By September 18, 2008

Windows Mobile 6.1 SMTP issues

Do you have a Windows Mobile 6.1 powered device and use either POP3 or IMAP4 with SMTP? Have you encountered problems sending email or seen the error message below?


If the answer to either of the questions above is yes then read on as what you are seeing is actually a bug that affects all WM 6.1 powered handsets!


I first discovered this problem a few months ago while using my HTC TyTN II. I have access to two Exchange servers but, as you’ll probably know, you can only set up one Exchange activesync partnership per device. So for the other account I have to use IMAP4 and send over SMTP.

I’ve been using the setup for about 18 months and it works perfectly well for me, well until HTC released the WM 6.1 update for the TyTN II it did.

I installed the 6.1 update on the TyTN II and set up my Exchange and IMAP4 accounts. Was able to receive email with both accounts, no problem. All was well until I tried to send an email from my IMAP4 account (through SMTP). Upon trying to send mail I simply got presented with the error message above. I checked the account settings, they were all correct, but still unable to send mail.

I then restored the original WM 6.0 ROM to the TyTN II and the problem went away! This lead me to think that there was a problem with HTC’s implementation of the 6.1 ROM. However later test revealed this to not be the case.

I set up my IMAP4 email on my new HTC Touch Diamond and was able to send one email, but subsequent emails then failed with the same error message. Deleting and recreating the account allowed me to send one or two more emails before it then failed again. One sending failed the account never works again!

So I contacted one of our friends at Microsoft to try and work through the problem.

Having worked with the guys at Microsoft for the past 6 weeks or so (including the top Outlook Mobile chap in the US) and having sent them my TyTN II to test we have discovered the following bug affecting ALL Windows Mobile 6.1 devices.

You can see more in the email excerpt from Microsoft below:

We are done with it and just checked in a bug fix last week to address what turned out to be a severe product bug that will affect all WM 6.1.x devices until they receive a fix or upgrade to WM 6.1.4. Your help both made us aware of the issue before it bubbled up through the forums and your device actually did help us debug the issue.
We are driving the issue with our response team and pushing to make a fix more broadly available independent of a device update.
More details on this bug:
At some point sending e-mail stops working for a given e-mail account.
This will happen if the there is *any* failure to connect to the SMTP server – ever. After that point the user cannot send mail with that account again.
The user must delete their e-mail account and recreate it each time this happens.
There is no way to prevent this from reoccurring.

So as you can see, the problem is pretty severe and affects all devices with WM 6.1. The work around, if you can call it that, is to delete the affected account and recreate it.

I also suspect that this bug is related to the problem that many people report with GMail on their mobile and the reason why you must delete and recreate an email account if any of the account credentials change.

Microsoft are working on the problem at the moment and are hoping to make an independent update available. Let’s hope that it will be available in that format rather than part of a full ROM update as I suspect that it will take time to filter through the manufacturers and the operator supply channels.

If you are affected by this issue then do drop me a line and I’ll endeavour to keep you updated with the progress of the fix.

EDIT: Please see this post for a potential fix to the problem!


Posted by: Matt

Posted in: News

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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