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Outlook 2003 times out connecting to SMTP server

I've got a recurring problem with a windows XP box running outlook 2003 SP2 - occasionally (sometimes once a day) the XP box will have problems connecting to the local mailserver (a linux box running postfix).  Outlook throws up a message saying that the system timed out attempting to connect to the SMTP server.  The guy using the box seemed to think that it seemed to happen when he replied to messages (not every time, obviously), but I can't see how that can be anything other than a coincedence.  When this particular error occurs, no matter how many times you try outlook fails to connect to the mail server.  If you close outlook down and open it back up, it will send your messages, but it won't download any other new messages until you restart the computer.  

I saw some suggestions on the web that said 1) update your software (it's already up to date, though) and 2) increase your timeout settings.  I turned the timeout up from 1 minute to 2.5 minutes, but it still happens.   I'm confident it's not a network latency issue - there is no way that it would take 3 minutes to communicate with the server.  Nothing else is experiencing a timeout problem or even a slowdown.  

We don't have any other computers in the office running outlook 2003, so I can't say if it's an issue isolated to that computer, or an outlook issue.  No one else has any problems connecting to the mail server.  Everyone else in the office uses Eudora, Mozilla or Thunderbird mail, with the exception of one person running WinNT with Outlook 2002 SP2.      
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bjulian
Asked:
bjulian
2 Solutions
 
upul007Commented:
I had the same  time out issue when the email server was loaded with emails. Does your server send out large numbers of emails?

There are also instances of this happening when only a limited number of connections are possible on the email server but Linusx is out of my league.

Can you post the exact error code to get a better idea.
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bjulianAuthor Commented:
We're a small company and probably only send out one or two email every few minutes.  When I get a report of the error message again, I'll post the exact text.
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war1Commented:
Greetings, bjulian !

1. Intermittent problem is difficult to trace. Register an important send/receive library file.  Go to Start > Run and type regsvr32 inetcomm.dll

2. Check if antivirus email check is slowing sending and receiving.  Disable it.

3. In the account settings, Advanced settings, change the server timeout time from 2.5 min to 5 min

4. See this troubleshooter for not sending
http://www.slipstick.com/problems/nosend.htm

Best wishes!
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David LeeCommented:
Greetings, bjulian.

You could also turn logging on at that machine and let Outlook record a debug log that might help you figure the problem out.  To turn logging on click Tools->Options->Other->Advanced Options and check the "Enable logging (troubleshooting)" box.

Cheers!
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war1Commented:
bjulian,

We have not heard from you in awhile. Did any comment help you solve your problem? Do you have any more question? If an Expert helped you, please accept his/her answer above with an excellent or good grade.

Thanks, war1
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bjulianAuthor Commented:
I appreciate everyones input.  I am waiting to see if the problem happens again.  It only seemed to happen a few times a week, so I need to wait to be sure the problem is gone.
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war1Commented:
bjulian, thanks for the update.
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bjulianAuthor Commented:
I believe the problem stopped happening when I followed the advice from:
http://www.slipstick.com/problems/nosend.htm
as suggested by war1.  I configured Outlook to log into the incoming mail server before sending outgoing mail, and it seems to have stopped having timeout issues.  The way my system is configured, the outgoing and incoming mail goes through the same server.  Knowing about that logging feature was helpful too.
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war1Commented:
bjulian, glad the problem is resolved.
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