Really feels like crying over this Email business! Mercury ?

Problems with the Windows version of XAMPP, questions, comments, and anything related.

Really feels like crying over this Email business! Mercury ?

Postby w4vy » 03. February 2009 01:01

Forgive me please, I know there are tons of topics about email but I can't get it to work and I have been at it for about a year :( (seriously) :( I have read and read and I must just be thick when it comes to setting this up.

Please is there anyone here who has managed to get mercury email server (with relay for non local emails) or any other email server (again with relay support) to work 100% with their ISP being AOL which is of the Dynamic kind ? (or working with any other dynamic ISP but I am with AOL so AOL is the key)

I really need to be able to send out emails from my forum (and to receive them when someone registers would be great too) I'm at my wits end with this.

Please if someone can maybe MSN with me and go through the mercury set-up with me part by part I will happily pay you to help me have email working on my server.

I have been messing about with the different modules in mercury and I think I have put them all back to default but I'm not 100% sure of it.

This is what I can tell you so far :-

I am running Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack One. Xampp 1.7.0 fully patched with both patches. Everything is working apart from Mercury. My ISP is AOL and is Dynamic so I use dnsexit.com with their updater to inform them when my IP changes. There is also a setting for MX records that can be set-up there which I have had a go with but still can't send or receive emails.

What I would like is to have the Email address admin@mail.w4vy.co.uk or if it will make things easier admin@w4vy.co.uk and then to be able to send out Emails from my forum to my forum members and for when someone registers to my forum to receive an Email telling me of the fact all via the Email client that I use (windows live mail) but to have Emails I would truthfully use anything/any client that whoever helps me tells me to use, if it works then it works and you have no idea how happy that would make me.

Ok so that's it I guess so please don't troll me for asking the same questions as others because like I said at the start of my post "Forgive me please, I know there are tons of topics about email but I can't get it to work and I have been at it for about a year" truth be told I first started all this when Xampp was the version 1.6.6 so how longs that ?

Thank you for reading and Thank you in advance for any help you might offer.

Yours Thankfully

w4vy ;)
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Re: Really feels like crying over this Email business! Mercury ?

Postby Izzy » 03. February 2009 01:40

How frustrating.

AOHell would have to be the most restrictive ISP on the World ISP scene from day 1 many years ago.
(Control freaks run it).

Have you contacted AOL support to find out if they are responsible for your frustration by blocking your SMTP server's access to their network?

This Google search may help.

This from the above search:
http://postmaster.aol.com/faq/port25faq.html

Just as an aside you could drop Mercury and use the fake sendmail in XAMPP to do what you want with your forum email but if AOL blocks port 25 and others, then use another port number (GoDaddy have over come this ISP restriction by using port 3235 and others including port 80 for SMTP) you could even try port 80 for outgoing SMTP perhaps...

...but there may be other blocking forces at play like SPF (Sender Policy Framework - attempts to control forged e-mail addresses) or PTR (Pointer - Reverse DNS entry, Reject message if reverse PTR record does not match HELO host).

Port blocking by ISPs is to prevent home users and others from using their ISP for sending spam as if detect by spam blocking IP services then the ISP could have their IP blocks severely crippled for sending email - it has happened many times and the ISP has to then try and get their IP block unblocked which is time consuming and annoying for them, hence this drastic measure of prevention.

Good luck and give sendmail a try or even hMailServer before exploding with frustration. :D

BTW trying out http://www.hmailserver.com/ may eliminate the possibility that Mercury configurations were at fault and even may perhaps rubber stamp the AOHell blocking issues.

Best wishes.
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Re: Really feels like crying over this Email business! Mercury ?

Postby dmphotography » 04. February 2009 05:01

Also Izzy,
As I mentioned in my post, it can also be an issue with reverse DNS Look up and that's an issue that will more than likely be next to impossible to sort out with your ISP unless you have a business plan.

As nice of a feature it seems it would be to have your own email server, the practicality of it just doesn't exist due to how strict it's configuration is. I honestly think it should be dropped from the XAMPP package because I have a suspicion that the majority of people that try and configure an email server from their home PC is going to run into issues and not be able to make it work.

