E-mail access



I have just spent the last several days working with Comcast on a problem
that they cannot figure out. Because neither of us probably wants to
reinvent the wheel, I am going to cut and paste the germaine portions of our
interactions so that you can see where we have been and suggest solutions.

I1. really need someone's help. I finally had had it with Incredimail
which I had been using to download my e-mail, so uninstalled it and proceeded
to try to get Outlook 2002 to download my e-mail. No matter what I try, it
won't do it! I had no problems getting Incredimail to download - it was
other issues which were the problem - so I know that it is possible. I have
tried everything. I can log on using my password and read my mail in Comcast
Mail, so I don't think that it's a password problem. Any ideas? I am really

Thanks in advance, Dan

Their first response:

Are you using any incarnation of Norton Internet Security? If so, the
Symantec/Norton folks have an article about problems like this, so their
suggestions should be attempted first. They have a troubleshooting routine
you can run from that webpage. If that fails, they suggest removing and
reinstalling Norton.

To set up Outlook, follow these instructions step-by-step:

1. choose Tools
2. choose E-mail Accounts
3. choose "View or change existing e-mail account"
4. choose Next
5. click on your Comcast account to highlight it
6. choose Change
7. enter Your Name (whatever you want to appear on your messages)
8. enter E-mail Address (your full Comcast email address)
9. Incoming mail server is mail.comcast.net
10. Outgoing mail server is smtp.comcast.net
11. enter User Name (your Comcast user ID, the part before "@comcast.net"
in your email address)
12. enter Password
13. check "Remember password"
14. make sure “Logon using Secure Password Authentication (SPA)†is NOT
15. choose More Settings
16. go to the Outgoing Server tab
17. check “My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authenticationâ€
18. choose “Use same settings as my incoming mail serverâ€
19. go to the Advanced tab
20. check both boxes for “This server requires an SSL-secured connectionâ€
21. change port number to 465 for outgoing, 995 for incoming
22. bump up the Server Timeouts slider to the high end
23. Click OK, Next, Finish

Turn off whatever email scanning your anti-virus package is doing. Comcast
already scans incoming email for viruses, and your outgoing email isn’t going
to be infected unless your machine is already infected, so there’s no point
checking it all the time.

On your firewall, make sure ports 465 and 995 aren’t blocked (if the
software will let you do that).

Don't bother with the "Test" function in Outlook - it often fails for no
particular reason.

Exit from Outlook, then make sure it isn't still running in the background.
Hit CTRL-ALT-DEL, go to the Processes tab, and kill any occurrences of
OUTLOOK.EXE before launching Outlook again.

The plot thickens. I finally logged onto my Comcast e-mail account directly
and discovered that all of the test messages I have been sending from the
Outlook set-up dropdown (tools>e-mail accounts>view or change/add new
account>change>internet and mail settings) area have been getting through.
It is not the outgoing which is causing me problems, it is the incoming.
Making it worse is the fact that Outlook Express which I just tried downloads
my emails from Comcast just fine - ao I am wondering if it is the whole
firewall issue. (While I wait for other ideas, I am going to try again what
you mentioned above.)

If I could figure out how to do so, I would even download screenshots of all
the above settings so you could help me figure this out. It is maddening! I
am getting requests from other Outlook users in my office for meetings that
are supposed to work with the calendar function in Outlook to schedule
meetings and I cannot even download them.

Any ideas?

Thanks, Dan


Well, I tried what you mentioned to do under your first reply. Made certain
that every setting was correct. Did every step. Even thought that I'd found
the problem - I had spelled "SMTP" as "STMP" in one place. All to no avail.
It is weird. Express works just fine - ingoing and outgoing - but regular
Outlook continues to give me the message "The operation failed" no matter
what I do. HELP!!!!! Is there any way of importing Express's settings into
regular Outlook?

