OE receives mail but doesn't send

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Kate, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. Kate

    Kate Guest

    I'm writing this on behalf of a friend who just purchased a Gateway AMD
    dual core Athlon running at 2ghz with 2 gigs of RAM from Best Buy. (I'm
    a Dell Dimension 8300 owner who has read this group for years and
    respects the info I've received from you, so I'm hoping you won't mind
    sharing your expertise even thought the machine is not a Dell). She can
    receive but not send Email on Outlook Express. She's received no error
    messages and only discovered the problem after a friend wrote to ask
    why she hadn't been heard from. Her POP3 settings are fine; her ISP,
    Charter, has declined to help; she talked to Gateway and after going
    through numerous trials ie. shutting down Norton, etc, they suggested
    she call Microsoft. Operating system is WinXP MCE; I tried to
    uninstall, reinstall OE from Control Panel without success. ( I'm
    fairly knowledgeable, have reformatted and reinstalled Windows on my
    own computer which runs XPPro). In all other respects the computer
    performs well and is very fast. Any suggestions from you would be
    greatly appreciated.

    Kate, Aug 29, 2006
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  2. Kate

    Jay B Guest

    sending email is the smtp server settings, not the pop3.
    i dont know that particular ISP, but many are cracking down on what gets
    sent thru their servers.
    there should be an error if OE cannot send the mail.
    if there are no errors, then it seems that the service provider is
    simply not sending the mail thru.

    if a copy of the message is in your sent folder, then
    you can try and compact the outlook express folders, because if they get
    too big, i've seen weird things happen. do that from the file pulldown

    isn't there a button to test settings from within the setup of the
    program, and if that is clicked, does it work OK?
    Jay B, Aug 29, 2006
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  3. Kate

    Ben Myers Guest

    Charter's telephone tech support may refuse to hep, but the Charter web site has
    good information about setting up their email accounts for use with Outlook,
    Outlook Express, and maybe a couple of other email packages. I suggest that
    your friend find this information and follow it rigorously. I am a Charter
    customer, too, but I use Eudora, so I can't help very quickly. I've forgotten
    all I know about OE, and it takes too long to refresh my memory.

    FWIW, I have the following settings, which should correspond to OE:

    Mail server (incoming) - pop.charter.net
    SMTP server (outgoing) - smtp.charter.net
    Authentication is not checked.

    I do not recall whether OE requires a full email address, e.g.
    or just the person's email name, e.g. john_doe .

    .... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Aug 29, 2006
  4. Kate

    User N Guest

    If no error messages were encountered after sending the email, that suggests
    that OE was able to contact an SMTP server and hand the message off. In
    the simple case, that SMTP server corresponds to your ISP's SMTP server.
    However, locally running tools (eg antivirus) can place themselves between OE
    and your ISP's server, acting like an intermediary SMTP server. Conceptually,
    OE may have handed the message off to such a tool and the latter failed to
    forward the msg to her ISP's server. However, if that were the case, that tool
    should have displayed some kind of error message. So it is sounding to me
    as though the email was probably successfully sent to her ISP's SMTP server.
    Which kinda contradicts your first sentence unless this was/is an isolated case.
    Can she send an email to herself and receive it? Can she get an email to your
    Yahoo account?

    If the answer is yes, she should verify she has the right email address for that
    friend and try sending another email. Once her ISP's SMTP server has the
    message it will try to forward it to the recipient's SMTP server. If there are
    immediate fatal errors while doing so she'll quickly get an error message via
    email. If the errors are such that retrying makes sense, her SMTP server
    will retry for awhile. It may retry for 5 days or whatever before giving up
    and emailing a "can't deliver, giving up" msg to her. However, after 4 hours
    or whatever it may (should) email her a "having problems, will continue to
    retry" msg. If she is just having problems getting email to some people, then
    the issue is most likely on their side and they'll need to get involved and
    make sure their setup is cool, their ISP isn't having problems or blocking
    your friend's [ISP's] email, etc.

