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Intermittent problems retrieving messages via Outlook Express

Intermittent problems retrieving messages via Outlook Express

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎01-21-2010
Message 1 of 13
(12,880 Views)
Ever since switching from DSL to FiOS a couple of weeks ago (with an ActionTec router), I've noticed two things. First, when my system (XP) is awakened from sleep mode, it takes a little longer before an Internet connection is reestablished. This I can live with. Second, I've been having problems off and on retrieving my e-mail via Outlook Express; it's unable to connect to the server -- even though I can browse the Internet when this is happening. Because this happens only now and then, I assume the e-mail account property settings within OE aren't the problem. (If they were, I wouldn't be able to access my mail at all.) Because it happens with both of my e-mail accounts (one of which is Verizon), I assume the problem isn't with the host. Thoughts?
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Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 5,742
Registered: ‎09-24-2008
Message 2 of 13
(12,878 Views)

What is the exact Ver of that ActionTec router (A, B, C, D, E)?

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Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎01-21-2010
Message 3 of 13
(12,872 Views)
It's "E."
Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 5,742
Registered: ‎09-24-2008
Message 4 of 13
(12,750 Views)

Ok.

 

#1 Does this router have wireless turned on?

 

#2 Do you have any computers that use wireless?

 

#3 What level of wireless security is it set to?

 

#4 How often do you lose access to this e-mail account? For example: every two hours.

If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it. If anyone has been helpful to you, please show your appreciation by clicking the "Kudos" button.


 

Copper Contributor Beazst
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-22-2010
Message 5 of 13
(12,735 Views)

That certainly sounds frustrating - especially if you get as much email as I do.

 

Let's start with your slow-to-reconnect issue:

 

Based on my experiences with the Actiontec router a brief delay is not unusual with wireless connections when you're exiting sleep mode.  Wired connections can also have s light delay - but it's not as noticeable as wireless connections.  One trick that may speed this process up is to check with your PC manufacturer (or Google / Bing) to find out how to disable power management for your network adapter. 

 

This will ensure that the network adapter remains "on" even though the computer is in sleep mode.  The trade-off being that if this is a laptop/netbook that you will not get as much battery life between charges.  In the end it boils down to which is more important - waiting a few extra seconds for the connection to reestablish or having a few extra minutes of run-time.

 

Now for the more interesting bit... intermittent e-mail.

 

I'm rather curious about that 2nd email account you mentioned...  Usually when Outlook or Outlook Express times out it will specify which server is unreachable / unavailable in the error message.   I just want to make sure it's the Verizon server that is timing out here.  For what it's worth if the e-mail server is busy or if there is a network issue it may time out.

 

I have experienced this with a number of e-mail services - particularly very popular services such as gMail or Windows Live.  Often times hitting the "Send/Receive" button again will remedy the problem.  If that isn't working there are a couple of things you can try:

 

Believe it or not, I cannot count how many times in the *years* I have been doing this that simply removing and recreating email account settings has fixed the problem.  Your settings are stored in what's called a profile and every once in a while this file can get scrambled.  For directions on how to configure Outlook Express for your Verizon account, look here:

 

http://www22.verizon.com/ResidentialHelp/FiOSInternet/Email/Setup+And+Use/Setup+And+Use.htm

 

Another thing to check is whether there is a conflict with your anti-virus or security software.  Sometimes products designed to protect you from malware or viruses get over-zealous and will block programs that you really want to use.  Usually resetting them to the default or "recommended" settings will resolve that issue.  You can also try temporarily turning your AV program off - but don't forget to turn it back on ASAP. 

 

If all else fails, it could be a problem with Outlook / Outlook Express itself.  There's an easy no-risk way to test this!  Just download a different mail program such as Windows Live Mail or Mozilla Thunderbird (you can find both via Google or Bing) and set it up to work with your Verizon account.  By process of elimination this should tell you whether the problem is with Outlook / Outlook Express or if we need to look elsewhere. 

 

If you find yourself struggling or need me to explain further just post again.  If you would prefer to talk to someone there are some great FiOS techs out there (just depends on who you get) at 888-553-1555.  Good luck!

 

Hope this helps.  Robot Happy

 

 

Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎01-21-2010
Message 6 of 13
(12,732 Views)
1. Yes 2. Yes 3. Default 4. It varies. Can go several days without a problem, then have trouble repeatedly to the point that I have to restart my computer (not just OE). Sometimes even when it's working there's a hesitation of several seconds before OE connects with the remote server; usually, not.
Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎01-21-2010
Message 7 of 13
(12,730 Views)
Beazst -- Many thanks for your thoughtful reply. My 2nd (actually, primary) e-mail account is through my website, which is hosted by Newtek. But that account and Verizon's succeed or fail at the same time, which suggests the problem isn't with the hosts. As for my security software (Norton), it seems odd that (1) there was no conflict until I switched to FiOS, and (2) most of the time I have no problem. If OE or its settings or its relation to Norton was the issue, I'd expect to be unable to get my email all of the time.
Copper Contributor Beazst
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-22-2010
Message 8 of 13
(12,723 Views)

That is pretty interesting that they both fail simultaneously.  Just to confirm, this is the experience you're having:

 

1.  You exit sleep mode, there is a noticable delay before you reconnect

2.  You attempt to access e-mail in Outlook and get an error message

3.  You open a browser (presuambly IE) and that succeeds

4.  Return to Outlook, attempt to send/receive again and it succeeds

 

Is this correct?

Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎01-21-2010
Message 9 of 13
(12,687 Views)
This isn't a regular sequence of connected events. The post-standby delay is minor and unrelated. I get timed out when I check my messages in Outlook Express (on both accounts), but this happens only occasionally. Using the browser is unrelated and it doesn't fix the OE problem. I mentioned that only to clarify that my connection to the Internet is fine and doesn't explain the e-mail problem.
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Copper Contributor Beazst
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-22-2010
Message 10 of 13
(12,654 Views)

Excellent points.  

 

The only other avenue to pursue would be to examine what changed as a result of having FiOS installed.  If this never happened prior to FiOS then maybe we can isolate the source of this intermittent connectivity.

 

Usually FiOS customers are given an Actiontec or Westell router - this may be a good starting point.  If I may ask, did you have a different router prior to having FiOS installed?  Also, did you run any software as part of the "activation" process?

 

 

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