Message Edited by RevMoose on 10-06-200610:08 AM

Message Edited by RevMoose on 10-06-200610:10 AM

Their response:

RevMoose, all I can suggest is to double and triple-checking the settings
I've laid out. There aren't any "better" ones. If you are, in fact, having
a firewall problem, the way to find out is to turn the built-in WinXP
firewall ON (it never interferes with email), and go into whatever other
firewall you're using, and disable it. You may need to reboot to get the
other firewall to shut down completely (once you've told it not to run on

3. Forgive what must sound like a very silly question. How do I determine
wht firewalls I have operating on my system? I know that XPs is loaded. I
also have Norton Anti-virus installed and don't know if it has a firewall
function. Also, I have a wireless network which connects my wife and my
computer (hardwired) and my laptop (wireless). I think that there may be a
firewall that is part of that network thingamajig but I have no idea where to
go to discover all of this.

Thanks in advance for all of your help with this.


If you have just Norton Antivirus, that does not include a firewall. If you
have the whole Norton Internet Security suite, on the other hand, there's a
firewall in there. To find out, there will be one or more icons for Norton
down in the system tray, in the lower right corner. Double-click on each one
you see and just do a little looking around. If there's only one icon, one
that looks like a little yellow computer terminal, that's just the antivirus
part. That, by the way, is where you would go to shut off the antivirus
scanning of your messages (it's unnecessary) - double-click on that icon, and
look for a place to change the email settings (I haven't seen it in a while,
so I can't give you better instructions than that, I'm afraid).

Your wireless network includes a type of firewall (the router acts as a
firewall), but it's very unlikely to be the source of your problems. In
fact, if Outlook Express can retrieve the messages, but Outlook can't, that
pretty much rules out firewall interference, since those two email clients
usually react the same way to a firewall - they either both work, or they
both fail.

Remember, too, that if you've run Outlook Express, it has downloaded all
your waiting messages to its inbox, so they're no longer sitting on the
server, waiting to be picked up. So, if you now launch Outlook, there are no
undelivered messages for it to fetch. You'll need to send yourself some test
messages (don't use the "test" function in Outlook - just address a message
to yourself and send it).

Their responses:


Since you mentioned that your email works with Outlook Express but not with
Outlook, this should mean that your wireless router (the networking device
you use) is not blocking you - unless it has some feature to block certain
applications which most of the residential routers will not do by default
without you setting up a certain rule in the router setup.

As for firewalls on your computer, you mention that you are using Norton -
look down in the lower-right corner of your computer screen where the time is
displayed and find the icon that represents your Norton program and
double-click on it. This should open the main control panel for norton.
Look around on the control panel to see what features it has enabled on it.
If it is Norton System Works, you should see some information or links within
here for firewall controls that you can enable/disable. But if you have just
Norton Antivirus, you will likely see no links for firewall controls.

But you may want to try simply opening Outlook first, go into
Tools->Accounts->View/Change Accounts and just delete your Comcast account
that you created here. Once it is deleted, try closing Outlook next, then
re-launch Outlook so you get a fresh start. Then go back to the
Tools->Accounts and try adding your Comcast account back in. Once you have
it added back in correctly (use this FAQ if you need assistance re-creating
it), give it a try to see if you can retreive your emails without errors. If
you still get the same error, go back through EarlyOut's suggestions above to
see if this clears out things. The goal here is to simply re-create the
account in case Outlook has corrupted your earlier setup.

Jason, you mentioned in your post above

"If it is Norton System Works, you should see some information or links
within here for firewall controls that you can enable/disable. But if you
have just Norton Antivirus, you will likely see no links for firewall

Norton System Works DOES NOT have the firewall included in it, but it does
include Norton Antivirus.
If the poster has Norton Internet Security Suite, the firewall and antivirus
are both included with this.
Norton also makes their firewall and antivirus as stand-alone programs.

4. Jason,

Is there a way that I can e-mail you some screen shots so that you can see
what is happening? I am really frustrated! I am reasonably computer
literate, but this is really bugging me. I feel that Microsoft has just
**bleep** things up again and I don't know what to do about it. I am not
about to pay Redmond $35.00 per call to have them tell me that they don't
know what the problem is. I have just spent the last hour trying to find out
how to completely remove Outlook and to try a fresh install to see if that
works. I have searched the MS knowledge base and there is plenty of info on
how to remove Express, but nothing for Outlook. Now I know that my wife is
probably correct when I am looking for something in the refrigerator that I
can look right at something and not see it (a common malady for us males I am
told), but this is getting really frustrating. Almost enough to make the
pastor (which I am) start swearing!