    If the answer is no, something odd is going on. When you send an email
    via OE it gets queued in the Outbox until it is handed off to an SMTP
    server, afterwhich the message is moved from the Outbox to Sent Items
    (if this is enabled which it usually is and should be during testing). If after
    sending a test message she sees that it remains stuck in the Outbox, even
    after hitting the Send/Receive button, that is something to go on. If that
    message appears in the Sent Items folder then OE got rid of it and the
    problem is elsewhere. If the message appears in neither or both places,
    OE is probably hosed.
    User N, Aug 29, 2006
  5. Kate

    Kate Guest

    Thanks all, for your replies. We have checked Charter's website, her
    settings are accurate. We have sent out many E-mails to Yahoo, Hotmail,
    Charter - none have been received; messages DO go to the Sent Box. As I
    said before, there is no error message. Gateway had her disable Norton
    AV and Firewall, no effect. (She had been using Norton on her old
    computer with no problems). I would like to try an uninstall,reinstall
    of IE or just Outlook Express, but Add or Remove programs in Control
    Panel doesn't allow that. I'm running IE7 Beta on my computer, so know
    this can be done, but my feeble brain can't remember how. She does have
    the WinXP MCE operating system disc. This computer is only a week old.

    Kate, Aug 29, 2006
  6. Kate

    Kate Guest

    I will have her try this. I also use Charter, and this is not checked
    on my computer.

    Kate, Aug 29, 2006
  7. Kate

    User N Guest

    Obvious problem sources: OE, Charter, something in between like
    software running on her box.

    If you click send, see no error messages, and the email gets moved to
    the Sent Box that very strongly suggests that the email was successfully
    transmitted by OE to some other entity. You could double check that
    idea by going into Tools->Options->Maintenance, and turning on logging
    for Mail. The file you'd be interested in would be SMTP.log and it can
    be found in the Store folder, which you can get the path to on that same
    Maintenance property page. Note the time, click send on a test email,
    then check the log and scroll to the end looking for the right entry. Which
    should look something like this if all is well (note some things have been
    X'd out and domain names changed to example.com):

    SMTP: 06:25:45 [rx] 220 example.com - Other verbage
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [tx] EHLO MachineName
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [rx] 250-example.com
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [tx] AUTH LOGIN
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [rx] 334 XXXXXXXXXX
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [tx] XXXXXXXXXX
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [rx] 334 XXXXXXXXXX
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [tx] XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [rx] 235 Authentication successful
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [tx] MAIL FROM: <>
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [rx] 250 ok
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [tx] RCPT TO: <>
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [rx] 250 ok;
    SMTP: 06:25:45 [tx] DATA
    SMTP: 06:25:46 [rx] 354 ok
    SMTP: 06:25:46 [tx]
    SMTP: 06:25:46 [rx] 250 ok ; id=XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    SMTP: 06:25:46 [tx] QUIT
    SMTP: 06:25:46 [rx] 221 example.com

    After specifying the from and rcpt the email data (msg) is transmitted followed
    by a period on its own line to signify the end of data. Then the server responds
    with a response code. Above, after the period line, you see OE received (rx)
    a "250 ok" which means that the server accepted the message. If you see
    something other than 250 or 251 the code is probably an error code (which
    OE should display) and that can be looked up if necessary. If you see a
    successfull transaction as described, OE should be fine.
    I don't use Norton and can only assume that it provides the ability to scan
    *outgoing* emails. If so, it should provides a means of turning off that
    email scanning feature. Just because it is disabled doesn't mean that Norton
    couldn't still be sitting between OE and Charter, silently failing to forward
    messages. But you would still want to try to disable that email scanning and
    see if it makes a difference. The question being, did she actually do that as
    part of the Gateway troubleshooting or just disable filesystem protection or

    What I would do [next] is fire-up WireShark, a free Windows network
    sniffer, and begin capturing network traffic just before hitting the send on
    a short test email. Then look at the capture to see if there was SMTP
    communication with Charter and whether the message was handed off
    to them or not. That would tell you if the problem is on their side or
    your side. However, the vast majority of users have no experience with
    network sniffers and would lack the determination to learn how to use
    one. So I don't know if that is an option for you.
    If you can gain evidence that OE isn't the problem as described above, I'd
    put that idea off.
    Well keep in mind that when IE7 is installed and you uninstall it you have
    IE6 to fall back on. Also keep in mind that there is no OE7 bundled
    with IE7. I've never had an OE or sole IE installation problem that
    required me to look into the reinstallation/repair options, so I can't
    comment on what your options are.
    User N, Aug 29, 2006
  8. Kate

    Kate Guest

    Thanks, User N, for your very detailed and informative reply. I was
    all ready to go over this morning and try the log file, but my friend
    is so disgusted with what she perceives as runarounds from Gateway and
    Microsoft that she's taking the machine back to Best Buy and putting it
    in their laps. Hopefully she'll be successful. If not I'll try again
    using your suggestions. (Was surprised that Gateway's support was NOT a
    1-800 number; can't believe they told her to go to Microsoft, and of
    course Microsoft insisted she go right back to them). Anyway, you all
    have provided me with info that could be of great value in the future.

