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Secure email site keeps "timing out"

Posted on 2006-07-10
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have emailed support a dozen times, but maybe I will have better luck here. We are trialing a secure email site called S-Mail, which can be found at www.s-mail.com  It actually works rather well and, with their plug-in for email programs such as Outlook, one can send encrypted email to other users which are using S-mail. All of the mail can be accessed either via a regular email program such as Outlook or Outlook Express or you can also use their web mail.

The problem is when you do go to web mail to get mail or compose an email, it times out within seconds to a minute. It is supposed to time out after approximately 15 to 25 minutes. It is extremely reproducible. Sometimes it times out in less than ten seconds, obviously not nearly enough time to check mail, change options, compose email, etc.

Support continues to send me emails which basically mimic the message on the website. The first reason specified by the site is what one would expect. That it would time out due to a certain period of unuse. The second is due to error. The words between the asterisks are from the site:

********************************

Session timeout

There are two main reasons for the "Session Timeout" message.

1. Your mailbox session has expired.
    Please click here to re-login.

The session time limit secures your correspondence. If you leave your mailbox unattended for a long time, the system terminates your session.

2. An error has occurred.

The "Session Timeout" error takes place in the following cases:

Your IP address has changed while working in the secure mail system. This may be caused by a number of reasons, the main of which are as follows:

Your Internet connection was broken; after the connection resumed your PC was assigned a new IP address. You can try to get a more reliable Internet connection. Your local computer network has certain settings (like proxy service or NAT service parameters) which periodically change IP-addresses. Contact your local network administrator for assistance.

Please note that when trying to fix the above causes of this error you should seek a situation in which your PC's IP-address is constant during the entire secure email session.

You have some software installed on your PC which conflicts with the "cookies" in your browser. It is most likely a firewall or antivirus software. You need to configure the software so that it does not interfere with "cookies". To be on the safe side, when composing a message, you can also save its contents in the clipboard before hitting the "Send" button.

If the error persists, you may contact our support team at support@s-mail.com. Please include the following in your message: the name and version of your operating system and browser, and type of Internet access (dial-up, local network, xDSL, broadband, etc.).

********************************

The PCs I have tried it on at work all have static IP addresses. On my PC at work, I turned off ZoneAlarm and the antivirus software. We do have a Cisco PIX-501 firewall -- not too sure about the NAT on that, but I don't see why that would effect it. I have made sure that my PC accepts all cookies including 3rd party cookies.

I have also tried it at home with the cookies accepted. I am using Windows XP on all of the PCs and am using a LinkSys router/firewall at home.

I am a bit frustrated, because the software/application works well, but without being able to log in to the site for more than thirty seconds, it is kind of useless.

Does anyone have any ideas as to why I continue to get kicked out of the web site?

Thanks
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Question by:Bert2005
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by:Merete
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Hi One idea  you should delete your temporary Internet files.
To clear your temporary Internet files in Internet Explorer, go to "Tools" menu and select "Internet Options...". Then click on the "General" tab. Go to the "Temporary Internet files" section and click the "Delete Files…" button.
After that, close all browser windows and start Internet Explorer again.
Run a disc cleanup.
What server do you have how many clients?
It maybe in the security setting as this is a secure mail.

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by:rindi
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First, the static IP's you have are within you LAN, and not what is available to the outside, so it is still possible that the ip viewable to the internet changes, Although I don't believe that to be your problem.

Have you tried using a 3rd party browser like firefox from http://mozilla.org
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by:Bert2005
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Thanks for the suggestions:

I tried deleting the temporary files. That didn't help. Not really sure what you are referring to on the disc cleanup. I am sure I know, but I am not sure specifically.

We have Windows 2000 Server and 15 clients. But, it doesn't work at my home either.

rindi, you are right all of the static IPs are within the LAN. Opera and Firefox aren't supported.

They say it works with Sun Java and Microsoft VM, but they claim that it sometimes works better with VM. I did download Sun's J2SE Runtime -- it was like 168Mbs. I haven't installed it, because I wasn't sure if it would be helpful.

I have tried quite a few HIPAA-compliant mail setups. Actually, I like Certified Mail the best. But, that actually requires the recipeint to make up their own password and remember it each time, i.e. it is hard to use, because too many computer users won't try to understand it. I mean it's easier than clicking on the Start button.

This one is only $3.00 per month per user, so it's worth a shot and works in a different way so it's fairly routine between users who have it, otherwise the emails aren't encrypted all the way through.