I am willing to try a fresh install if I need to. I would even uninstall
all of office and reinstall it if I thought that it wouldn't destroy all of
my files in the process. Can you please help me. That lousy little
"Operation not completed" message is really getting on my nerves. Like I
said earlier, Outlook Express downloads Comcast's mail just fine - but
Outlook just refuses. I have reconfigured using all of the advice found here
and elsewhere at least 25 times (I am not exaggerating) to no avail. Outlook
sends messages to both Comcast and Gmail fine - but anything incoming is an
impossibility. I should be working on a sermon for this weekend but I am
stuck working on this. PLEEEEEEEZE help me.

Thanks, Dan

I don't know what the "bleep" is for. I used a word for what you do with a
screwdriver, in the past tense, to describe what Microsoft did and I don't
think of that as profanity. Oh well . . .

Message Edited by RevMoose on 10-06-200612:14 PM

Uninstalling Microsoft Office will not destroy your files-they will remain
on your computer-you just won't be able to read any of them until you
re-install Office.
If you want to uninstall, Start Menu/Control Panel/Add Remove Programs.
Find the Office Entry, uninstall.
After it's removed, go to your C drive, Program Files, and if Office folder
is still there, delete it. Start with a clean slate.
As for a screen shot, that's an easy thing to do.
When what you want to take a shot of appears, hit PrtScn on your keyboard.
Then from Start Menu/All Programs/Accessories/Paint. (You can also use word
or word pad)
When Paint opens, Edit at the top,then Paste.
After it's pasted, File/Save As.
If you have more than one screen, you will have to do each one individually.

Note: Before uninstalling Office, make sure to save any mail that is in
Outlook to your hard drive. Also save your address book. Once it's
uninstalled, those will disappear. Make sure to back up accounts for other
users of your computer who check mail with it.

PS. There are times in life that would make a saint swear, driving and
computer problems are 2 that come to mind.

Message Edited by Queen-Evie on 10-06-200602:38 PM


Thanks for your help. My problem is not capturing a screen shot - I have a
great little program called "Snag-It" that does that easily. My problem is
that nowhere on the Comcast Forum message screen is there the ability to
place a PNG or JPEG in a message or attach it. You can link to a picture on
the web or another site using the picture icon, but there is nowhere where
you can link to a picture on your own hard drive and the program will not
allow you to cut and paste it into the body of the message. It would be
handy when trying to get help here on the forum to be able to do so.

I am trying the removal of Office as we speak.

Thanks again, Dan

Message Edited by RevMoose on 10-06-200612:44 PM


Go ahead and take a screenshot and save the file on your computer. When
this is done, go to www.imageshack.us, click the Browse button and find your
image file, then press the Host it button. When the page changes, you should
see 5 different boxes with URLs in them - copy the contents of the last box
(labeled "Direct link to image"). Then come back here to the forums and
start a new post. When composing the post, click on the image button in the
toolbar that you mentioned above and paste the URL you just copied and press
Ok. Your screenshot should now be visible in your forum post.

6. Well, I removed Office completely and reinstalled it. When I did,
Outlook came up with all of the same settings and the e-mail that existed was
in the same folders which were also there. I may try it again. How do I
remove those files (settings for Outlook, etc. from my computer after I
remove Office so that the same things do not reappear?

Thanks, Dan

Their response:

Outlook stores everything, and I do mean everything, in a file called
outlook.pst. It's usually buried many layers down in an obscure directory on
the C: drive, so you might have to search for it. If you delete it, however,
be aware that will take everything with it - settings, address book,
messages, folders, etc., in short, everything you see currently in Outlook.

(My outlook.pst is at c:\documents and settings\owner\local
settings\application data\microsoft\outlook, but that can vary with the way
you've got WinXP set up.)

8. I then posted screen shots of each page of the Outlook e-mail set up
screens which I apparently am unable to do here. (I would be happy to either
send those to whoever is willing to help me, or send liks to Image Shack)
with the message: Okay,

Where have I gone astray?

Their response:

Your settings all look fine, but I notice that your Comcast account is not
set as the default. Could it be, simply, that when Outlook does its
send/receive cycle, it's only checking your default account, the gmail one?
Try making the Comcast account the default. Then go do some poking around
under Tools, Send/Receive Settings, Define Send/Receive Groups, and make sure
your Comcast account is included in the normal process.