    Kate, Aug 29, 2006
  9. Kate

    Boris Guest

    I've read the entire thread, but maybe I missed this. Have you tried
    creating your friend's account on another machine to see if OE will
    send, or did she have OE working properly on an older machine of hers?

    Maybe the Geek Squad can figure it out...
    Boris, Aug 29, 2006
  10. Kate

    Taurus Guest

    Make sure your friends antivirus software is up to date. I helped someone
    with an almost identical problem and it turned out to be the antivirus. She
    was running the free version of AVG, as I do and when I updated it OE
    started sending emails.
    Taurus, Aug 29, 2006
  11. Kate

    Colin Wilson Guest

    Thanks all, for your replies. We have checked Charter's website, her
    One possibility that no-one has mentioned as yet - have Charter been
    added to any of the blacklists for spam ? - i`m in the UK and got to the
    point where I mark ALL email from charter as shite because of the amount
    of spam being received.
    Colin Wilson, Aug 29, 2006
  12. Kate

    Ben Myers Guest

    One other thing to try is something I always do when setting up email for
    someone. Do an "echo test", sending email to the sender's own email address.
    What should happen is that the mail leaves the computer, goes off to the ISP's
    mail server, then makes its way back in a few minutes, sometimes within second.

    I would also disable any and all anti-virus software on the computer, especially
    if it is Norton's 90-day trailware. Free AVG has the right price, does not
    clutter up the computer, and does the anti-virus job as well as any other.

    .... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Aug 29, 2006
  13. I had a similar problem using Outlook Express and the solution was to enable
    the "My server requires authentication" option.
    This is found under Tools->Accounts-> select your mail server
    (mail.charter.com??) -> properties -> On the servers tab under the heading
    Outgoing Mail Server you should see the option.

    Robert McMillan, Aug 29, 2006
  14. Kate

    Kate Guest

    She used Norton on her old computer and is happy with it. (I've hinted
    and hinted she could do better- I use AVG and Kerio) Gateway had her
    shut it down totally, didn't make any difference. She's taking it in
    today, hopefully the Geek Squad will find the problem. I"ll report back
    if they do identify it.

    As for Charter and spam, it's bloody awful. When I first signed up with
    them, no spam at all. Have tried a few free anti-spam programs, but
    found them to be unsatisfactory.

    Kate, Aug 30, 2006
  15. Kate

    Ben Myers Guest

    Right. Charter's spam reporting mechanism is a placebo. All it seems to do is
    flush the message from the system rather than placing it in the trash folder.
    There is apparently not any attempt by Charter to filter the spam. And the
    stinking spammers are getting smarter, embedding their sleazy offers in bitmaps
    which escape spam text filters... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Aug 30, 2006
  16. Kate

    Kate Guest

    After all your help and suggestions, thought I'd post the end of the
    story. The Geek Squad could come up with no answer, had her uninstall
    Norton with absolutely no effect, and that's about the extent of their
    efforts. My friend asked to be given another computer, and after
    pleading with the manager, was successful. All is well, no problems;
    she was hesitant to put Norton back on just in case, and is using AVG
    and Kerio firewall. I truly think she had a corrupted file somewhere.
    (Forgot to mention that she had problems when she first set up the
    original computer, and Best Buy had her do a complete System Restore).
    Have to say that this is a really neat machine, seems much speedier
    than my Dimension 8300 at 3 ghz, and was a great buy with a 19 inch
    flat panel and a Canon printer scanner at $949. One question - is the
    greater speed due more to the dual core processors at 2 ghz, or the 2
    gigs of ram? (My computer only has 512megs and I plan to at least
    double that).

    Again, thanks to all,

    Kate, Sep 1, 2006
  17. Kate

    Anthony Guest

    Probably the ram as 2 gigs makes a world of difference as compared to 512.
    Anthony, Sep 1, 2006
  18. Kate

    Kate Guest

    I suspected as much. Am getting myself over to Crucial shortly!

    Kate, Sep 1, 2006
  19. Kate

    Clint Guest

    Shop around. Crucial is no longer the best place for price. I can buy
    name-brand memory at a local store for the same price as Crucial, but the
    local store price is in Canadian dollars while the Crucial price is in US.

    However, their memory configurator is still the cat's pajama's (whatever
    that means).

    Clint, Sep 2, 2006
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