PHP5 WinXP Mail SMTP Failure because of an unknown reason

Posted on 2004-10-26
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hi all,

I've got a problem when I try to send out an email.
It seems that PHP or something else is messing up the to-header and thus the smtp server doesn't know what to do with it.

WindowsXP Professional
IIS SMTP Server (also tried my ISP's smtp)
Apache 2.something

Headers that I'm sending out:

[code]Message-ID: <20041026111124DoppyMailer@validdomain.ext>
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Doppy Server Mailer
From: "Source adress" <doppy@validdomain.ext>
To: "doppy@validdomain.ext" <doppy@validdomain.ext>; "doppynl@validdomain2.ext" <doppy@validdomain2.ext>
CC: "doppy@validdomain.ext2" <doppy@validdomain.ext2>
Subject: Just Testing again...
Return-Path: <bounce@validdomain.ext>

note: I replaced the names with the adres to find out if that solved it, it didn't.

The error:
Warning: mail() [function.mail]: SMTP server response: 501 5.5.4 Invalid Address in D:\ServerHTTP\Internal\storage\classes\email.php on line 50

When I leave out the CC-header the message is:
Warning: mail() [function.mail]: SMTP server response: 503 No recipient(s). in D:\ServerHTTP\Internal\storage\classes\email.php on line 50

PHP.ini configuration is set to use the smtpserver on localhost default port.

Anyone got any idea what is going on here??
Question by:DoppyNL

    Expert Comment

    I'm not sure where the error is coming from. Have you tried a little testing on the mail function. Are you altering the headers yourself? Are you able to send a mail without adding your own headers.

    I know that this is not a solution, but just wanted some more information. How does your code look?
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Could you post the complete code including the actual mail function?
    Keep in mind that the mail function takes the to adresses as the first argument, the To: in the headers might not be enough to make it work properly. Example:

    $subject = "About this";
    $message = "Message text";
    $headers = "To: ToAddress <>, To2 <>\r\n";
    $headers.= "CC: CCAddress <\r\n";

    mail(",", $subject, $message, $headers);
    LVL 6

    Author Comment

    I'm creating my own headers and passing them to the mail function.

    when I do something like this:
    it is send and received without a hitch.

    Since a plain use of the mail function seems to work, there must be something wrong with my headers....

    The code responsible for sending the email:

    $headers = 'Message-ID: <' . strftime('%Y%m%d%H%M%S') . uniqueid() . 'DoppyMailer@validdomain.ext>' . "\n";
    $headers .= 'X-Priority: 3' . "\n";
    $headers .= 'X-MSMail-Priority: Normal' . "\n";
    $headers .= 'X-Mailer: Doppy Server Mailer' . "\n";
    $headers .= 'From: ' . $this->source . "\n";
    $headers .= 'To: ' . implode('; ', $this->to) . "\n";
    if (count($this->cc) > 0)
          $headers .= 'CC: ' . implode('; ', $this->cc) . "\n";
    if (count($this->bcc) > 0)
          $headers .= 'BCC: ' . implode('; ', $this->bcc) . "\n";
    $headers .= 'Subject: ' . $this->subject . "\n";
    $headers .= 'Return-Path: <' . self::bounceadress . '>' . "\n";
    return(mail('', '', $this->message, $headers));

    $this->to, $this->cc and $this->bcc are arrays with items that look like:
    "name of person" <adres@ofperson.ext>

    I allready posted an example of the resulting $headers variable in my previous post.

    Anyone of you see my mistake in here somewhere?
    LVL 6

    Author Comment

    When I change this line:
    return(mail('', '', $this->message, $headers));
    return(mail(implode('; ', $this->to), '', $this->message, $headers));
    and leave the rest as it is I get the exact same error.

    If it then also comment out the To: line in the headers I also get the same error message.

    Expert Comment

    Make sure that each header ends with \r\n. Windows especially is picky this way. Also, I would recommend changing the implode statements to use a comma instead of a semicolon altough I don't think that is really the problem.
    LVL 6

    Author Comment

    replacing \n with \r\n didn't help (was probably trying that when you were typing your message! :P )

    replacing ; with , as a seperator also didn't help.
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    Did you try to change all the to addresses to the form of instead of name <> yet? This is what I got from the PHP manual:

    Note:  The to parameter should not be an address in the form of "Something <>". The mail command may not parse this properly while talking with the MTA (Particularly under Windows).
    LVL 6

    Author Comment

    Problem solved:

    - mail function overrides the "to" and "subject" of your own headers with what you pass along to the function. So you must set the to-header and the subject-header in the mail-function, not in your own headers. Other headers do work normally.

    - mail function does NOT understand this format at all:
    "person name" <person@adress.ext>
    this doesn't work for to, cc or bcc. instead just use:

    Problem solved; tnx all for digging in the problem.
    Accepting the correct answer.

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