The other day a client called me reporting that he was unable to download his e-mail with Outlook 2003. He reported this error:
Your incoming (POP3) mail server has reported an Internal Error. If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or Internet Service Provider (ISP).
The server Reported: -ERR problem retrieving message.
Now, this is a horrible error.. Really only because it is so vague. Microsoft says this about that error:
This problem occurs if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) limits the number of POP3 connections that you can make at the same time.
and offers this solution:
To work around this problem you can separate your POP3 accounts into smaller Send/Receive groups, and then connect with each Send/Receive group separately. To do this, follow these steps:
- Click Tools, point to Send/Receive Settings, and then click Define Send/Receive Groups.
- Click New.
- In the Send/Receive Group Name box, type the name that you want to give this group.
- In the left pane, under Accounts, click the account that you want to include in this group, and then click to select the Include account in this send/receive group check box.
- Click to select the Send mail items check box and the Receive mail items check box.
- Click Download complete item including attachments, and then click OK.
- Repeat steps 3 through 5 for each account that you want to include in this Send/Receive group.
- To create another Send/Receive group and add an account to that group, repeat steps 2 through 6.
- When you have created all the Send/Receive groups that you want, click Close.
- To send and receive e-mail for each group that you have created, click Tools, point to Send/Receive, and then click the name of the Send/Receive group that you want.
Well, this did not remotely work for me. Then I noticed something…. Norton Antivirus was installed. Did I ever mention…. I HATE NORTON ANTIVIRUS!?!?
Ok. On a whim, I disabled Norton. Hit send/receive.. The e-mails started whizzing in! I re-enabled Norton, sent a test message to this account. Hit send/receive.. It failed with the above message…. I ran an update on Norton, sent a test message to that account again and now it worked.
Moral of the story: Don’t EVER install/use Norton Antivirus.
07/21/2009 : **UPDATE**
I ran into this problem again today on another client’s computer. They did not have Norton Antivirus in stalled but, were instead using Trend Micro’s Internet security suite. This time e-mail was not the only affected service. As well as getting the “0x800CCC90” error, they were unable to surf the internet. Their ISP was no help, told them they probably had a Virus as “Nothing was wrong on their end”. Turned out the Firewall for the security suite had been turned up so that it denied all traffic. (Appears someone was “clicking around” and thought they would “help”) . I reset the security level of the Firewall and everything returned to normal.
For good measure I checked for Viri. The computer was clean. Once again this error was caused by Firewall settings. If you get this error. Try disabling your firewall and see if it clears. If so, go into the settings and make an allowance for Outlook.
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