Email sent to Helpdesk does not create new incidents

Article:TECH122017  |  Created: 2010-01-28  |  Updated: 2011-06-30  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution


Email sent to the Helpdesk email inbox does not create new incidents.




Several processes must succeed in order for an email to be received by the Helpdesk email inbox to create a new incident. The following describes how to troubleshoot these processes.

Part 1: Verify that an email inbox exists and is active

  1. In the Helpdesk console, go to Admin > E-mail Inboxes > List E-mail Inboxes. If no email inbox exists, create a new one and configure it. Note: An email inbox is not created when Helpdesk in installed and requires that a user manually create one. 
  2. If more than one email inbox exists, check to ensure that users are sending email to the correct email inbox email address.
  3. Verify that the email inbox is set to Active. If not, edit the email inbox and set it to Active.
  4. If any changes where made, send a test email to the email inbox. Wait five minutes before checking to see if a new incident was created.

Part 2: Test the email inbox connection to the email server

  1. Edit the email inbox.
  2. Click on the Test Connection button. This should return "OK". If not, an error such as "Error connecting to server" or "-ERR Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password." will occur. This indicates that either the Helpdesk email server configuration values are incorrect or the Helpdesk server cannot connect to the email server.

Part 2a: Test Connection button fails due to incorrect Helpdesk email server configuration values

    1. Verify that the following fields have correct values, which the email administrator may need to be contacted for confirmation: Protocol, Server, Account, Password, and Authentication Mode. Notes: (1) The Protocol cannot be changed after an email inbox has been saved for the first time. If the Protocol is incorrect, the email inbox will need to be recreated with the correct protocol. (2) Helpdesk does not support SSL. If the email server requires SSL, an alternate email server will need to be used. For more information, please refer to the following article:

      Configuring Helpdesk to use Microsoft Exchange 2007 results in the error "-ERR" when configuring an E-mail Inbox
    2. After making any changes, click on the Test Connection button again. If this returns "OK", then send a test email to the email inbox. Wait five minutes before checking to see if a new incident was created.

Part 2b: Test Connection button fails due to the Helpdesk server not being able to connect to the email server

As a test, set up Microsoft Outlook Express on the Helpdesk server. Use the same configuration values that were entered into the Helpdesk email inbox. Can Microsoft Outlook Express then connect and send and receive email to the email server? If not, then this issue is not caused by the Altiris Helpdesk software, but is an issue with the email server or network. Contact the email or network administrator for further assistance. Note: Using a web email client will not produce the same results and therefore should not be substituted for Microsoft Outlook Express for this test.

Part 3: Test the email inbox processing

  1. Edit the email inbox.
  2. Temporarily disable any filters. If this does not resolve the issue, continue with the remaining test steps for Part 3.
  3. Edit the email inbox and set it to be inactive by clicking on the Active field to disable it.
  4. Click on the OK button. This places the email inbox into view mode, where the Process button can be used to manually check the processing status.
  5. Send another email to the email inbox.
  6. Click on the Process button, ensuring that Test only is enabled. This will show whether or not the email was received and if it would have created a new incident or not. Note: It may be necessary to wait a minute or two before the email arrives at the email server before it is seen by Helpdesk.

    Part 3a: Email inbox processing results in zero messages receivedIf no email was received, "Messages: 0" will appear. This indicates that the email server is not communicating to the email inbox. Contact the email administrator for further assistance who can analyze the email directly on the email server for issues.

    Part 3b: Email inbox processing results in successful messages received

    1. Validatin rules may be causing this issue. If email was received, the email inbox is successfully seeing the email from the email server but not creating a new incident. Review the process information to check what may be causing this. For example, "Validation rule failures: #" may appear. This indicates that a validation rule blocked the creation of the incident. This may happen if a validation rule requires certain fields to have valid data, such as a category. If the Altiris log does not specify which validation rule is the cause, the only way to troubleshoot this is to manually disable active validation rules one by one to find the rule(s) that are the cause. Once the rule(s) are found that are the issue, these can be left disabled if they are not needed, or if they are, their conditions will need to be changed to prevent inbound email from causing them to block new incidents from being created. Note: Ensure that the manual process box is scrolled all the way down as information may not be immediately visible for diagnostics.
    2. If the email domain name has changed, or is passed via an email relay server, the Helpdesk server may no longer be recognizing the email address as valid. If the inbox is set to reject email from unknown contacts, this may need to be temporarily set to create a contact (from the unknown address) to then enable this to work.
    3. Check the Altiris log by using the Altiris Log Viewer on the server. This often will provide more information on why an incident was not created.
    4. If manually processing the inbox shows that no new incidents would have been created, is the Helpdesk inbox being monitored by something else, such as Outlook? If so, this is likely removing the message from the email server before Helpdesk can see this. It is therefore not recommended to externally monitor Helpdesk's inbox other than visually checking this on the actual Exchange server itself. If turning the inbox back on results in the email still not arriving, what is the status of the message on the email server? Is it there, or gone? If gone, this implies that something is still monitoring the inbox other than Helpdesk and pulled the message from the server before Helpdesk was able to. Note that manualy testing of the inbox is immediate, whereas automatically may take several minutes. Therefore if something else checks the inbox in that time, it may take the message off the email server, not leaving a copy for Helpdesk to use.
  7. Once any processing issues have been resolved, edit the email inbox and click on the Active field to enable it.
  8. Click on the OK button.
  9. Send another email to the now-active email inbox. Wait five minutes before checking to see if a new incident was created. This should now work successfully.

Part 4: Check the Altiris Service in Windows

  1. On the Altiris server, go to the Windows Start button > Administrative Tools > Services.
  2. Locate the Altiris Service.
  3. Right click on the Altiris Service and choose Restart. If this fails to start, other environmental Notification Server core issues may be resulting in being unable to start this, resulting in email processing issues as well. Contact the Notification Server core team at Symantec Technical Support for additional assistance.

Additional Troubleshooting

  • Reboot the Helpdesk server.
  • Reboot the mail (Exchange) server.

KNOWN ISSUE: Helpdesk Notify Rule sends multiple e-mails

Configuring Helpdesk to use Microsoft Exchange 2007 results in the error "-ERR" when configuring an E-mail

General Troubleshooting steps for Helpdesk rules or tasks

Related Articles

Helpdesk notify rules are not sending email

Trying to configure a Helpdesk e-mail inbox results in -ERR errors

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