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Outlook 97 Won't Send E-Mail

Posted on 1998-09-04
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Have a Windows NT 4.0 Network and users using Windows 95.
One user has Outlook 97 on his system.  Not consistently but often,
this user receives an SMPT error  (sometimes) that he cannot connect
to the pop server.  No one else on the network receives this error.
Once connected, and when checking for and delivering mail, the system
just sits there and does nothing.  You cannot select anything.  The mail
still remains in the outbox until the system is rebooted.  I've tried repairing
the mailboxes, adding the SR-1 for 97, and changing the timeout for connection
to the pop server.  None of these things seem to have any impact for any length of time.
I'm at my witts end.  I do not understand what the problem is
This also happens with Inbox also.  No other machine on my network is having  this type
of problem with Outlook.  Any ideas or a place where I can start to troubleshoot this problem other
than uninstalling and reinstalling?
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Question by:swebb
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by:swebb
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by:swebb
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Of course this happens to be my General Manager's system so any fast help would certaininly be appreciated.
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by:danyell
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Have you explored some of the obvious non-software explanations? Like maybe the cable connecting that PC's network interface card is loose or frayed or has bad connectors?

Do you know if any other networking activity could or did take place successfully when you experienced the mail failure?

Another possible explanation is that some enormous message is either in the user's Outbox, or in the user's incoming mail queue at the SMTP/POP mail server, or both. If you have access to the mail server or know someone who does, try looking at the mail your GM's supposed to receive, and check for a message with a humunguous file attachment (humunguous is anything > 4 MB). If at all possible, save that message-queue file separately and delete it from your GM's message queue. Then, from GM's workstation, try to fetch mail again.

I used to be CIO of a place that managed 400+ SMTP/POP mailboxes with all sorts of mail clients, and we had this kind of problem so frequently (5+ incidents/week) that we ended up writing a Perl script to check all mail traffic (in- and out-bound) on our server, delete it if it exceeded 4 MB and send an auto-response to the message originator. I really miss having that script now...

Let me know if any of this helps, or if you can provide additional info about symptoms.


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by:swebb
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I have checked the obvious non-software explanations.  Cable is fine.  He usually deletes all incoming mail once read and there is no mail in his outbox that is enormous.  This problem occurs with any mail size he attempts to send but not all the time.  No mail in the SMPT/POP mailbox >4MB.  No other office applications are having problems.  He does have a dial up connection to an ISP.  Also there is a long time delay once outlook opens.  Then it brings up the dial up prompt for his ISP.  I usually cancel and at that point it goes out and checks for mail.  This could take anywhere from 30 sec to several minutes before it responds.
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by:danyell
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Outbox does not contain incoming mail, but rather mail he has composed that has not yet been sent to the mail server. So, his deleting all incoming mail once read would have no effect. So, please check Outbox as I suggested. The problem I described could be caused by a huge message but you would then get the symptoms even if you tried to send a short message.

It sounds like TCP/IP may be misconfigured, or there's a conflict between the LAN IP configuration vs. the dial-up configuration. Does your office LAN have a connection to the Internet? If so, why is dial-up involved?

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by:swebb
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There is no mail in his outbox (if you're referring to his outbox on the mail server).  All mail is sent immediately once it hits the server.  The reason this user has a dial up is because he has a private e-mail account with an outside ISP.  Yes we have internet access via a proxy server.
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MasseyM earned 100 total points
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I would DL Outlook 98.  This was a major bug fix for 97 and thus Microsoft is letting any registered user or MS Office DL it for free... I would do that and your problems will be solved.

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