EmailDiscussions.com  

Go Back   EmailDiscussions.com > Discussions about Email Services > Email Help Needed!
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Stay in touch wirelessly

Email Help Needed! Having problems with your email service, or with the email software you're using? Post your questions and answers here!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 31 Jan 2021, 01:18 AM   #1
BrianE222
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 6
Can't send or receive emails for 3 days

Trouble is at work. Outlook can't send or receive emails. It's error message (for sending) says:

Task 'xxx - Sending' reported error (0x80042109) : 'Outlook cannot connect to your outgoing (SMTP) e-mail server. If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).'

I am able to send/receive messages at home (again, using Outlook but with a different ISP).

The 3rd party that runs our mail server, mail.companyname.com says there is no problem on their end. Our ISP says there is no problem on their end. We have 3 computers at work - none are able to send or receive.

I've turned off the firewall in the router but that didn't change anything. I can Telnet to mail.company.com ports 110 and 25 on my home computer just fine but not at work.

I suspect the problem is that our company's mail server, mail.cordem.com, is blocking connections to/from our ISP. Does this sound right? Other possibilities? Any way I can prove to our mailer server that the problem is with them?
BrianE222 is offline   Reply With Quote

Old 31 Jan 2021, 02:06 AM   #2
JeremyNicoll
Essential Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Scotland
Posts: 298
"Can't connect" is a too-vague error message, not giving you much to go on. For example, it's unclear if it really means no connection, or just that the maybe-connected-to server didn't reply.

From a system that can't connect, can you ping or tracert to the SMTP server? That's to say, in a terminal window, issue

>ping servername

and also try

>tracert servername

and see if they seem to work. There might be a routeing problem between your machine and the server, and that's not necessarily caused by anyone purposefully blocking traffic.

I googled for: outlook 0x80042109 and found this discussion (which I only skim read a small amount of) which suggests you might be trying to connect to the wrong port, eg:

"I have figured out the problem, the SMTP port number that Outlook sets as the default was not working
for some reason. Outlook sets the outgoing port number as 25, and my mail provider said to use the
other default, ports 587."

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...e-c49e6864509c

I think you also need to ask your company IT people why they seem to be blocking Telnet traffic; telnet is really useful for testing connections.
JeremyNicoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31 Jan 2021, 04:03 AM   #3
BrianE222
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 6
We're a small company - there is no IT department. Telnet does work on our work computers - I'm able to get to places other than mail.companyname.com.

Ping is not getting through.

Tracert is listing 30 hops. That's a neat tool. The first few hops list our ISP and the last hop lists the 3rd party company that set up mail.cordem.com. It doesn't report any error messages.

I tried changing ports to 587 - didn't work.
BrianE222 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31 Jan 2021, 04:54 AM   #4
JeremyNicoll
Essential Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Scotland
Posts: 298
That tracert shows that test traffic reaches the email server shows that the problem isn't a lack of a route.

Ping not working may be irrelevant; not every server on the internet will reply to pings. What happens if you try to

ping localhost

(locahost is your own computer). If this works at least it shows that ping isn't disabled on your own machine. If you also try some other servers, eg web addresses of local news organisations, that should show if ping is disabled at the gateway between your company and the internet.

On the other hand it won't solve the mail issue, except maybe by pointing at some sort of traffic filtering occurring.

I'm not sure what to suggest next.

You said you'd disabled a firewall in your router; for the safety of your company intranet that needs turned back on. Do you know if it has any filtering rules, or creates any log files?

I can't see why your ISP would be filtering traffic. However it's not impossible that your individual work PCs might be filtering traffic; maybe if someone has made an ill-advised change to filtering at that level it might be preventing some types of outbound traffic.

With no IT department, do you have any employee (maybe it's you?) or an external consultant who is/was responsible for setting up your computing environment? Or have literally just got a connection, a router, and a few machines plugged into it (or using wifi) like a home LAN? Do you for example 'lock-down' the machines so no-one can install unauthorised software? Do you run anti-virus/anti-malware scans on all these machines? Are the machines properly uptodate with patches etc?

