troubleshooting Question

Outlook 2003 displays error 0x80042109: '... unable to connect to your outgoing (SMTP) e-mail server.'

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I'm runnning Outlook 2003 (11.5608.5606) on five Windows 2000 Professional (5.0.2195 SP4) computers, each set up to use an off-site authenticated SMTP server and IMAP.  Two of the computers are now showing signs of the following error for all users, and are completely unable to send e-mail:

Task '<mailserver> - Sending' reported error (0x80042109) : 'Outlook is unable to connect to your outgoing (SMTP) e-mail server.  If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).'

We have Norton Anti-Virus 2004 installed, running, and fully updated on all machines.  There is an in-house network over 100MBit ethernet with these five workstations, one file/print server and domain controller running Windows 2003 SBS, one firewall/router, one standard router, and a DSL modem.  As only two of the workstations encounter this problem, the firewall/router is not blocking all port 25 requests (tested from other workstations and the server) - the afflicted workstations are unable to connect to any server on port 25 (SMTP), however.

I have disabled NAV to no great effect, and the mail server settings are identical to the other workstations.  The key to this is the fact that outgoing connections on port 25 (SMTP) are blocked on these workstations.  How, I do not know, but if I can re-enable outgoing port 25 connections, I believe the problem will be fixed.

This must be resolved ASAP, thus the difficulty rating.  Thank you, in advance, for any help.
    - Matthew Bevan

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