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I host a client's site. Have for years. For the last week, he has been unable to receive any email to his local computer.
It is fine on the server, and I can pick it up at my computer, the only differences being our mode of internet connection and ISP. So can others with various ISPs
He has a small office in a remote location and has a wireless connection, basically 3 networked computers, wireless connection via a dish on a pole outside his house which has a line of sight connection with a transmitter on a mountain top.
I don't know any details after that - wireless stuff is a mystery to me.
When his mail client sends and receives, my server gets that request, sends off the email but it just never arrives. No error messages at his end, nothing, no spam even getting though.
He is using Windows XP and Outlook Express and has made no alterations to his settings (he couldn't even if he wanted to, they call an outside tech to make a house call just to set up an email address!)
They called their regular computer tech - he can see no problems and he can pick up their mail via his ISP, but not when he connects his laptop to their wireless set-up.
His unhelpful ISP *sort of* accepts that the problem is not at our end. But say they can see no issue at their end and seem at a loss to know what to do.
Anyone ever run accross anything like this before?
You really haven't supplied the right details for us to be helpful. What is the mail transport mechanism? Are you sending mail to his mail address with his ISP? Or is he logging into a POP server at your site?
If a POP server at your site, the obvious thing would be to have him use ping and traceroute to make sure your site is accessible. (I assume it is, though.) Then use telnet to "manually" access the POP server and make sure it is responding as expected.
telnet is a handy tool for diagnosing most high-level Internet protocols. Most of the protocols are plain-text ASCII. You just tell telnet to use the right port, type commands, and look at the responses. It can be helpful to simultaneously look at log files on the server.
1. The email address is @hisdomain.com, so he is using POP to collect mail.
2. Outgoing mail is via his ISPs SMTP server. Outgoing mail is working.
3. Ping and traceroute confirm that the server is accessible - he can see his site and is getting NO failure notice or error when he tries to recieve email, for which he uses Outlook Express.
4. I could not check things by Telnet to save my life, but I have a fully managed server at a good datacenter (Datapipe). Techs there have satisfied themselves that the server is responding as they would expect it to. As far as they are concerned, mail has been delivered as normal, there is nothing unusual in the logs.
I could not check things by Telnet to save my life, but I have a fully managed server at a good datacenter (Datapipe). Techs there have satisfied themselves that the server is responding as they would expect it to.
But is it doing so when accessed from HIS machine?
Have him open a Windows command shell. Then type:
telnet example.com 110
First step: does he get an "unable to connect" message, or does he get "OK, and possibly a banner with the name of the POP server"?
If unable to connect, you've got some firewalling issue at one end or the other.
If able to connect, start throwing POP commands at it manually. I'd start with USER and PASS. :)
You can follow a similar procedure to debug most any high-level TCP/IP protocol - SMTP, HTTP, etc.
Has he tried more than one email client?
Or in the middle... I recently had to help out in a similar-sounding situation where we had to use port 776 or somesuch instead of 110 to get through the ISP.
What was the problem? Don't think we will ever know. It was not working last night, and since then I did nothing, the datacentre did nothing, my client did nothing and his ISP says they did nothing - but it was not working last night and this morning it is.