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SMTP and POP3 inaccessible on Windows Server 2003

4 New Member
I'm a longtime *nix guy and am fairly comfortable "over there" although I am a developer and not a sysadmin, mostly J2EE stuff.

I recently got the Microsoft "Action Pack" as a partner. It has legit licenses for a bunch of Microsft software for development/evaluation purposes. I decided to install Windows Server 2003 - the first time I have ever installed a Windows Server.

I decided to install Apache rather than try to learn IIS, and it works perfectly in my new Server 2003. No problems there.

The next thing was email. Well, Postfix doesn't run on Windows, so I did the obvious and installed the SMTP and POP3 that are "in the box". The install went smoothly. I made no changes to the out-of-the-box defaults. SMTP started automatically. I enabled POP3 and it started up, netstat -na showed ports 25 and 110 both listening.

I did a quick telnet localhost 25 and telnet localhost 110 to see if they were up, and they were. Cool.

SO FAR SO GOOD.

I went to a PC next to my server, and typed telnet 192.168.1.2 25. Connection refused, no contact. same with 110. But telnet to port 80 (Apache) works correctly, however. I can also access the default home page OK with a browser. Try with outlook and it fails to connect.

Why can I not access this SMTP and POP3 service from outside the machine? There is no firewall, Windows Server is about as vanilla an install as you could do, and all the defaults were taken for the SMTP and POP3 install. The server has a fixed IP on my local private network

I must be missing something simple and fundamental, but have been beating my head against the wall for 3 days now.

Postfix on Linux comes up fully configured without a murmur. I had hoped Winows would be as trouble-free.

Chris Gage
Apr 25 '07 #1
5 5084
RedSon
5,000 Recognized Expert Expert
Windows has its own firewall have you disabled its services as well? You don't have to have a third party app to have a firewall with windows.
Apr 25 '07 #2
Chris Gage
4 New Member
Nope, that's not it, Actually that was my first assumption...

I know that Windows XP with Service pack 2 has a firewall but I don't think Server 2003 does, and there is no indication of one running, not in the system tray, not in the task manager, nor do I see evidence anywhere on the machine that there might be some tools to manage one, ie stop, start, configure etc. No mention in Control panel or Administrative Tools.

And I can access the web server, just not the SMTP or POP3.

There must be a simple 10-second fix to this, and boy, am I going to be kicking myself when I find out what it is.... :-)

Or it's back to Linux and Postfix...
Apr 26 '07 #3
RedSon
5,000 Recognized Expert Expert
Nope, that's not it, Actually that was my first assumption...

I know that Windows XP with Service pack 2 has a firewall but I don't think Server 2003 does, and there is no indication of one running, not in the system tray, not in the task manager, nor do I see evidence anywhere on the machine that there might be some tools to manage one, ie stop, start, configure etc. No mention in Control panel or Administrative Tools.

And I can access the web server, just not the SMTP or POP3.

There must be a simple 10-second fix to this, and boy, am I going to be kicking myself when I find out what it is.... :-)

Or it's back to Linux and Postfix...
I'm not sure how the Windows Server 2003 is setup, but I would be willing to bet that there is a firewall running or trying to run somewhere on that machine. I dont think you would be able to easily infer if it was by looking at the process list. The reason you can access the webserver is because that port is open by default if you have IIS installd.
Apr 26 '07 #4
RedSon
5,000 Recognized Expert Expert
Nope, that's not it, Actually that was my first assumption...

I know that Windows XP with Service pack 2 has a firewall but I don't think Server 2003 does, and there is no indication of one running, not in the system tray, not in the task manager, nor do I see evidence anywhere on the machine that there might be some tools to manage one, ie stop, start, configure etc. No mention in Control panel or Administrative Tools.

And I can access the web server, just not the SMTP or POP3.

There must be a simple 10-second fix to this, and boy, am I going to be kicking myself when I find out what it is.... :-)

Or it's back to Linux and Postfix...
if you can ping SMTP and POP3 locally, but not from the netowork, its a firewall or router issue. The rule is, if it works locally but not globally then its the network.
Apr 26 '07 #5
Chris Gage
4 New Member
It turns out you were right. Would you believe that Service pack 1 ships a firewall with everything but port 80 turned off, and no tool to configure it is installed. You have to go to "Add Windows Components" and install the "Security Configuration Wizard" and then run it. Once you have run it, (and it is fairly easy), the ports are opened up and SMTP and POP3 work.
Apr 26 '07 #6

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