Too many hops

[This topic is intended to address a specific issue called out by the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool. You should apply it only to systems that have had the Exchange Server Analyzer Tool run against them and are experiencing that specific issue. The Exchange Server Analyzer Tool, available as a free download, remotely collects configuration data from each server in the topology and automatically analyzes the data. The resulting report details important configuration issues, potential problems, and nondefault product settings. By following these recommendations, you can achieve better performance, scalability, reliability, and uptime. For more information about the tool or to download the latest versions, see "Microsoft Exchange Analyzers" at]  

Topic Last Modified: 2006-07-06

The Microsoft® Exchange Server Analyzer Tool sends a test message from the Exchange server to the Postmaster account or a user-defined account for the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) domain and then scans the message tracking logs of the server to determine whether there were issues with the delivery of the test message.

As a part of this scan, the Exchange Server Analyzer queries the MessageID property for the Exchange_MessageTrackingEntry Microsoft Windows® Management Instrumentation (WMI) class under the root\MicrosoftExchangeV2 namespace for each server the message travels to.

A message can be routed through many different SMTP servers before the message reaches its final destination. Each server on this route is referred to as a hop.

If the number of Exchange_MessageTrackingEntry instances for the specific MessageID grows to 30, the Exchange Server Analyzer displays an error.

This error indicates that the test message may be traveling in a loop. Therefore, the Exchange Server Analyzer has stopped querying additional Exchange_MessageTrackingEntry instances as a safety precaution against a possible infinite loop situation.

Additional analysis of the Message Tracking Log section of the Exchange Server Analyzer output may help you determine whether a loop condition exists.