I am frustrated by three things with this company. (I am on the trial period now). First, they don't have telephone support, so I can't just walk through the problem with them.

Second, I use KeyBank, Citicard and a Virtual Private Network to our hospital, and all of them have an approximte ten minute time out for security IF you aren't actively using it. I use these everywhere (well not the VPN -- only here, obviously), and they ALL work ALL the time. It doesn't matter what the cookies are or the JAVA (although I did have to install that on Citrix for the hospital) or any other settings were on the browser -- it works everytime all the time. So, I don't understand why this server doesn't stay connected.

And, third, if they have hundreds or thousands of users, one would think that they would have this problem all the time. I mean I have basically told them we would most likely pay up front (it's cheaper) for six months to a year if they could just fix this one glitch.

Thanks for reading. Let me know if you have any other suggestions.

Bert
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by:Merete
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Bert maybe if you let the problem persist long enough they will change their ways. You say they have no phone support what ISP are they using?
See if this can assist you
  How to troubleshoot your email system.
http://www.matmon.com/outlook-new/troubleshoot.htm

Parsing and Accessing Downloaded Message Parts
http://www.quiksoft.com/newsletter/issue003/default.asp?page=3

http://www.developer.be/index.cfm/fuseaction/tutorialDetail/GroupID/188/tutorialName/Retrieve_E-Mail_from_a_POP3_Server_.htm

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Securing-Exchange-Server-2003-Outlook-Web-Access-Chapter5.html
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by:Merete
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by:Bert2005
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Merete,

Thanks for post...

I will look at your sites tomorrow. Have to get some sleep tonight.

Two questions, though:

First, how do I know who their ISP is? I looked in the message header, which never seems to tell me anything. Do I just ask them?

Second, and I am only asking because I don't understand, not because I am questioning you. But, how would letting the problem persist make them change their ways?

Thanks again.

Bert
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by:Merete
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lol what happened there, a double up??
I am not really professed at servers still learning.
So If its ok I;ll just send my ideas.

But I had another idea, on some computers there is this option to turn off the network card if idle.
When you deploy Microsoft Windows XP with the Microsoft Windows System Preparation Tool (Sysprep), you may want to disable the Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power network adapter power management setting on some computers. If you disable this setting on portable computers, it may help preserve battery power when the network adapter causes the computer to resume unexpectedly.
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=837058

I was under the impression you may have some better ideas for email clients for them to use and they didnt want change anything, sorry if I mis interpreted .

You got me wondering when you said they don't have telephone support, so I wondered how they connect to the internet?
So do I understand that you are not actually there on that site?
Are you all Emailing back and forth??
The only place I can find a reference to my dsl ISP is in my email account using Outlook express pop3

from the original post>>
like proxy service or NAT service parameters) which periodically change IP-addresses. Contact your local network administrator for assistance.
which maybe a good idea to see if the router or dsl connection is dropping off, their ISP I guess you would have to ask them for it, when I think about it it is not really  offered anywhere using a dsl. But the router would have a logfile.
===================================
some information I found.
FREEping - FREE IP Ping Software
http://www.tools4ever.com/products/free/freeping/

Static IP address setup
Converting  from a DHCP based LAN configuration
http://www.homenethelp.com/web/howto/static-ip-address.asp

http://www.portforward.com/networking/static-xp.htm
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by:Bert2005
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Merete,

Great comments. I know exactly where you are talking about on the NIC card. I will try that. Again, though, it would be like the Temporary Files. Even if either worked -- especially the NIC workaround -- who would want to do all that each time one went to this site. Of course, maybe you are talking about turning it off altogether.

For me and my parter, it isn't quite the issue, because there is the plug-in, actually it is just adding another POP3 and SMTP to Outlook so that it goes to my ISP server and to S-mail's pop server. But, then it has nothing to do with the server. It's like going to Yahoo mail on the web vs having the email program download it. But, we do have computer newbies or computer-phobics in our call group who would be scared to death of Outlook. So, they are stuck with web mail. The way S-mail works, one can utilize Outlook so it is like sending regular seamless encrypted mail back and forth. But, you can also go directly to the website. So, one of our doctors uses Yahoo mail. I can easily configure the S-mail site to send her a notification when she receives a secure HIPAA-compliant email. The email, of course, has a link which would take her directly to the site -- she would log in and ger her mail. But, she isn't going to do it if half way through reading about an admit or little Johnny with a fever, it disconnects.