9. Dear Early Out,

I got so frustrated I gave up for a while. Now I am ready to tackle this
thing one more time.

If I delete Outlook.pst will the program then recreate it and allow me to
make new settings, or do I need to reinstall Outlook at that point.

Thanks, Dan

10. Okay, so I got tired of waiting and eliminated every instance of
Outlook.pst on my computer - even looked in the hidden files and eliminated
it there. I still have all my contacts, my settings, etc. when I open
Outlook. What do I do now?

Thanks, Dan

Their response:

Instead of going through all of this, just delete your Comcast account in
Outlook, and start over (this will not delete your Comcast account with
Comcast!). Go through the instructions, step-by-step, carefully. I'm sure
you're missing some small piece of the puzzle, like entering something
slightly wrong, but without looking over your shoulder, I can't tell what it

11.Done it already at least three times - to no avail. I have even
completely wiped Office off my computer and reinstalled it and that didn't
work. As you are able to note by the screen shots I sent, I have everything
right that anyone can see. I would love to wipe whatever files contain my
settings completely off my computer (it is obvious that eliminating Outlook
in an Office removal does not take the data files) and start over. Something
is lurking back in the bowels of my memory and refusing to turn loose of
this. Any ideas?


As you can see, I am getting really frustrated and could really use some
help! Short of completely reformating my hard drive and starting all over
with a clean slate, is there any way to wipe out whatever settings are
lurking around there and keeping me from just receiving e-mail in Outlook.
This shouldn't be rocket science.

I cannot affort MS's customer support rates and am desparate for some help.

Thanks in advance,



Your post was a bit to long to take in.
1) Uninstall/Reinstall of OL / Office has no impact on the pst file(s)
2) The pst is a hidden file, you have to search to include hidden
3) What happens if you send a mail to yourself ie any errors reported?


Dear DL,

Thanks for taking the time to read my long and convoluted post. I know that
it was a bit long to take in, but I figured it was probably better to do that
than to go through all that I went through with them all over again.

The problem I am having is not with sending messages - they go just fine.
It is in receiving them. I can go to my mail directly on Comcast and all of
the messages and test messages, etc., are there. It is just that Outlook
will not upload the mail from Comcast. I can send you the screen shots of
the settings. They all seem to be okay. I am really stumped.

Thanks for taking the time for trying to help me with this.




Dear DL,

I have been sending test messages from the set-up screens and they have been
going through just fine. I just tried to send one from Outlook, itself, as
per your suggestion, and when I try to send the message after composing it,
there is no send button to be had, either as an icon or under file, etc.

I would love to be able to completely wipe the program off of my computer
and start over again. I have tried several times and apparently there are
hidden files that I do not know about that keep restoring whatever foul bugs
are in my Outlook. As I mentioned, I removed Outlook.pst from my computer
and it made no difference - I still had the same settings and calendar and
contacts, etc. So, what do I do?


Son of a gun.

Found another pst file, eliminated it, created a new profile, and voila! I
can send and receive mail. Many, many thanks for everyone's help and



cest la vie

Dan said:
Son of a gun.

Found another pst file, eliminated it, created a new profile, and voila! I
can send and receive mail. Many, many thanks for everyone's help and



This is probably not of help to anyone, but I am having exactly the same
problem, but my ISP is Charter, and I'm having trouble downloading email from
a Network Solutions email account (using my domain name.) The new email
account was working fine for a week and then suddenly stopped -- I can send
using the Network Solutions account, but cannot receive, using Outlook. Using
the Network Solutions Web mail page, I can both send and receive. I have
deleted and recreated the Network Solutions account in Outlook, called
Network Solutions and Charter but to no avail. Any suggestions from anyone
are most welcome -- if I wind up paying the $35 to Microsoft for help I will
post my results here. Good luck and thanks to all who have brainstormed



I've been having intermittent send/receive responses with outlook express on
my new Compaq computer. Called my isp (verizon) a few times and after they
change some settings I can send and receive on the outlook express; however
the next day when I try to use the send/receive it doesn't respond. I can
send and receive on my verizon web page, but I prefer the use of outlook
express which I've used for years on my old computer with no trouble. Any
suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks, Frank

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