Thursday, March 31, 2005

Outlook 2003 SP1 bug

Another bit of MS software, and another bug hunt - shades of Robert Heinlein...

The problem I was experiencing related to Outlook not sending outgoing mail via my chosen default account, even though that was where I had specified it should go from. I have seven different accounts, three of which require server authentication. And this, apparently, is the cause of the problem - where one or more accounts have authentication for outbound SMTP traffic, the most senior of those accounts will be used in preference to any other nominated default acount, or eben your normal reply from address.

To get over this, it is necessary to go into the "more settings" bit for each of the non-authenticated accounts and force the system to think it has to authenticate by ticking the "outgoing server requires authentication" box on the Outgoing Server tab.

It seems to work for me - job done!

XP2 - Web connectivity loss

Since reinstalling XP on my box at home, I've been suffering from an intermittent loss of web connectivity. Not that the whole internet falls over - remote desktop, email, newsgroups and so on still work - it's just web access that dies horribly.

After a fair bit of hunting, it seems as though this is related to a known "feature" of SP2 - according to Microsoft, some 5% of users will experience this problem. It's caused by various packets getting lost in the NAT system between my PC and my router. So, if I go back to a direct ADSL connection, this should cease to be a problem. But if I want to use a home network, the problem will persist.

So I'm trying a fix - a quick registry hack:

the registry key that must be added is as follows (without the brackets):

[HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\IPSec\AssumeUDPEncapsulationContextOnSendRule = REG_DWORD]. The value data should be set to equal 2. In an e-mail, Mitchell noted that “You can reset the behavior to Default SP2 by changing the Value to “0”. A value of “1” will only enable a Client with a public (i.e.non-NAT’d) address to connect to a NAT’d server. The value of “2” enables both public and NAT’d clients to connect to a NAT’d server. The value of “2” is equal to the pre-SP2 behaviour.