The pink sounds pretty good. Wow, I haven't used a ping program, since I used DUNCE (Dial up network connection something). Of course, that was with modems and ISPs. Not an issue with broadband. But, if I set up the computers to ping that would eliminate the problem.

I wonder if S-mail executives sit around all day wondering why they aren't a Fortune 500 company. For everyone like me who continues to email them, there are probably five who just give up and move on. I mean if I am having the problem, wouldn't they have the problem? It's definitely reproducible.

I will try all of your suggestions. Unfortunately, I was up all night in the ED with a sick kid. So, I got one hour sleep, lol.

By the way, why doesn't E-E get spell check? I could copy and paste but that seems a bit too much.

Bert
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by:Merete
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lol yes spell check would be great a mis spelt word can mean disaster here.
Please browse and take what you could use.

I wonder too about the staff at S Mail, doesnt seem to offer much help or service, probably like most places they are just kids employed there.
I had a look at their site no useful information at all.
Please understand I have never used this program so all of my suggestions are only on a basis.
If you are using Outlook or Outlook epxress you could check these settings.
I know Outlook express has some settings that can disconnect the mail client when it hits send and receive.

I cannot picture how this program integrates with the other email clients, and if the problem is various on different users computers from any place that does make it harder, is it on thier machine or S Mail I ask myself.

I wish I could find an answer for you, but as it is with a program already established we dont have a lot of options.
I cannot access the workings of this S Mail to find out where and what settings is being shutdown, or from whose end it is originating.
I found these as a reference point.
Some list servers do not preserve text as is and thus invalidate signatures.

Please note:
Prior to using S-Mail Agent you need to sign up for a free S-Mail account.
You should also make sure that your PC meets S-Mail system requirements.
You cannot log in your S-Mail box simultaneously via the web and via your email software (by means of S-Mail Agent).
If you have some questions about S-Mail Agent settings, please press "Help" in the S-Mail Agent

I cannot send mail: the 25th port for SMTP server is busy or closed by a network administrator. What should I do to work in S-Mail via email software such as Outlook, Eudora, etc.?
Open S-Mail Agent, choose Options - Settings - Advanced - Servers, and set SMTP server port to 1025.


I cannot receive mail: the 110th port for POP3 server is busy or closed by a network administrator. What should I do to work in S-Mail via email software such as Outlook, Eudora, etc.?
Open S-Mail Agent, choose Options - Settings - Advanced - Servers, and set POP3 server port to 1110.

You don't need to open your S-Mail web interface every time you want to check your mail or send a message. Just install S-Mail Agent, and you can work with your S-Mail account via your favourite email software.
After installation, S-Mail Agent operates between your email software and the S-Mail server. You work with your correspondence as usual, and the S-Mail Agent automatically protects all your mail with the same methods used by web-based S-Mail.
S-Mail Agent also allows you to encrypt/decrypt any files on your PC or removable data storage devices.

System Requirements
You don't have to buy or download any software to start using S-Mail®. Just make sure that your system meets our requirements:
Processor - Pentium 200 or higher.

RAM - 32Mb or more.

Internet connection - 26Kb/s or faster.

Operating system - Windows 95/98/Me/2000/NT/XPTM or Linux.

Browser - Microsoft Internet ExplorerTM (IE) v. 5.0 or higher
or Netscape Navigator/CommunicatorTM (NN) 4.75 - 4.79.

JavaScript and Java support.

Java Virtual Machine (JVM) by Microsoft or Sun (v. 1.4.2.04 or lower !) must be installed. Microsoft JVM is a bit faster, but Sun JVM seems to be more reliable.

Installing almost all Windows versions will automatically install JVM. However, some versions (e.g. some subversions of Windows XP) require manual installation of JVM.

To install Sun or Microsoft JVM, please follow these links:

Sun JVM 1.4.2.04 (14.6 Mb)
Microsoft JVM (6.0 Mb)
You should also see that the settings of your local network or firewall software do not prohibit Java, JavaScripts or cookies. They are needed for secure emailing.
http://s-mail.com/inf/1/requirements.shtml.en
http://s-mail.com/inf/1/how.shtml.en

If you have some questions about S-Mail Agent settings, please press "Help" in the S-Mail Agent menu or visit this page.
http://s-mail.com/inf/1/faq8.shtml.en#2

S/MIME Secure Email - A Beginners Guide
http://www.marknoble.com/tutorial/smime/smime.aspx

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-058
Unchecked Buffer in Outlook Express S/MIME Parsing Could Enable System Compromise (Q328676)
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS02-058.mspx

Lol send them feedback.
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by:Bert2005
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Merete,

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. Work has been extremely busy. Anyway, see my response after the quote below: (And, sorry for the long post)

"I wonder too about the staff at S Mail, doesnt seem to offer much help or service, probably like most places they are just kids employed there. I had a look at their site no useful information at all.
Please understand I have never used this program so all of my suggestions are only on a basis.
If you are using Outlook or Outlook epxress you could check these settings. I know Outlook express has some settings that can disconnect the mail client when it hits send and receive."

