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How do I determine a cause of mail failure?


The message is sent but I never receive it. What's wrong?


It's been working fine for 3 years and now it appears that the messages are not getting delivered.

Note about FromAddress: You must specify a value for the FromAddress property. Mail failure will occur without a FromAddress.

If the component can determine why the SendMail method failed, that information will be stored in the Response property. So, for example, to print that information to the clients browser you could add the following code:

if not Mailer.SendMail then if Mailer.Response <> ''" then strError = Mailer.Response else strError = "Unknown" end if Response.Write "Mail failure occured. Reason: " & strError end if

Another fairly common problem is when a user reports that a specific feature is not working. For example BCC's may seem to never reach their destination. A valuable debugging tool is available with the SMTPLog feature. Assign a valid filename to this property and the contents of the SMTP transaction that occurs during a SendMail call will be recorded to this file. I

f you find that the SMTP transaction occurs without error then you should check elsewhere for the cause of mail delivery failure. Invariably the user finds that the BCC address was invalid or that the SMTP server is not relaying mail for the recipient domain. 

The SMTPLog feature allows you to verify if the transactions are complete and valid before pursuing other avenues in determining the cause of failure. If you see no errors in the SMTPLog then you need to check downstream of AspMail starting with the SMTP server you are using to send, as well as the recipient SMTP server. Anti-spam features on either machine may be identifying your message as spam and may need to be reconfigured. Check with the SMTP server administrators.

500 (503, 554 etc...) series errors are errors that the SMTP server generates. The exact meaning of the error depends upon your configuration and SMTP server. Please consult your SMTP server documentation for specifics on what these errors mean. Some of these are covered below but these errors are being issued by your SMTP server and AspMail is merely passing them on to you.

Checking the Mailer.Response property returns

"File Access Denied"


"Cannot create file"


"I have a TMP/TEMP var but it still isn't working"

What's wrong?

  • You probably don't have a TMP or TEMP path set up, or if you do, the IIS User (or any users authenticating under IIS) don't have read/write access to the this directory.
    1. Make sure the directory exists.
    2. Make sure you have FREE space on that partition/directory
    3. Make sure the TMP or TEMP variable exists in your NT/Win95 environment. Under NT this must be a system environment variable, not a user environment variable. If TShoot (see our tech support page) doesn't show the var it isn't a system var. It must be a system var.

How to determine where your TMP/TEMP dir points to

AspMail versions 2.5.8 and higher have a method called GetTempPath. To display where your TMP path is set to place the following code in an ASP script and run it.

Set Mailer = Server.CreateObject("SMTPsvg.Mailer")
Response.Write Mailer.GetTempPath
Your Win32 OS is designed to find your temporary path in the following manner:

  1. Check for TMP.
  2. If it does not exist, check for TEMP.
  3. If it does not exist use the current directory. ASP tends to use the \WinNT directory in this case.
  • The problem is the TMP path noted above  99% of the time. If you have double-checked that the system (not user) env var exists
    • Make sure all users which need access to the component (the anonymous IIS user and any other users which authenticate under IIS) have read/write access to this path.
    • Make sure that the drive where the TMP path points to has free disk space
    • Check to see if the user has a disk space quota (under NT 4 this would only be available through 3rd party quota software; this is now built in to Win2K)

There are no other known causes for this error so please check the above issues. If you fail to resolve the issue then turn security failure auditing on using User Manager (NT only) run the script for failure, and view the Event Log looking for an indication of the reason it failed.

What would cause an "Operation timed out error"?


"AspMail has been working great but suddenly I'm getting an 'Operation timed out' error.

Reasons for operation timed out include:
  1. SMTP server is down, overloaded or simply not responding
  2. Firewall blocking port 25 between AspMail and SMTP server
  3. Packet filtering blocking port 25 between AspMail and SMTP server
  4. IP route is down
  5. Your Winsock configured DNS server is down

To check using another method run
telnet [smtp hostname] 25
from the IIS server where AspMail is installed. If telnet can see the
SMTP server, then AspMail can see the server also.

I can successfully send email from one computer on our network but the same exact code is failing from another machine on the network. See the first question listed above "How do I determine a cause of mail failure?" first. If there are no communications problems the likely cause is that the first machines IP is not blocked at the SMTP server whereas the 2nd machines is. Consult with your SMTP server admin to see if anti-spam features are in use that would prevent the 2nd IP address from sending mail.
AspMail and SpamAssassin If I add the following to our AspMail based scripts it dramatically drops the spam assassin scores:
Mailer.AddExtraHeader "X-MimeOLE: Produced MyCompanyNameHere"

(Thanks to Steve R. for this info)

I'm adding attachments but they aren't getting added to the actual mailing. What's wrong?
  1. The path specified is not valid.
  2. The user the component is running under, typically the anonymous IIS user, does not have rights to open the file. The anon IIS user, by default, cannot read from networked drives so a path such as \foobar\files\ is not valid.
  3. The file is open by another process that's denying reads to the file (another process you have running has the file open for writing and is denying read access).
How do I use AspMail with Microsoft's Proxy Server? If the machine running IIS and AspMail is separated from your SMTP host by Microsoft's Proxy Server, you may experience problems connecting to the SMTP server. AspMail typically reports the error "Host not found" under this configuration. As a logged-in user you may have no problems connecting to the SMTP server. You must assign NT user credentials to the IIS Admin service using the CREDTOOL command-line utility. This utility is located in the directory \MSP\Clients\I386 on the Proxy Server machine. Copy this utility to the machine running IIS and execute the following command at an MS-DOS prompt specifying your own user credentials:
credtool -w -n inetinfo -c <username> <domain> <password> 

This command assigns the credentials of a specified NT user to the executable inetinfo.exe that hosts the IIS Admin service. You also need to configure your IIS to recognize those credentials. You do that by creating the file Wspcfg.ini and placing it in the directory where inetinfo.exe is located. This is usually found in the \winnt\system32\inetsrv directory.

The following INI entry should be put in the wspcfg.ini file:


After that, you must restart IIS by issuing the commands:

net stop iisadmin /y

net start w3svc

I'm adding files from an array. All but the last file are getting added, no matter how many files I add. The last array element filename probably has a chr(0) appended to the end. You'll have to delete the final character of the filename before calling AddAttachment.
Is there a comprehensive list of errors that can be returned by AspMail? There are quite a few errors that can be returned. We do not have a comprehensive list, primarily because these errors are returned from systems AspMail is dependent on. The errors can come from your SMTP server (errors vary from vendor to vendor), from WinSock errors (documented by Microsoft) and general OS errors such as out of memory, disk read/write failures etc... (again documented by Microsoft).
"AddCC or AddBCC doesn't work" - is this a bug with AspMail?


"I'm adding multiple recipients but only the first one is getting delivered. What's wrong with AspMail?"

AddRecipient, AddCC and AddBCC work just as they should. The problem is not with AspMail. It is likely that your SMTP server is rejecting "foreign addresses" (see "no relay" question below).

To test whether AspMail is functioning properly use the SMTPLog property to capture an SMTP session with multiple recipients. All the recipients you send to should appear in the log as the SMTP envelope is sent. If they all appear then the problem is with your SMTP server or an SMTP server down the stream (or your addresses are invalid).

The syntax

Mailer.AddRecipient = "name", ""


Mailer.AddRecipient =  ""

both return a VBScript error. What's wrong?

First off, remove the = sign. AddRecipient sounds like and is actually a method, not a property. Also AddRecipient takes two parameters. See AddRecipient in the methods listing for details.
What's the syntax for adding multiple recipients? Call AddRecipient, AddCC or AddBCC for each recipient. There's no other way to add multiple recipients.

Mailer.AddRecipient "name1", "address1"
Mailer.AddRecipient "name2", "address2"
Mailer.AddBCC "name3", "address3"

How do I define the sensitivity of the message? Outlook allows you to define a message sensitivity. You can do this using as mail by adding the sensitivity header along with the proper text for the sensitivity header.

For example:

Mailer.AddExtraHeader "Sensitivity: Company-Confidential"

How do I create a hyperlink in my message? Set Mailer.ContentType = "text/html" and include the hyperlink just like you would with html.

<head><title>AspMail HyperLink</title><head>
<H3>AspMail HyperLink</H3>
Set Mailer = Server.CreateObject("SMTPsvg.Mailer")
Mailer.FromName = "Status Update Report"
Mailer.FromAddress = ""
Mailer.RemoteHost = "your.smtp.server"
Mailer.AddRecipient "Your Recipient", ""
Mailer.Subject = "AspMail Hyperlink"
Mailer.ContentType = "text/html"
Mailer.BodyText = "<html><body>Here's some <a href="""">info</a></body></html>"
if Mailer.SendMail then
  Response.Write "Mail sent..."
  Response.Write "Mail failure. Check mail host server name and tcp/ip connection..."
  Response.Write "<p>" & Mailer.Response
end if

How do I create a line-break in a message? Under VBScript you can use the predefined constant VBCrLf. Simply using a Chr(13) or a Chr(10) will not work --you must use both -- the VBCrLf defined constant is the preferred method. A Carriage-return and line-feed character are required to create a new line in the message. See the sample scripts for examples.
How do I send multipart text and html messages so that text viewers can read the message and HTML enabled email clients can see and HTML version? See the file multmail.asp that is located inside the AspMail zip file. Do not write ServerObjects for a copy. Download the zip file for AspMail from the ServerObjects Web site if you need a copy.
"Do I need to install SMTP on my server?"


"Is the Microsoft SMTP service required?"

AspMail "knows" how to talk SMTP without any external dependencies. You do not need to have Exchange or other products installed (outside of the OS / TCP IP) for AspMail to work.
How do I set the username and password to send mail? Standard SMTP does not use a uid/pwd so it isn't needed unless your SMTP requires user authentication. AspMail will support user authentication in a future version but not currently do so.
What versions of PGP does AspMail support? AspMail can support any encryption program that uses command-line parameters. Using PGPPath and PGPParams you can specify input, output and processing options. The current version of PGP (5.0) does not support command-line parameters but the commercial PGP 4.x does as well as the freeware (non-commercial use) PGP 2.6.2.
How do I troubleshoot PGP usage?
  1. Check permissions on the pgp.exe. The anon IIS user (if you are calling PGP from that user account) will need rights to read and execute files from the PGP directory.
  2. Verify the path and params you are setting up to call PGP.
  3. Verify that the PGP environment variables are SYSTEM variables, not user environment variables. PGP may execute but pause to prompt you for information it cannot find in the system environment (you will probably never see these prompts... PGP for all practical purposes will "hang" waiting for input it can never receive.
  4. Use task manager to see if PGP is getting executed on the server.
  5. Check the Mailer.Response property immediately after you call GetBodyTextFromFile to see if any O/S errors are getting returned by the call to PGP.
  6. If the error returned in the Response property indicates that file access was denied, or that there was a file access timeout you need to find out...
    1. If the file is getting created in the path specified.
    2. What has the file open. You can use Filemon for Windows NT and HandleEx from Systems Internals to help debug these issues.
My mail to AOL is bouncing. What am I doing wrong? AOL will not accept anything other than a true address in the "From:" heading. Just about every mail system out there, except AOL and Compuserve, will accept the "No Mail Address" as the "From:" header. (thanks to R.S for this info).
I want to create a mail service like HotMail or Yahoo Mail. Do you have script code that would serve as a basis for this? No. We only provide the AspMail and AspPOP3 components. You will have to either write the code yourself or find a consultant to do it for you.
I want to use AspMail from VB, FoxPro or [insert name here].

The product page has several examples of usage from other languages. Be sure you are using AspMail 3.x since this version corrects a problem some users reported with previous versions.

Does AspMail support 8bit messages?


"does AspMail support Japanese character set"

AspMail supports any 8 bit characters but please note:
  1. Message bodies may be 8bit.
  2. Some SMTP servers drop the 8th bit in message headers including Subject lines.
  3. You can encode message subjects using a new method named EncodeHeader. See the methods listing for details. Some character sets don't work properly using this method, some do. We don't have any support for character sets that don't work properly using this encoding.
  4. SHIFT-JIS reportedly works fine with the EncodeHeader method.
Can I repeatedly assign values to the BodyText property? and "The message text keeps growing with each email I send." Yes, the text will be appended to the message. Use ClearBodyText if you need to clear the message text.
How many recipients can I add to a message? To Recipients: 65K; CC's: 65K; BCC's: 65K. But many SMTP servers won't handle that many so we suggest you reduce the # per message sent.
Can AspMail be used to retrieve files off the client computer? AspMail is a server-side component. Retrieving files from the client computer requires a client-side component that has access to the client's local harddisk or a browser that supports file uploads in addition to a server side component/extension that can accept those files. AspMail does not support this function. You can however install a component that handles server side uploads and use it in conjunction with AspMail. After handling file uploads to the server they can then be attached using AddAttachment.
How do I get Exchange to route Internet email to the Net? Exchange uses a service called the Internet Mail Connector (IMC) to allow it to act as an SMTP server and transmit and receive mail via a TCP/IP network. If you are not running the IMC you will not be able to send or receive mail from the Internet by AspMail or any other means.

Once you have SMTP mail going with the IMC, no further action should be necessary to use AspMail. (Thanks to Steve Crane for this information).

Note: You must enable the rerouting on your Exchange's Internet Mail Connector. Go in the properties of your Internet Mail Services (Exchange 5.0). Check the reroute incoming SMTP mail option and add a route to your domain. Mail sent to "" should be accepted as "inbound". Thanks to S├ębastien Stormacq for this information.

What options does Exchange allow to prevent spamming or  relaying through itself? Exchange provides at least two options:

1) You can turn authentication on and prevent non-authenticated connections from sending SMTP traffic -- But the problem with this is that AspMail does not currently support authentication.

2) A better option, and one that works with AspMail is to use Exchanges ability to block incoming SMTP traffic from all IP addresses except the IP(s) where AspMail is located.

See your Exchange administrator for details on how to do this.

How do I upgrade to the latest version? Download the latest "eval" version and follow the upgrade directions provided earlier in this document.
Can I redistribute this control with my products? The license agreement does not permit redistribution of AspMail.
The SMTP server is reporting back a "no relay" error. What's wrong?

also "foreign traffic not accepted" and other similar messages...

The SMTP server is looking at your FromAddress and determining that it doesn't know who you are. Some SMTP servers are configured to disallow the "relaying" or transfer of mail originating from addresses outside of its own domain. The only solution is to provide a FromAddress that's local to the SMTP server's domain or get the operator of the SMTP server to allow the FromAddress you are using. This setting is commonly used by ISP's to prevent spammers from using their resources.
What does the error "socket not connected" mean? This error occurs when the remote SMTP server abnormally closes the Winsock connection that AspMail established. The reasons may include an SMTP server that is not functioning properly (misconfigured or failing). In some cases this error can be generated by a Winsock layer that is failing. To test your local server, reboot the server and try to run the script again. If the error continues to occur it is likely that some sort of configuration problem or failure is occurring on the SMTP server.
What does error "554 No valid recipients" mean?


"503 Need RCPT (recipient)"

500 series errors are errors that the SMTP server generates. This error means that the message recipients given are either not given (you didn't use AddRecipient, AddCC or AddBCC) OR they are not valid recipients for this SMTP server. This is often associated with the "no relay" issued covered above. The SMTP server rejects the given recipients and then issues this error. This typically happens when you have IgnoreInvalidRecipients set to true. You can verify that the SMTP server is ignoring your recipients due to the "no relay" issue or for any other reason by using the SMTPLog property to generate a log and then look at the rejection errors in the log file.
Some of our emails are getting equal signs at the end of lines in some messages. Why?
AspMail can encode high characters using a scheme where the = sign
indicates a character to be decoded follow by the hex string value of
the character to be encoded. This system of course assumes that the client can decode these characters (which most can). This is called quoted-printable encoding. The default for AspMail is not to use QP encoding. Things that trigger automatic QP encoding:
  1. High characters - characters with the following ordinal values 0..31,61,128..255
  2. Long lines of a message body (>255). You can turn wordwrap on to fix this case

Most clients are capable of handling QP encoding. If your client is not capable then you should upgrade your client or you must work within the above limitations to prevent the QP encoding from occuring.

Sometimes I get multiple (duplicate) messages sent when I call SendMail. Why? AspMail has an internal routine to look for errors. If an error occurs at any point (even after the text of the message has been sent to the SMTP server) AspMail will go ahead and attempt to send it a second time in an attempt to complete the SMTP transaction without any errors if, and only if, you have multiple RemoteHosts set up in the RemoteHost property. The AspMail routine will only attempt 1 retry in this case.

