Users complain that they can’t send email. You dig through your exchange queues and logs, and you stumble across this:
451 4.4.0 primary target IP address responded with “4184.108.40.206 unable to connect.” Attempted failover to alternate host, but that did not succeed. Either there are no alternate hosts, or delivery failed to all alternate hosts.
The root cause of this is that something, be it a hardware or software firewall, or antivirus product, something is blocking outbound traffic on port 25.
You ready for me to read your mind? In our particular case, and in at least 3 other cases I have confirmed with other IT persons, we had installed antivirus software from McAfee on our Exchange server. McAfee has a feature which watches for Mass Mailing worms – this is great on your desktop! But not so great on your Exchange server, as all of your SMTP outbound mail needs to leave on port 25. McAfee’s software does this by watching for outbound traffic on Port 25. Although I don’t know what the exact threshold is, eventually it decides there is too much traffic, assumes your computer may be infected, closes the port on your computer (in this case, our Server), and mail stops flowing. Here is my solution for the McAfee software:
All you need to do to fix this is open up McAfee from the System Tray, then find the Access Protection Properties, they look like the menu pictured above. Then choose Antivirus Standard Protection on the left, and uncheck Prevent Mass Mailing Worms from sending mail on the right. I would uncheck both the BLOCK and REPORT options, otherwise you can expect some pretty large log files.
I first encountered this and posted a solution on TechNet in October, but thought it was worth revisiting as it was a heck of a process to narrow down! At least one user there has confirmed it to be the solution for them.
I’ve seen people who have gone so far as to uninstall and reinstall their printer yet STILL could not print! If you’ve already tried all of the steps in how to reset your print spooler, try the steps below… tested and has worked for me on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 32 and 64-bit… the solution below has worked for me several times!
- Stop the printer spooler (see this article for instructions).
- Browse to this folder: C:\windows\system32\spool\PRINTERS (for newer versions of Windows, you will have to say Yes to a UAC prompt asking if you want to proceed).
- Delete everything in the folder.
- Start the printer spooler (see above article about stopping/starting).
Try your print job again!
People tell me that updates are annoying, and slow… but they are for your protection. Windows, Android, iOS, Wii U, Xbox 360, whatever… you should keep them up to date. Sometimes new features emerge, sometimes it is a behind the scenes security enhancement, but you should always install updates, and uninstall them only if necessary.
To keep your Surface tablet updated, you should go to the Start Screen and type “Windows Update” – then, click Settings on the right side, and click on “Install optional updates.” Then search for and apply the latest. If you haven’t done this since buying your Surface RT tablet, it will update your Office 2013 to the full Home and Student edition, along with applying several updates to keep you safe on the internet!
This thing is nasty. I’ve seen what I can only believe is a variant of WORM_VOBFUS.SMIS as defined by Trend Micro. Here’s what’s happening: an infected computer on your network looks for any shared folders (network shares, USB flash drives, etc…) and hides all of your real files. It then will replace the “hidden” files, with .EXE’s of the same names, to try and trick people in to clicking on them, and causing the worm to spread further. I’ve already seen this thing a few times and have developed a good plan of action for fighting it off.
Finding the infected computer and Cleaning the Infection
Skip ahead if you want to unhide your files, but I want to cover this virus a little further in depth. Continue reading “Virus hid files, "Hidden" Attribute grayed out – Solved!”