"I cannot picture how this program integrates with the other email clients, and if the problem is various on different users computers from any place that does make it harder, is it on thier machine or S Mail I ask myself."
______________

I still think there is some confusion as to where the problem lies. Although, there is some connection between Outlook or Outlook Express (Outlook here) and S-Mail, that really isn't the problem.

Picture my computer completely devoid of either of the two Microsoft email applications. Or, think of going to any computer anywhere that may not even have an email appliction. One can simply log into one's S-mail webmail by typing www.s-mail.com or htt://webmail.s-mail.com. You could then do anything you want there, i.e. read, send or delete emails. One doesn't have to have Outlook to access the email. It is while I am in the webmail site, that the auto logout happens. And, therein lies the problem: If I or anyone who uses S-mail is in the site accessing the email, he or she is "kicked out" of the program randomly. It could be three seconds or 45 seconds. This is why I don't think pinging would work. I can be on the site and opening and sending email constantly, and it will still log out automatically. As you know, the auto logout is an essential part of security just as it with any online bank or PayPal or whatever. If one is silly enough to leave without logging out, at least it logs out automatically in a certain amount of time. MOST, if not all, of those sites will give you a warning before they do, however. S-mail does and should have an auto logout as well. The problem is there is some issue with their site where it logs out randomly as well. Maybe the entire issue lies with Java. There certainly make it confusing enough with allowing the two types of Java, Sun's or Microsoft's, and then saying that Microsoft's is faster while Sun's is less error prone. I have downloaded Java from Sun on many occasions, and it has never caused problems with my browing.

One can use S-mail completely without utilizing Outlook. But, it is much easier and way less time-consuming to be able to use Outlook to send and receive the encrypted mail. As far as I can tell, with one exception, all that the S-Mail Agent does it act like a wizard and ask you for a few pieces of information like what name you want displayed and then sets up another email account in Outlook/Outlook Express. In fact, you could set it up manually as it states on the site. It simply adds a new email account in Outlook leaving your default account alone. So, basically, after running S-Mail Agent; you can go into Outlook under Email Accounts and choose the S-Mail account and you will see the POP3 and SMTP servers and email address, etc. just like the one for one's own email account. One can choose to "Leave mail on server," as well.

The only thing thing that the S-Mail agent does is to install an Add-in which allows Outlook to encrypt outgoing mail and decrypt incoming mail. So, Outlook or Outlook Express has nothing to do with the problem. Outlook simply downloads the email from the S-Mail server when scheduled just as my Outlook downloads email from Adelphia.net's server. I could change every setting in Outlook and it wouldn't affect how the webmail's site utilizes the auto logout.

I don't know if this will help at all, but I did post a screenshot at www.ibackup.com.

Username: experts
Password:  experts1

Ironically, I am now getting emails from S-Mail twice a day reminding me that my trial period ends on July 20th. And, again, I have emailed them back explaining I will be more than happy to sign up if they can fix or at least explain this problem.

Hope this helps. Sorry for the long post. Just trying to help as much as possible.

Thanks
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Merete earned 500 total points
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Hi Bert and thank you for taking the time to be so detailed,,  lengthy posts are good, lots of details
yes thank you I see your windows internet explorer error.
And the first thing that comes to mind>>trial period ends on July 20th, if you are on a trial period
One thing you may not have done is delete the cookies associated with this SMail.
Please try this. Delete the cookies.
We are trialing a secure email site called S-Mail, could be also that a trial version it may not have the full version components, I have found this often.
I also see you use zone alarm, I have it too zone alarm pro, lately it seems to block too many of my lan clients so I finaly uninstalled it to test the difference, zone alarm requires the ip address to be added to allow access, I found even shutting it down the vs monitor.exe still runs and still blocks.
==============================
The permission error that you are getting is not related to your mail account. It strictly deals with the way the computer you are using handles cookies. In order to protect your account from unauthorized usage, they probably use a security method that makes extensive use of cookies. If the computer you are using has cookies disabled (turned off), then you will not be able to use the site. Also, if for some reason your cookie is corrupt, you can safely delete it and log in again. Close your browsers, find your cookies directory, and delete the cookie.
The easiest way to fix this problem is to clear your cache and then locate the S-mail cookie file(s) on your computer and delete it as well. Look in your COOKIES folder (under windows or winnt) and find a text file with S-mail in the name - delete it. You will probably also have to look in your Temporary Internet Files folder (under windows or winnt and/or "program files\internet explorer") for the same file and delete it. Finally, if your browser doesn't support cookies, you have them turned off or you refuse the cookie, you will also get that error message.
========================

