Testing SMTP Server using SMTPDIAG tool

I have been using a Microsoft diagnostic tool to test mail flow called SMTPDIAG. I used it on my cloud server to confirm that all the conditions required for successful mail delivery were met. The tool tests SMTP and DNS. Click here to download the tool.

Once downloaded run SmtpDiag.EXE and extract the files to a location of your choice. Then open a command prompt, go to that location and run the following command:

smtpdiag from@yourdomain.com recipient@theirdomain.com

The first parameter from@yourdomain.com is the email address that the tool is sending the email from and the second parameter recipient@theirdomain.com is the receiving email address. The tool will run through a basic set of tests and will flag any issues it encounters. To view more diagnostic information run the same command with a /v switch at the end.

smtpdiag from@yourdomain.com recipient@theirdomain.com

A sample test I ran can be seen below:

20130427232109

You can see that the recipient has a Gmail address so the tool will test name resolution for the domain gmail.com and comfirm it has the relevant MX records. You will notice that the first test result shows this failure:

Failed to connect to the domain controller. Error: 8007054b

This error can be ignored as the server is not an Exchange server and it not part of an Active Directory domain.

The results confirm that SMTP and DNS resolution is working fine!

You can also use telnet and Powershell to test mail sending/routing via SMTP Server. Please refer to this link to see how to do this.

Seeing “The current SKU is invalid” when adding another node to a SQL Server 2008 failover cluster

I performed some maintenance work last Sunday which involved adding two new nodes to an existing two-node SQL Server 2008 failover cluster. During the installation of SQL Server 2008 I encountered the following error:

The current SKU is invalid.

This is a known bug and occurs because the installation files include a custom Defaultsetup.ini file that contains the product key (typically a volume license). There is a fix for this bug in Cumulative update package 1 for SQL Server 2008, click here to visit the relevant KB article.

I chose a quick fix which was to open the Defaultsetup.ini file (found in the x64 folder) which should look as below:

:SQLSERVER2008 Configuration File
[SQLSERVER2008]
PID="xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx"

Make a note of the product key and then remove everything on the line containing the PID so it looks like this:

:SQLSERVER2008 Configuration File
[SQLSERVER2008]

Save the file and then go through the installation again. The only difference will be that you are required to manually enter the product key as it will not be pre-populated with the value you deleted earlier.

Details of this bug can be found here. and applies to SQL Server 2008. I did notice that others have experienced the same problem with SQL Server 2008 R2 and applied the same fix.