Fixing an e-mail glitch in XP Outlook Express

Ask Jim

Plugged In

June 07, 2007|By Jim Coates | Jim Coates,Chicago Tribune

I am having real trouble with sending e-mail using Outlook Express. This error message comes up on my Windows XP Home Edition every time I try to send a .txt or picture file to another e-mail address:

"The host `smtp' could not be found. Please verify that you have entered the server name correctly. Account: `pop3', Server: `smtp', Protocol: SMTP, Port: 25, Server (SSL): No, Socket Error 11001, Error Number: 0x800CCC0D." This is all gibberish to me. Do I need to pay Microsoft or Dell to get it fixed?

- Frank Tamarac

Don't pay Bill Gates or Michael Dell another dime. I'll give you a free walk-through to fix this glitch:

Simple Mail Transport Protocol is the software module that takes control of messages being sent from one's computer. An accompanying module called POP, or Post Office Protocol, handles incoming mail. Both programs, called services, use parts of the server computer supplied by your Internet service provider, which I can tell from the error message is not America Online, despite your e-mail address. I mention AOL because, as you will see, the answer to this question is different for people who still get their Web access through AOL's own computers.

Outlook Express creates settings for each e-mail service, and the settings can be found in Outlook Express by clicking on Tools and then Accounts. Click on the name of your account in that first display and open the Mail tab in the next. In the display this generates, click on the Properties button to reach the spot where settings can be changed.

Open the Servers tab in the Properties menu, and you will see listings for a POP3 account and an SMTP account. While POP3 is set correctly for you, that SMTP setting is wrong. Take a look at the POP3 server name, and you will see something like "POP3.hostway.com." You need to copy that server info into the SMTP box but substitute "SMTP" for "POP3" in front.

Now, you need to fix the port setting that also was in your error message. Click on the Advanced tab in the Properties menu and make sure that the port number at the top is 25 for SMTP.

Folks who use AOL as their Internet service provider need to use port number 587 instead of 25. The AOL SMTP setting is smtp.aol.com.

So, as you and other readers can surely see, this is all simple as pie. All you need to do is access the POP3 settings for your server farm and alter the SMTP to access port 25 unless you use AOL SMTP where it's port 587. Why do they call this gibberish?

jcoatestribune.com

Jim Coates writes for the Chicago Tribune.

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