Problems with email to/from the School of Crystallography


Problems sending email to people in the School of Crystallography

Please check the following if you have problems sending email to people in the School of Crystallography.

  • Did you use the correct address
  • Does the address look OK. See format of email addresses
  • Is the problem with your mail client (.e.g pine, ecs, netscape). If so then contact your computer support staff.
  • Did the email bounce back. (see bounce messages) If you can not discover the cause of the problem by reading the bounce message then contact your computer support staff. You should forward the bounce message to your support staff together with the URL of this web page.
  • Note.
    • If you are using a brain dead mail client which discards the text of the bounce and replaces it with a meaningless message e.g. "Protocol Error" then you are on your own.
    • Your only options are to use a different mail client or configure your mail client not to discard the bounce text and then resend the message.
    • Contact your support staff if you have this problem.

If your mail client send the message without complaining and you did not receive a bounce message but the recipient either did not receive it or never replied then check the following

  • Is the email address correct
  • Do both yourself and the intended recipient agree on the email address
  • Are you using an which the recipient rarely checks. It is not uncommon for people to have several accounts some of which they seldom use.

If all else fails then send a message to postmaster@mail.cryst.bbk.ac.uk asking for help or if that bounces postmaster@bbk.ac.uk. Please include the full text of any bounce when sending messages to postmaster.

If all email from your site to the School of Crystallography is bounced or rejected then it is possible that email from your site is blocked. For example we have in the past blocked email from open relays.

If email from your site is being blocked then there should be a clue in the full text of the bounce message.

look for a line with the string Diagnostic-Code

If email from your site is being blocked then you will need to use an alternative service provider to contact us. This should not be a problem as there are many free web based email services available.

Problems Sending email from systems in the School of Crystallography

To help diagnose the problems please answer the following

  • Is the problem with the mail client (.e.g pine, ecs, netscape). If it is a mail client problem then follow the standard problem reporting procedures.
  • Did the email bounce back. (see bounce messages) If you can not discover the cause of the problem by reading the bounce message then forward the bounce message to CCSG at support@mail.cryst.bbk.ac.uk with a request for help.
    • Note. If you are using a brain dead mail client which discards the text of the bounce and replaces it with a meaningless message e.g. "Protocol Error" then you are on your own.
    • Your only options are to use a different mail client or configure your mail client not to discard the bounce text and then resend the message.

If your mail client send the message without complaining and you did not receive a bounce message but the recipient either did not receive it or never replied then check the following

  • Is the email address correct
  • Do both yourself and the intended recipient agree on the email address
  • Are you using an which the recipient rarely checks. It is not uncommon for people to have several accounts some of which they seldom use.

If you still have a problem then contact CCSG by email to support@mail.cryst.bbk.ac.uk including the following information.

  • The login ID you were using to send the message
  • Which computer you send the message from
  • The address you were sending to
  • The exact date and (hours and minutes) time you send the message.
  • Hint. Look at the message in your sent-mail folder.
  • The following are examples of how not to specify the exact time
    • Last week
    • Thursday afternoon

Terminology

Mail client is the program or programs you use to send and read your email. e.g. pine, netscape, esc...

Open Relays

Open relays are servers which accept anywhere on the internet and then forward to anywhere else with out restrictions.

Open relays are often used by people sending SPAM (junk mail) to

  • Hide there original address
  • To amplify their messages. They send one message with a very large distribution list and the relay forwards the message to all the addresses on the distribution list.

For more information on open relays, how / why they are blocked and how to close an open relay see.

An open relay is not the same as a mailing list or email list server.

Bounce messages

Do not delete the bounce message it contains information which can help diagnose the problem.

If you are using a brain dead mail client which discards the text of the bounce and replaces it with a meaningless message e.g. "Protocol Error" then you are on your own. Your only options are to use a different mail client or configure your mail client not to discard the bounce text and then resend the message.

Try and read the bounce message you may be able to guess what the problem is.

Look for the string Diagnostic-Code

For example

  • The bounce text may say that your email did not fail but was only delayed. The mail server will continue attempting to deliver the message for a few more days.
  • The email address or user ID is not recognised by the remote system. Did you use the correct address or has the account been closed?
    • Hint: look for the text unknown user or similar in the bounce.


CCSG Comments, Corrections, Changes School Home page

$Revision: 1.5 $ $Date: 2001/12/04 19:38:50 $