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Email w/ attached file causes Server Timeout

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by mlmorris, Jan 27, 2005.

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  1. mlmorris

    mlmorris Thread Starter

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    I have an eMachines model T1090 computer, purchased in 2001, running Windows XP Home with Service Pack 2 installed (although the problem described below occurred before SP 2 was installed).

    The problem may be related to the modem, which, according to Modem Properties is an HSP56 MR, manufactured by eMachines. The Properties screen describes it as located at PCI bus 0, device 31, function 6, and that it is “functioning properly.” The modem is connected to COM3. The software driver is provided by Microsoft and is version 2.3.2030.3, dated 05-16-01.

    The problem is that when sending files with “large” files attached (actually, an attached file of 137 kB caused the problem to occur), I can visually see on the computer the transmission process come to a halt. Approximately one minute later, I receive the following error message:

    “Connection timeout - no response from host”

    Note that the problem does not occur when no files are attached. But when files are attached (the exact attached file size that causes the problem has not been determined, but so far, the breakpoint seems to be under 100 kB) it has occurred with two different ISP’s, two different email clients (Outlook Express and Pegasus Mail), and multiple attached file formats, including MS Word (.doc) and Excel (.xls).

    I have also tried changing the server timeout (which I located once, but have not been able to find again), but all this did was change the wait time for receiving the error message from one minute to five minutes.

    Curiously, the email and the attached file transmits completely, although the accuracy of the attached file at the recipient has not yet been verified. When using Outlook Express, the file will not transfer to the “Sent Items” folder and remains in the “Outbox” folder.

    Is this a problem with the modem? With the modem driver? With Windows XP? If it is a driver problem, is there a source for a known-to-be-working driver that will fix this problem?

    Thank you.

    Mike Morris
     
  2. sekirt

    sekirt

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    Is there any chance you have McAfee Firewall and AntiVirus?

    sekirt
     
  3. mlmorris

    mlmorris Thread Starter

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    I am not using McAfee firewall or anti-virus. I am using Trend Micro's PC-Cillan 2004
     
  4. sekirt

    sekirt

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    One at a time, temporarily disable: anti-virus, firewall, pop-up blockers (toolbars). Attempt to send an email with an attachment and see if one of them is the cause.

    Also check settings in IE->Tools->Internet Options. Security Tab. Click Default Level Button for Internet Zone. And in OE->Tools->Options. Security Tab. Choose Internet zone (Less secure, but more functional).

    Perhaps others can add more to the list if these don't solve it.

    sekirt
     
  5. mlmorris

    mlmorris Thread Starter

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    To: sekirt
    From: mlmorris

    It looks like your troubleshooting sequence has worked. I have yet to confirm it with three additional tests, but when I disabled a forth function of the anti-virus software package, the Server Time Out did not occur. Disabling the first three functions did not solve the problem. I do not yet know if it was that one function, or a combination of all functions that is the source of the problem.

    When I determine the final result, I will let you know.

    Thanks for your help.

    Mike Morris
     
  6. mlmorris

    mlmorris Thread Starter

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    To: sekirt
    From: mlmorris

    Your judgement was correct. It is in fact the Trend Micro PC-cillan software that is causing the problem. By disabling virtually all functions--it is a combination of functions, not any one single function--the problem can be solved.

    I learned yesterday that the Department of Defense buys Trend Micro products (among other virus protection software packages), and I am surprised that this problem has not been previously identified. Perhaps the version used for installation on a computer that is on a network does not have the bug (although the version I have is--supposedly--suitable for installation on a networked computer).

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  7. sekirt

    sekirt

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    If you are scanning emails: Scanning of email is not necessary, per the experts. He is discussing a different problem but includes the fact that it should be disabled. The very last paragraph on this page:

    http://www.insideoe.tomsterdam.com/problems/errors.htm

    Quote:
    "Another possible reason for this error is anti-virus software that configures OE to use a local proxy for the SMTP server. Since scanning e-mail is not necessary to protect your computer, you should disable the e-mail scan in your anti-virus product, and then re-enter the correct name for your SMTP server."

    And this from Steve Cochran...Quote:
    Antivirus software invades the Outlook Express program to try and intercept (incoming and, in some cases, outgoing) messages that might contain virus.

    The problem with this approach is that the antivirus software can trigger
    the destruction of an entire message folder or the entire message store,
    when it attempts to remove a message containing a potential virus.

    To prevent the possibility of such destruction occuring, turn off email
    scanning in your antivirus software. You will still be protected against
    infection. If you attempt to open a message attachment containing a
    potential virus, then your antivirus software will recognize that your are
    attempting to infect your system, and will block you from doing so. The
    best practice on the user's part is to save an attachment to disk and then
    scan it with the antivirus software prior to opening it. Messages opened
    themselves (if you have the latest security updates from Windows Update)
    will not infect your system -- only attachments.

    You do not need additional email scanning on top of your system being
    continuosly scanned by antivirus software, so turn off email scanning to
    prevent destruction of your message store."

    sekirt
     
  8. mlmorris

    mlmorris Thread Starter

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    To: sekirt
    From: mlmorris

    I must admit that I found your last posting a bit confusing. But perhaps that is my own fault, as, looking over my responses, they were non-specific as to the functions I was disabling.

    In fact, the first two functions I disabled in the PC-cillan software were Outgoing mail scan and Incoming mail scan. Even with both disabled, I still received the Server Time Out message when sending an email with a large file attached. I may also have failed to state that I am connecting to my ISP using a dial-up connection.

    Please note that I don't have trouble sending email if there are no files attached. Also, I can consistently send emails with (for example) 20 kB attached files without receiving the error message. However, emails with a 2 MB attachment never transmit without an error message. Surprisingly (to me at least), I can receive emails with large file attachments without receiving the Server Time Out message--I know this because I tested it.

    I discovered that the Server Time Out message will not be displayed if and only if the following PC-cillan functions are disabled (all in combination): Outgoing mail scan + incoming mail scan + firewall (direct connection) + Privacy Data Protection + Real Time Scan. Again, this conclusion is based on a series of tests I performed using the troubleshooting sequence recommended by you.

    The reference to "local proxy servers" I also find puzzling. I am aware of the provision for proxy servers in one of the "Internet Connections" dialog boxes. However, for me (a single user with a single computer), with limited knowledge in this area, I associate "proxy server" with the ISP. If I recall correctly, I mentioned in my initial posting that this problem has occurred with two different ISP's. I have had extensive discussions with both ISP's about the problem. Neither has mentioned anything regarding proxy servers. If they were using proxy servers, wouldn't it have been neccessary for them to inform me of that so that I could enter the data into my "Internet Connections"? So I must admit that I find this issue of proxy servers confusing. Am I missing something here?

    Thanks again for your help,

    mlmorris
     
  9. sekirt

    sekirt

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    Didn't mean to create confusion. Problems of your type are common when scanning of email is involved. I was merely posting some "experts" stating that the scanning can be turned off. The proxy wasn't meant for you.

    Some people panic when they can't scan emails, just wanted to put your mind at ease.

    sekirt
     
  10. mlmorris

    mlmorris Thread Starter

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    To: sekirt
    From: mlmorris

    Thanks for the information, and thanks for your help.

    I have sent all of the troubleshooting data and results to Trend Micro, but so far the company hasn't even acknowledged my message.

    Any ideas on what steps to take if the company does not respond?
     
  11. sekirt

    sekirt

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