When email stopped working, did it stop all at once for everyone, and stay failed since then, or has it been intermittent or only affecting one machine more than others?
JeremyNicoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Feb 2021, 08:51 AM   #5
BrianE222
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 6
I am able to ping my own computer. I did turn the firewall back on in the router. I'll look to see if the router generated any log files. Are there any Windows log files that might show something?

I am the "IT" guy. Network is simple - router, 3 computers and some printers. Employees with cell phones are allowed internet access by our router (they need to use password initially). Employees can install software on their computers. The 3 computers each use different anti-virus programs. I ran a complete McAffe scan last night on my computer. My computer was current with Windows 10 updates. Another had some pending updates before the problem started. He's since updated his machine. I'll have to check to see if updates are current on the 3rd machine.

Seems like the problem started for all about the same time, Wednesday early PM. Problem is not intermittent.

Our 3rd party mail service guy told us to try Webmail.companyname.com. That doesn't work here at work (Chrome times out trying to connect.) Webmail does work at home though.

I'm thinking virus or router problem at this point. I'll run virus scans on the other 2 computers tonight. I brought the router I use at home in - I'll swap that out.
BrianE222 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Feb 2021, 09:25 PM   #6
JeremyNicoll
Essential Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Scotland
Posts: 298
The only other thing I can suggest is that you contact your ISP and the mail server people again, but try to get past their first-level support people, if that's who has dealt with you so far, and speak to their techs.

Quite a while ago I had a problem contacting some site or other. I did a tracert and it showed that traffic escaped from me and made its way through my ISP's network and on into the wider world. It then went to a machine in someone's network, then on to another, then another, and then back to the first, and went round and round that loop and never escaped. It was hard to fight my way through to someone in the ISP (who was well before the place which had the problem) who understood exactly what I said and could fix it - in that case by sending similar traffic by a completely different route so that it never got to any of the looping machines in the other network.

I'm not saying you have that precise problem, but I think you're going to need people who understand networks to find out why your traffic leaves you (assuming it really does!) and never gets to where it's going.

For example, someone in your ISP should be able to see for certain that your attempt to contact the server does reach them and pass through (and out) of their network. (The tracert you did doesn't necessarily show that - partly because it uses a different type of traffic and - if something's blocking your traffic the diagnostic type might still pass - and partly because traffic routeing is dynamic - the routes change all the time as routers right across the internet adapt to machines going offline etc).
JeremyNicoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Feb 2021, 10:19 PM   #7
SideshowBob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 188
It's not uncommon for ISPs to block outgoing connections to port 25 if you aren't paying to run your own servers. It prevents infected PCs from delivering spam directly to mail servers.

mail.cordem.com doesn't appear to be listening on port 587, but it is listening on 465. This is the old port for submission directly over SSL/TLS, as opposed to connecting on 587 and then switching to TLS with STARTTLS.

Edit: I missed that you can't receive either. It's not likely to be port 25 blocking then. IIWY I'd try accessing your webmail from a phone via the router to eliminate anything Windows specific.

Last edited by SideshowBob : 2 Feb 2021 at 12:04 AM.
SideshowBob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Feb 2021, 02:04 AM   #8
BrianE222
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 6
SideshowBob - How did you know who I was (Cordem)?

We'll see if we can get a tech from our ISP out here. Otherwise, is there a way of finding IT experts that will come out and diagnose the problem?
BrianE222 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2 Feb 2021, 08:17 AM   #9
JeremyNicoll
Essential Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Scotland
Posts: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianE222 View Post
SideshowBob - How did you know who I was (Cordem)?

We'll see if we can get a tech from our ISP out here. Otherwise, is there a way of finding IT experts that will come out and diagnose the problem?
Who you are? Despite the care you took anonymising most of your posts you mentioned Cordem in two separate posts.

IT experts: I have no idea, not least because you'd be seeking someone local to you.

More thoughts: you've mentioned your home computer, and work ones. Are those all desktops? I mean, have you tried your home computer on your work network, or a work one from your (or anyone else's) home?