you can upload any snaps here
 EE-Stuff. Log on then upload your snap there
https://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/ee-stuff/124-EE-problem.jpg
then using our URL here
Direct link to your file to this url here where we are talking.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21914684.html#17116370


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by:Merete
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try running ccleaner it deletes the index.dat files.
CCleaner is a tool to clean your system from temporary and unnecessary files that accumulate over time. This also includes rather thorough cleaning of Internet and PC usage tracks like browser cache, recently used files, web sites visited and more.
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/ccleaner.html

Delete index.dat files
http://www.milincorporated.com/a_indexdat.html
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by:Bert2005
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Merete,

Thanks for taking so much time helping. I think I did upload the JPG file to the link you left. (Just for practice). I do know how to use the URL for the question, but to be honest, I wasn't able to configure the site correctly. I don't know why, but it seemed to complicated. I guess when I have more time, I can read the help file on it. Plus, the pointing to certain areas such as Windows XP or applications, etc. was confusing. How does one delete an uploaded file?

I have tried EVERYTHING that you suggested and what I came up with. I have troubleshot it in every imaginable way. While doing thing with Java and the cookies and settings, etc. do make some sense, I simply cannot get past the analogy of KeyBank's or Citicard's site. I have used both those sites for months from home behind ZoneAlarm Pro and a LinkSys firewall. My Adelphia ISP assigns a dynamic IP address to me. And, not once have I had a problem staying in the site as long as I am active. And, when I am not, I am warned of being disconnected after ~ 20 minutes of inactivity. I would think if browsers and Java and cookies and temporary files all needed to be set just right, then online banking would not have much of a following. I mean you are very computer savvy, I am sure, and I am not too shabby at it. Could you imagine "newbies" to Windows trying to do online banking if they had adjust a hundred settings. It also would seem that if it were problems with cookies' needing to be deleted, etc. that the problem would continue to recur.

It is frustrating, and the only reason I haven't just given up on the company, is it seems very easy to use and $3.00 per month is rather inexpensive. I believe there are three options left:

1. Support stops simply cutting and pasting what is on their site into their emails to me as support and actually troubleshoots the issue (maybe even by phone).
2. Trying it for one month as a paid system may eliminate the problem as you suggested.
3. Asking S-Mail to turn off the auto log off feature. I am not sure if this can be done on a case by case basis but, if it can, then it should be up to the user. Personally, I am not a big fan of auto log offs unless I were going to be doing a lot of secure stuff on public computers which; for many reasons, is not a good idea anyway. I would be using the web mail either at home or work so I really don't care if I forget to log out. The main use is to be able to send PHI over the Internet securely via encryption and decryption using the PGP protocols. It should be up to the user anyway.

I will get back to you after I email them with my requests. Again, it is weird, because I have tried using the webmail on about eight computers including a laptop. It just seems if I am having problems, then a lot of their customers must be having similar issues.

Thanks.

Bert
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by:Merete
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hello again,  is it s-mail or the fact you are being auto logged off?
 rather sounds like you are logging onto a company server from home??

And this only happening on your machine?

 check the 'Power Management' settings, your PC might be set to go to sleep after a certain time of no mouse/keyboard action. (Power management can be found by right-clicking the desktop, selecting 'Properties' from the drop-down menu, then the 'Screensaver' tab - 'Power....' button. Check in there to a time setting similar to the 'cutoff' time

check poor contact where the phone line plugged into the PC this can cause drop off.

hello again,  is it s-mail or the fact you are being auto logged off the poroblem, not sure as you mention banks?
 rather sounds like you are logging onto a company server from home??

And this only happening on your machine?

 check the 'Power Management' settings, your PC might be set to go to sleep after a certain time of no mouse/keyboard action. (Power management can be found by right-clicking the desktop, selecting 'Properties' from the drop-down menu, then the 'Screensaver' tab - 'Power....' button. Check in there to a time setting similar to the 'cutoff' time

check poor contact where the phone line plugged into the PC this can cause drop off.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Winsock Problem Determination Procedure

You can determine if you have a winsock problem by doing the following.

Put in the windows XP CD and navigate to the support >Tools folder.
Double click setup and do a Complete install.
Click Start >run >cmd {enter}
Type       netdiag /test:winsock /v    {enter}


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To Reset the Winsock Registry Entries

Click Start >Run >regedit {enter}
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock and delete it; just below that, see HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Winsock2 and delete it
Exit Regedit and reboot.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To Reinstall TCP/IP

To do this you need a copy of nettcpip.inf.  There is one on the Windows XP CD and there may be one on your hard drive at C:\WINDOWS\inf\nettcpip.inf. Note: To see the inf folder, open My Computer and go to the menu item Tools > Folder Options... > View > and choose Show hidden files and folders.

Right click "My Network Places" select Properties.
Right click the connection(s) and select Properties.
Click Install >Protocol >add >have disk.
Browse to the location of nettcpip.inf .
Select nettcpip.inf then click Open then OK then Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) then OK then Close
Reboot
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How to troubleshoot possible causes of Internet connection problems in Windows XP
http://www.practicallynetworked.com/sharing/troubleshoot/
http://labmice.techtarget.com/windowsxp/TroubleshootingXP/networking.htm

LSP-Fix
Repairs Winsock 2 settings, caused by buggy or improperly-removed Internet software, that result in loss of Internet access
http://www.cexx.org/lspfix.htm
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
time to check for spyware
download HijackThis 1.99.1,
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Open Hijackthis, click scan and save a logfile" donot fix" to the desktop or
browse to the hijackthis folder where it installed to and copy out the log file
onto the desktop.
Now open a web page copy this URL http://www.hijackthis.de/ and paste it into the browser  
and go there.
Open the hijackthis logfile on your desktop.
usually quite big, go to edit and copy contents and paste here into the small windows or panel
look directly below the panel or window see the small analyze
once you hit analyze it will analyse it immediately
you will know by the fact the panel is now empty
just scroll down below this now empty panel and you can see your analysed log,
Have a look at your analysed file and see if there is any Nasties.
Right at the bottom of your analysedlog is the option to save it.
Please click on Save and save it.
Copy this address/url and paste it here.


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sorry I had a brief internet explorer has experienced a problem error so copied out what I had typed incase it closed all the pages and didnt want to lose what I had started.
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by:Bert2005
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Merete,

I feel pretty bad that you are taking so much time. I mean you are being very detailed. Most of those things above, I am pretty adept at. We have a 15 computer LAN here at the office which sometimes takes up more of time to maintain than seeing my patients. There have been a few times where Internet access was shaky or non-existent, and I had to troubleshot from the PIX-501 back to the switch and back to every PC.

I really thing we are making it too hard. I think the problem lies on their end or at least due to the settings they are recommending. I mean on a couple of computers it would only work with Microsoft VM, while on others it can be Sun JRE.

This problem has been reproduced on my machine and four to five other machines at the office. Of course all of these are using the same DNS from the server and are behind the same firewall. But, they all have the same gateway, and I don't think our ISP (CTC-Lightship) is changing our outside IP every thirty seconds.

The problem also occurs on my partners's PC at home, on my PC at home, on computers at the hospital, etc.

It seems to be trying to keep the connection open when I am in the actual S-Mail web mail Interface. In other words, I can go to the same site you do when I go to the URL: www.s-mail.com. I could access that site and leave my hours, and I would still be on that site. The S-mail webmail site which I get to after logging in obviously, is designed to not allow me to walk away from my computer for hours at a time and leave the secure HIPAA-compliant email accessible to anyone.

But, we are talking seconds, sometimes nanoseconds here. I agree Power management could be a problem. By default it is set at 20 minutes. That's the first thing I do when I reformat is change it to "never." But, again, I am talking logging into the site, opening one email, and then seeing the now infamous error message that I no longer able to access anything, becaues it has timed out.

This is one of those problems where one telephone call to one knowledgeable tech would most likely resolve the entire problem.