It's enough of a headache with many ISP's blocking port 80 and preventing Apache from working publicly from a personal internet service. If you consider the fact that the majority of the people using XAMPP are probably using it for a personal server or experimental project and will most likely be using a non-business ISP account, then you can bet that very few will have any success using an email server.

On an additional note, the email software is completely separate from the Apache server, which in my opinion should make it separate all together. The rest of the things in XAMPP all work together which makes better sense why they're in there.
For great video and written tutorials and guides on creating your own web server and installing things such as forums, blogs, etc., visit http://myownhomeserver.com
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Re: Really feels like crying over this Email business! Mercury ?

Postby Izzy » 04. February 2009 05:15

dmphotography wrote:Also Izzy,
As I mentioned in my post, it can also be an issue with reverse DNS Look up and that's an issue that will more than likely be next to impossible to sort out with your ISP unless you have a business plan.
Izzy wrote:...but there may be other blocking forces at play...PTR (Pointer - the Reverse DNS entry, Rejects a message if reverse PTR record does not match HELO host).
That why I posted this in your thread so as to explain to you why PTR (Reverse DNS) is important for a correct HELO in your Mercury Configuration - normally the DNS look up is IP to DNS well PTR is DNS to IP or is it the other way around perhaps. ;)

If you look at theis from one of my Dynamic IPs you can see my ISP has the PTR covered without my asking for it.
Code: Select all
33.40.217.203.in-addr.arpa   IN   PTR   203-217-40-33.perm.iinet.net.au   86399s   (23:59:59)


There is not much use for a Mail Server unless you run a LAN etc. as most scripts can use the existing fake sendmail or the php mail function and the settings in the php.ini file.
Last edited by Izzy on 04. February 2009 05:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Really feels like crying over this Email business! Mercury ?

Postby w4vy » 04. February 2009 05:20

Thanks for replying both of you. I was under the impression I had to use Mercury and Sendmail together! hmm

Also what you just said about having a Lan well I am running on a Lan but I guess thats not important now. So I'm going to have another go at just configuring sendmail and see how it goes, all I want is for my forum to send mail :( thanks again guys.
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Re: Really feels like crying over this Email business! Mercury ?

Postby Izzy » 04. February 2009 06:56

w4vy wrote: Also what you just said about having a Lan well I am running on a Lan but I guess thats not important now.
The LAN I had in mind was where you had multiple accounts on the network that required an email service for both internal and external sending and receiving of emails for those account holders and you had a fully qualified domain name that was setup at your domain name registrar that had DNS and MX records pointing to a dedicated IP and which was also sanctioned by an ISP or you had your own dedicated server at a data centre - AOL is a questionable commodity on that score.
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Re: Really feels like crying over this Email business! Mercury ?

Postby tloffman » 28. February 2009 08:13

I am having a similar problem. I installed Xampp and have been using it to debug PHP scripts. Works fine. One script uses a simple PHP Mail() function to send email to me. I run it just fine through my hosting service, but when I run it through http://localhost/ the mail is sent, but I don't receive it and can't figure out where it went. I know the script is working just fine. I even ran a sample script right off the main PHP mail manual page, and the same thing happens. I just want to be able to debug my PHP scripts that send mail. When I try to figure out if I have set up the Mercury settings correctly I can't figure out what I am doing wrong. This is the first time I have ever used a local server. I have always uploaded PHP scripts to my hosting service.

Any ideas or help would be very much appreciated.

Tom
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Re: Really feels like crying over this Email business! Mercury ?

Postby Izzy » 28. February 2009 08:26

As mentioned in the previous posts you don't need to use Mercury to send mail from a php script.

Open apache\bin\php.ini and look for the section [mail function] as that is where you set things up.

You can use either (fake) sendmail or win32 section but not both.

A forum search for mail or sendmail will help your case.

BTW sendmail has error and debug log files and you can add your email user/pass credentials if required.
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