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Oh, So That's How It Works!

HOW-TO: Fix "Connection Reset by Server" Error


David A. Gray, MBA
Chief Wizard, WizardWrx

Many of our clients have reported that, when using a dial-up Internet connection to send their mail, their email program displays an error similar to the following.

Connection Reset by Server

This error usually means that there are unexpected delays between the user's PC sending the mail and the server receiving it for delivery. This can usually be resolved by increasing the timeouts setting, which tells your mail program how long to wait for a response from the mail server before giving up.

The way you adjust the timeouts setting varies among mail programs. Following are instructions for several common programs.

Outlook 2002/XP

  1. Start Microsoft Outlook.
  2. From the Tools menu, choose E-Mail Accounts, as shown in Figure 1.

    E-Mail Accounts
    Figure 1 - E-Mail Accounts option on Tools menu
  3. Choose Next from the E-Mail Accounts dialog box, shown in Figure 2.

    E-Mail Accounts Opening Dialog
    Figure 2 - E-Mail Accounts opening dialog box
  4. Highlight the desired account from the E-Mail Accounts selection dialog box, shown in Figure 3, then click the Change ... button.

    E-Mail Accounts Selection Dialog
    Figure 3 - E-Mail Accounts selection dialog box
  5. The main settings dialog box looks like Figure 4. Click the More Settings ... button.
    E-Mail Accounts Main Settings Dialog
    Figure 4 - E-Mail Accounts main settings dialog box
  6. The next dialog box looks like Figure 5. Click the Advanced tab.
    E-Mail Accounts Main Settings Dialog
    Figure 5 - E-Mail Accounts More Settings dialog box
  7. The next dialog box looks like Figure 6. Adjust the slider marked Server Timeouts to increase the timeout.
    E-Mail Accounts Main Settings Dialog
    Figure 6 - E-Mail Accounts Advanced settings tab

    You will need to experiment until the problem is resolved. We suggest you start with 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Click the OK button to close the dialog box, then Next to return to the main settings panel.
  9. Click the Deliver new e-mail to the following location pulldown on the lower left corner of the main settings panel, then choose Personal Folders from the pick list. Though this seems redundant, Outlook will refuse to close the dialog box unless you do this.
  10. Click the Finish button to exit the settings panel.
  11. For good measure, restart Microsoft Outlook.

As discussed in step 7 above, you may need to repeat this procedure several times, increasing the value each time.

Outlook Express 6

  1. Start Microsoft Outlook Express.
  2. From the Tools menu, choose Accounts, as shown in Figure 1.

    OE Accounts
    Figure 1 - Accounts option on Tools menu
  3. Highlight the desired account from the Internet Accounts dialog box, shown in Figure 2.

    OE Internet Accounts Index
    Figure 2 - Internet Accounts index
  4. Click the Properties button to display the main account property sheet shown in Figure 3.

    OE Main Accounts Property Sheet
    Figure 3 - Main account property sheet
  5. Click the Advanced tab to display the property sheet shown in Figure 4.

    OE Advanced Property Sheet
    Figure 4 - Advanced account property sheet
  6. Adjust the slider marked Server Timeouts to increase the timeout. When you change this or any other setting on this sheet, the screen changes as shown in Figure 5 below.
    OE Advanced Property Sheet After Edits
    Figure 5 - Advanced accounts property sheet with changes

    You will need to experiment until the problem is resolved. We suggest you start with 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Click the OK button to close the dialog box, then Close to exit the main account settings dialog box.
  8. For good measure, restart Outlook Express.

As discussed in step 6 above, you may need to repeat this procedure several times, increasing the value each time.

Disclaimer

We have done our best to make these materials accurate based on information and experience as of the date they were posted. However, since vendors change the way software works, sometimes without notice, we cannot guarantee that any recommendation we make today will work as expected in the future. This material is supplied as is and without warranty. We specifically disclaim any warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular use. You are responsible for evaluating the suitability of the materials for your intended use and for the consequences of your use of them.

Use this material at your own risk.




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