I hesitate to say this, because it may confuse things again. But, for me and my partner, the fact that the S-mail webmail times out randomly in 15 seconds isn't an issue, because we don't generally to the site and log in. We just use Outlook which downloads the email from the site and leaves a copy on the server. Actually, we don't have to leave a copy on the server, but we choose to. The problem is just going to be with another doctor in our call group who doesn't utilize an application-based email program such as Outlook or O.E. She uses Yahoo. So, she will have to go to www.s-mail.com and log in to get or send email. And, she will get pretty frustrated, as I would, when she only has < 15 seconds to do that. Think about it. S-mail times out whether you are doing something or not. So pinging and power management, etc. won't apply.

I hope this helps.

I know it is probably too much to sign up for an account. I have even considered giving my username. I could always change my password after. I think only then can one see how frustrating this program is.

IMPORTANT: I think in a way the more likely thing is NOT what is on my machine or another machine that is causing the problem. My guess is that the S-Mail webmail site requires something ON any machine that is trying to use it. When I first tried to get into S-Mail and was putting in my username and password, it wouldn't work until I uninstalled Sun Java and installed Microsoft's verison. But, now it doesn't seem to matter.

Bert
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by:Bert2005
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Merete,

I think that rindi's idea of using a different browser like Firefox was a good one. But, I believe the site states it doesn't support those. Which furthers my belief that S-mail just isn't very good, lol.
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Merete,

No sure if this will be helpful, but the comments below in quotes came from S-mail's support team on 6/16/06 in response to my problem's logging onto my account. But, as I have stated, it seems to work with either Java now.

Start S-mail support email:
"Please note that due to Microsoft and SUN dispute our S-Disk service is fully operational only with the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Please turn off your SUN Java Virtual Machine and activate the Microsoft one. If you do not have it installed on your PC, you can get one here:

http://www.s-mail.com/inf/1/requirements.shtml.en

(2)

S-Mail is an international project, so all queries are processed via email.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you."
End S-mail support email
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by:Merete
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lol unreal, well maybe that is part of the problem, sun java??MS java I use sun java not MS.
Cant see how java can do this,

Bert its okay, I dont mind at all but of course only if I am helping you.
I agree sounds like it is their end.
If you would like me to test out your s-mail account you have my abosulte garrantee of privacy, if you click on my name for more details.
Then you are wellcome to email me your login account name and pasword and I'll logon for you and see if the internet cuts off after 5 minutes, I wouldnt touch anything or read anything once tested I would delete the email.

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by:Merete
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do you have two firewalls?
The PCs I have tried it on at work all have static IP addresses. On my PC at work, I turned off ZoneAlarm and the antivirus software. We do have a Cisco PIX-501 firewall -- not too sure about the NAT on that, but I don't see why that would effect it. I have made sure that my PC accepts all cookies including 3rd party cookies.
=============================
You don't need to open your S-Mail web interface every time you want to check your mail or send a message. Just install S-Mail Agent, and you can work with your S-Mail account via your favourite email software.
So based on this you simply open your Outlook and create an email from there, then s-mail should auto secure it.
This server you logon to? still not sure how you connect to the internet aside from your own,
Make Outlook respond faster over a dial-up connection
http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/assistance/ha010549841033.aspx
Error: "Your server has unexpectedly terminated the connection . .
." when sending or receiving email in Outlook or Outlook Express
http://service1.symantec.com/support/nav.nsf/docid/2001060516275506?OpenDocument&ExpandSection=2

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by:Bert2005
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Merete

Please see quotes from comments above. Both my partner and I have S-Mail Agent installed in our Outlooks and have no issues sending and receiving encrypted mail. The problem is that we have another doctor in our call group who couldn't use Outlook if you were there every time and walked her through it. She just hates computers and chooses to be computer illiterate. We have finally got her to use Yahoo webmail. This means I can set her up an account with S-mail. When email is sent to her S-mail webmail account, it will automatically send her a notification to her Yahoo email which, of course, she checks regularly. She will be able to click on the link in the notification email, which will take her to the S-mail webmail site. She will then be able to open the secure email. The problem is she may only have fifteen seconds to open and read the email. She certainly won't have time to reply. Plus, if she wishes to initiate an email, she will need to open the S-mail webmail and send from there. Again, she will be lucky if she can fire off an email to one of use before it times out.