Windows itself has a firewall. Some anti-virus programs (usually those with names like "... [Internet] Suite") have firewalls in them. Generally these are all front-ends to the inbuilt Windows firewall - that is they make configuring the inbuilt firewall much easier than using Windows' own dialogs. It's hard to believe that if you have three separate anti-virus products that (even if any/all of them have firewall components) all three would have had blocking rules set up at the same time though.

Have you got anything else (software-)firewall related on each work pc?

Any other security software that might have a "real-time" monitor that's blocking execution of processes needed for email to work?
JeremyNicoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3 Feb 2021, 12:34 AM   #10
BrianE222
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 6
My home computer is a laptop (it is able to receive emails at home). Our work computers are desktop machines. I did bring my laptop to work and it then also could not send or receive. Brought it back home and it worked fine. I took my desktop home and it was able to retrieve emails. Brought it back to work and it would not send/receive.

I use McAfee which controls Windows Firewall. I've turned off the McAffe firewall and still no luck. I have no other security software (that I know of). I've gone through our router (Linksys) to make sure there is no explicit blocking of Outlook to the ports Outlook uses.

I should have mentioned this sooner: About a week before Outlook couldn't send/receive at work we went through a 3 day or so period where emails were taking a long time to get. For instance, usually I could send an email from my phone to my desktop and it would take seconds. During the slowdown it would take hours. The 3rd party vendor that manages our email server said they discovered that their server was getting clobbered with login attempts. They fixed that problem. I'm wondering if their fix has caused our current problem. Now I'm thinking maybe mail.cordem.com has been "blacklisted" by our work ISP.
BrianE222 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3 Feb 2021, 03:39 AM   #11
JeremyNicoll
Essential Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Scotland
Posts: 298
The fact that home & work computers both work at home, and both fail at work makes it very unlikely that this has anything to do with the computers or the software they're running. (Not impossible, if they somehow adapt theri setup to which place they're in, eg - in firewall terms - seeing one location as a 'safe' private network and the other as an unsafe public one.)

I think that rather than your ISP blacklisting (ie preventing traffic from being sent to it) your mail server, that the fix the mail server company have put in place is dropping all traffic coming from your ISP's network.

Perhaps many/all of (what sounds like a DDoS attack) the login attempts were coming from other machines on your ISP's network.
JeremyNicoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Feb 2021, 11:16 PM   #12
BrianE222
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 6
So, all is working now. I don't think we did anything. My coworker installed a new identical router - it didn't make things work. He put back in the old router - it still didn't allow email sending or receiving. About 1/2 hour after that email was working.

Several days after the email problem started we were unable to get our web page from our work computers. The web page is hosted by the same company that hosts our email server. Webmail also couldn't get to our company email server except through our phones. The phones were running through the same router via wi-fi and they were able to access our website via their browsers. Very confusing.

I think someone at our email and web hosting site made a change that fixed everything but I can't say for sure. Maybe it was just the act of swapping out and then back in the router.
BrianE222 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6 Feb 2021, 02:52 AM   #13
JeremyNicoll
Essential Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Scotland
Posts: 298
I'm glad it now works. As you say, very confusing, and no certainty that it will continue to work.
JeremyNicoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18 Feb 2021, 06:30 AM   #14
jtayd
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 22
Hi
We mail is at: https://webmail.cordem.com/login.php but the ssl certificate is invalid and you have to say itís safe to continue to an insecure site to get it.

Also email client: Please switch on SMTP authentication as a lot of servers will not send an email if the email hasnít been authenticationed it basically wonít send it.

I have to use smtp all the time. I just hope this helps a bit more.
jtayd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19 Feb 2021, 08:43 PM   #15
JeremyNicoll
Essential Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Scotland
Posts: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtayd View Post
Hi
We mail is at: https://webmail.cordem.com/login.php but the ssl certificate is invalid and you have to say itís safe to continue to an insecure site to get it.
I tried that link just now, and also about 12 hours ago, using Firefox on a Windows system, and in neither case do I get an error.

That might suggest either that the website have fixed the problem, or that certificate-checking is broken on your PC.
JeremyNicoll is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +9. The time now is 03:05 AM.

 

Copyright EmailDiscussions.com 1998-2013. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy