 11 Pro

Follow the steps below to disable Copilot on a personal Windows 11 Pro machine (say your own laptop).

Search for ‘group’ in Windows 11 and click on Edit Group Policy option.

Group Policy Windows 11 Disable Copilot

Navigate to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Copilot.

Windows Copilot GPO setting

Double click on Turn off Windows Copilot setting on the right pane.

Select Enabled and click OK.

Turn off copilot gpo Windows 11 Pro 1

Close the Group Policy Editor. This will disable Windows Copilot on a Windows 11 Pro machine.

Summary

We have learned to disable Windows Copilot using Intune and Group Policy on Windows 11 machines.

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Promote Windows Server 2025 To Domain Controller

Domain controllers are the backbone of any Active Directory domains in the Microsoft world. Any Windows server can be promoted to be a domain controller. In this article, we will go through the steps of promoting a Windows 2025 Server to be a domain controller.

Windows Server 2025

The latest version of the server operating system has been named Windows Server 2025. You can start with a 2025 Server & create an AD domain or you can promote a member server that is already a part of a domain.

The Windows Server 2025 needs to be installed on a machine before it can be promoted to be a domain controller.

Promote Windows Server 2025 To Domain Controller

If you have been working with Windows servers long enough, everything starts with the Server Manager app. Promoting a server to a domain controller is no different.

Launch ‘Server Manager’ & click on Add roles and features.

Windows 2025 Server Manager

You land on the summary page that explains what is required to run this wizard successfully. Click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Add Remove Roles

Select Role-based or Feature-based installation and click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Role Based Install

Select the server that needs to be promoted and click Next.

Windows Server 2025 Destination Server

Select Active Directory Domain Services (second option) and click on Add Features.

Windows Server 2025 AD Domain Services

Go with the default options for features that need to be installed.

Windows Server 2025 AD Domain Services Features

A summary of AD DS pops up next, click next to continue.

Windows Server 2025 AD DS

Select Restart the server automatically if required and click Install.

Windows Server 2025 AD Restart Server

You get to keep an eye on the progress of the installation.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Progress

Once the role has been installed, you will find an exclamation mark on the top right corner of the Server Manager. Click on that and select Promote this server to be a domain controller.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Continue

You get an error straight away (which you have never seen before) – Error determining whether the target server is already a domain controller. Role change is in progress or this computer needs a restart.

Windows Server 2025 Domain Controller Setup Error

We never needed to restart the server after installing the role in the DC promotion process. Given that it is an insider build of Server 2025, I am hoping that this will get fixed before the public release.

Restart the server, launch Server Manager and click on the Promote this server to be a domain controller option again.

Windows Server 2025 AD Install Continue 1

I am setting up a brand new AD forest and hence I select the third option (Add a new forest) and enter my root domain name.

Windows Server 2025 Add a forest

Next window brings the option to set your forest & domain functional level and the DSRM password. In the insider build, it shows what looks like a variable (the Windows server version on which the you are working).

Windows Server 2025 Forest Functional Level

You can leave the default options in the DNS options wizard and click next.

Windows Server 2025 DNS Options

Enter the netbios name of the domain in the next window and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Netbios Domain Name

You can stick with the default paths for the AD database, log & sysvol folder or pick a location of your choice.

Windows Server 2025 AD Paths

Review the selections that you have made so far and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Options Review

Wait for the green check mark on the prerequisites page and click next.

Windows Server 2025 Pre reqs Check

Click Install in the final window & wait for the magic to happen. Once the machine gets restarted (which it will do automatically), you will have a brand new domain controller based on Windows Server 2025.

Windows Server 2025 AD Snap In

Summary

Promoting a Server 2025 to a domain controller follows pretty much the same steps as previous operating systems. The Insider build has few errors that needs to be fixed, but hey, it is an insider build!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.

Install Windows Server 2025 – Full Guide

Microsoft has released an insider preview of it’s next server operating system named Windows Server 2025. We will have a look at the installation steps involved in setting up a 2025 server.

Windows Server 2025

Microsoft has gone with the same look and feel of Windows 11 operating system in it’s current server operating system – Windows Server 2025. As the product is in insider preview, there might be slight changes before it hits the public shelves.

It is refreshing to see a ‘modern’ feel in the installation process of a server operating system. Gone are the days where the installation of a consumer based OS felt much better compared to it’s server counterpart.

Installing Windows Server 2025

Let’s take a look at the steps involved in setting up a Windows Server 2025 machine. First step is to download the ISO from the Windows Insider portal.

Next step is to boot the virtual / physical machine from the ISO which will kick off the installation of Server 2025.

First option to select is the language settings. Pick the one based which relates to you and click next.

Windows Server 2025 language settings

Select the keyboard settings in the next screen and click next.

Windows Server 2025 keyboard

You get the option to select whether you want to Install Windows Server or Repair the installation. The bottom left corner also has the option to go to the previous version of setup.

Windows Server 2025 setup option

You are asked to enter the product key, which is available in the Windows Insider portal.

Windows Server 2025 product key

Next option to choose is the type of image you want to install – Windows 2025 core or full blown desktop experience.

Windows Server 2025 Desktop

You need to agree to the licensing terms to move forward in the next step.

Windows Server 2025 Agreement License

Select the partition on which the server OS should be installed and click next. You also have the option to slice the partitions the way you see fit in the same screen.

Windows Server 2025 Disk Partitions

The Ready to Install window comes up, click the install button.

Windows Server 2025 Install 1

Installation of Server 2025 is underway and you get to see the progress.

Windows Server 2025 Install Progress

Once the installation is complete, you need to enter an administrator password of your choice to finalize the setup.

Windows Server 2025 Password

And there you go! You see a Windows 11 login screen staring at you ;-)

Windows Server 2025 Login Screen

After logging in, you get to set the options around sending diagnostic data to Microsoft, which I always set as ‘required only’.

Windows Server 2025 Diagnostic Data

The Windows Server 2025 desktop looks similar, doesn’t it? ;-)

Windows Server 2025 Desktop Feel scaled

Now that the server is up and running, you can promote it to be a domain controller.

Summary

The Windows Server 2025 has the same look and feel as a Windows 11 operating system. The installation options also provide that modern ‘feel’ and makes it a bit soothing to the eyes!

Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments section.