If you only have one host name setup then the problem will be found in 

#1) you are calling SendMail more than once or 

#2) you are not handling cases where the user does a double/triple-click on his/her browser.

#3) Your smtp server is erroring out before the message transfer is complete in which case AspMail detects the error and resends till it gets a successful send (this can only occur with AspQMail

How do I specify the Return-Path header in a message? Mailer.AddExtraHeader "Return-Path: your_route-addr"
With AspMail can I have "required fields" on my HTML forms or other form processing functionality. Can AspMail change the order I get form field data back?
  1. Microsoft's ASP, not AspMail controls form data order. If you are looping through the form data in ASP order it probably won't be the original form order. You'll have to hard code field names to force the data back in a specific or original form order.
  2. Required fields are a function of HTML and client side scripting, not AspMail. If you used a CGI library in the past that handled those issues for you, it what only because they delved into areas outside of SMTP/Mail. AspMail's only function in life is to send mail. It does not handle client side HTML/scripting.
"Can someone use AspMail to send SPAM through our system?" AspMail does not accept SMTP connections and therefore cannot be used to "relay" SMTP traffic. AspMail can generate new SMTP message traffic but only if you provide a script page to generate it. Therefore it is under the Web operator's control.
I am getting blank emails


We are getting blank emails even when we aren't calling/using AspMail

One of your scripts which calls AspMail is getting called
  1. By someone using a Web browser or 
  2. By a stats package like WebTrends or 
  3. By a Web Robot which is parsing your site.

AspMail is a component and it doesn't have the "brains" to generate messages on it's own cognizance.

WebTrends is generating multiple messages when its schedule runs. WebTrends is probably parsing your Web tree and calling the HTML and ASP scripts to determine what they are. In the process the ASP scripts you have that call AspMail may be getting called at the same time. Your options are:
  1. You are going to have to configure WebTrends not to call these scripts. - or -
  2. Modify your scripts so that if WebTrends is calling them they don't fire off a message. - or -
  3. Contact WebTrends for another solution. AspMail can't control WebTrends.
My component is registered. Should the Expires property return a date? No. Registered versions return N/A for an expiration date. The registration process (per the instructions you received) should be run on the server.
I'm mailing a large number of people. At some point in the mailing it fails. Can you give me any tips? The first tip is to use the SMTPLog property to write an SMTP log to disk and see what the point of failure is based on the log. The SMTP server is probably rejecting your message for some reason and the cause is typically determinable from the log.

Secondly, some SMTP servers only accept mail for locally known recipients. The SMTP server may be rejecting your message since it is being addressed to recipients outside the domain of that SMTP server. This is unusual but could possibly be the problem you are running into.

Using the SMTPLog property I got an error #132. How can I look up numeric errors returned by AspMail to find out what it means? TShoot under the file menu has a Win32 error code lookup form.
What are some of the issues that affect the speed of the mailing? A small message should take 3-4 seconds to send if the server is local and all other conditions are normal. The following list are some items that can affect transfer speed.
  1. The slower the TCP connection the longer the mailing will take. Typically a local server is much faster than a remote server. If you are losing packets between your server and the SMTP server you can expect longer times due to this packet loss.
  2. The size of the mailing. The larger the message the longer the message transfer will take to send.
  3. CPU utilization: If your CPU is experiencing heavy usage you can expect it to take longer to transfer mail.
  4. SMTP server utilization: If your SMTP server is experiencing heavy traffic response times from the server are going to take longer thus increasing the time it takes to send a message.

One thing we've found is that by changing the RemoteHost name from a hostname to an IP address can cut 3 or 4 seconds off some messages. Even if the RemoteHost name is set to the local server's name, we've found some messages waiting for the hostname lookup. Just change the address to an IP and you may see an increase in the speed.

Is there a limit to the length of email addresses. AspMail support longer email addresses than anyone has so there are no practical limits. If your email is not being delivered see the previous questions for pointers on how to troubleshoot mail failures.
Does the 2 CPU license cover two servers or two processors? In accordance with the license agreement, the 2 CPU license would cover either 2 single CPU servers or 1 dual CPU server. With this pricing model, AspMail is far more inexpensive than any "competing" products.
The message body occassionally gets truncated. You are likely low on TEMP path harddrive space.