I use Windows Live to manage the email for my domain, NormSash.com.  But one day after making some DNS changes I noticed the warning Service Suspended in my Live Domain Admin screen.   I modified the DNS MX records per the instructions at Windows Live Help, but when I perform a DNS lookup for the MX records I see the proper values returned.

All the help requests to Windows Live Help simply said to configure the DNS MX records per the instructions… um, thanks, but that isn't much help.

Ok, this is getting frustrating and I'm not getting any help telling me what is wrong.  I go to domains.live.com and click on my domain name.  I see that it is suspended with the two options of either 1) Cancel service or 2) Edit mail settings.  I don't want to cancel the service so I click on Edit mail setting.  This gives me a warning that all existing mail accounts will be lost and all data will be deleted.  Obviously, this is not what I want either.

So I look under the mail setup options for the MX (the only thing that is required) saying that I need to create an MX record with the following values:

  • Host: normsash.com
  • MX server: xxxxx13014.pamx1.Hotmail.com  (note: first characters are replaced with 'x' for privacy)
  • TTL: 3600 or 1 hour
  • Priority: 10 (or High priority)I make those changes to my DNS with the following values.  I can't set the TTL because my DNS doesn't have that parameter available to me.Researching this problem further (no help from MS Support to tell me what is actually wrong with my MX record) I ran across this thread http://windowslivehelp.com/thread.aspx?threadid=a0e84f2f-a3f2-477c-b6e7-b190abb7cca1 where someone else was having the same problem with account suspended.  In this case, they implicate having a backup MX record as the reason the domain is suspended. I also have a backup MX record at a lower priority than the Live MX priority of 10 (the Live MX priority is 10, the backup MX record priority is 15.)

I did some experimenting with having a backup MX record.

  1. I deleted my backup MX record (priority 15) and my Live domain became Active.
  2. I then went back in and re-added the backup MX record (priority 15) and my Live domain became Suspended.
  3. I deleted my backup MX record (priority 15) and my Live domain became Active.
  4. I then went back in and re-added the backup MX record (priority 50) and my Live domain became Suspended.
  5. I then changed the priority of the backup MX record to 5.  I got a new message stating that I needed to prove ownership for my Live domain. I guess this would be because the Live MX record is no longer the highest priority.
  6. I deleted the backup MX record and my Live domain status is Active.

Bottom line, to me this is a bug with Windows Live Domain management.  For some reason they don't want any other MX record than the Live MX record even if the Live MX record is the highest priority.  No where does documentation state that there can only be one MX record.  And if MS has defined it as an undocumented requirement, then I have another question... how are we supposed to define a backup mail server.

Anyway, Windows Live support did come back and confirm what I discovered; Live Domains will only support a single MX record.

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Filed under: Tips and TricksWindows Live Domain

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