Also, I would want the option of checking my S-mail from other computers that do not have Outlook with S-mail agent in it. Plus, S-mail allows you to upload files and store them on a secure server, something that can not be done from Outlook. Please look at my comments below where I posted this but may not have made it clear enough : )

Comment from Bert2005
Date: 07/16/2006 07:29PM PDT

"I hesitate to say this, because it may confuse things again. But, for me and my partner, the fact that the S-mail webmail times out randomly in 15 seconds isn't an issue, because we don't generally to the site and log in. We just use Outlook which downloads the email from the site and leaves a copy on the server. Actually, we don't have to leave a copy on the server, but we choose to. The problem is just going to be with another doctor in our call group who doesn't utilize an application-based email program such as Outlook or O.E. She uses Yahoo. So, she will have to go to www.s-mail.com and log in to get or send email. And, she will get pretty frustrated, as I would, when she only has < 15 seconds to do that."

Comment from Merete
Date: 07/17/2006 03:45PM PDT

"This server you logon to? still not sure how you connect to the internet aside from your own"

From Bert:

I'm sorry. I am sure what you mean by the above comment.

Finally, it is not my server and Outlook which is terminating the connection. It is only when I am in the S-mail webmail that it times out. I don't think I am explaining this where you have a clear picture. It is the same as any webmail like Yahoo or Hotmail or GMail, etc. Imagine going to www.yahoo.com and clicking on the Yahoo Mail icon and logging into Yahoo Mail only to receive a message while you are in Yahoo Mail stating:

"Unfortunately, your mailbox session has expired. This session time limit helps secure your correspondence...."

This feature is perfectly understandable if it were based on a time limit such as ten or fifteen minutes. This would be helpful in case one walked away from the webmail for a certain length of time. It would be good that the session timed out so someone couldn't access the webmail.

Hope this helps.
Bert
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Merete,

You are not going to believe the answer. I have no idea why S-mail didn't figure this out to begin with.

First, you must understand that I have an Outlook at work and an Outloo at home that are checking email every three minutes. Outlook at work checks mail on our Lightship ISP and Outlook at home checks mail on my Adelphia ISP. Those are the default accounts for each. But, both Outlooks have an S-mail account which checks for email on the S-mail server. As you know, one can access email from the S-mail server via Outlook or O.E. without actually opening up the webmail.

But, if you are in the webmail site either checking for email or sending it, the account will time out if Outlook checks for email WHILE the server is being accessed via the web interface.

With two Outlooks checking every three minutes, it is easy to see why 1) I would get disconnected at random times as quickly as seconds but never longer than three minutes.

Makes total sense.
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by:Merete
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lol as I shake my brain, heheh, question: I asked this before too,
why are you actually accessing s-mail it, logging onto s-mail??
It  states this is not necessary, once you install s-mail it attaches to your current email client you simply use outlook create your emails there send your emails from Outlook  and s-mail send the emails on behalf of outlook, the same when you incoming emails it goes thru s-mail to your Outlook.
Kinda like my anti virus it scans all my emails incoming and out going to ensure they are virus free and secure.


Comment from Merete
Date: 07/18/2006 08:45AM EST
You don't need to open your S-Mail web interface every time you want to check your mail or send a message. Just install S-Mail Agent, and you can work with your S-Mail account >>via your favourite email software.<<
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by:Bert2005
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AARRGGHH!! LOL

Merete,

I feel terrible, because I am unable to explain the situation to you. I will try once again. : )

I know I don't have to access S-mail. I know that I just need to use Outlook. I know that Outlook will download the messages automatically from S-mail and send it to S-mail automatically using S-Mail agent.

The reason why I continue to actually access s-mail by logging onto it is the following, and this is the key:

It is because one of the physicians who needs to use the S-mail service does NOT have Outlook. She does NOT have Outlook Express. The ONLY way she can receive and send secure mail using S-mail it to log onto S-mail by going to www.s-mail.com and logging in using her username and password. Since I continued to have trouble with the disconnections when I tried to access S-mail by logging on, I figured she would have the same trouble. So, before I went to her office to set it up for her (she is a complete computer newbie), I wanted to make sure the web mail worked, because that is what she will have to use.

I hope this explains it... : )
Bert
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by:Merete
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aaaaa I see, lol wish I  knew that earlier, Bert it has been fun, even for you a good turn around from the useless asistance s-mail provided., if only the S-email crew knew what you have been thru, they should give you 6 months free.
She does have outlook express if using windowsxp but as you mentioned she doesnt want to use it.
You are a good man Bert Persistant/patient and never give up the solution is yours.
I hope your happy with my service.
Thank you for this opportunity its been a good learning curb for me too.
best wishes to you and your wife.
Regards Merete
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by:Bert2005
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Thanks, those are very kind words.
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