Monday, 3 July 2017

1and1 Cloud Virtual Server outgoing smtp email blocked

Got a new VPS hosting server with 1&1, its one of their Cloud Virtual Servers based on SSD, nice and speedy. Obscure problem with the first WordPress site which wouldn't send outgoing email using phpmail.

Went through all the firewall policy, server settings, Plesk, OS, WordPress - nothing obvious. All you can see is emails queuing in the outgoing queue in Plesk. Look under Tools & Settings > Mail > Mail Server Settings > Mail Queue.

Clicking on the email shows it received by the host.

After double-checking all the settings, again, turns out its an overriding outgoing port 25 block set by 1and1. You have to phone support and get the outgoing block taken off port 25 - it doesn't appear in the control panel(s) or the firewall policies. Good luck finding a first line tech that's heard of it too :-)

Friday, 23 June 2017

Dell Optiplex 7040 Realtek clicking popping audio sounds

Looks like the latest audio driver from Dell has fixed a sound problem where you could hear clicking and popping, sometimes interference, sounds whilst playing music or adverts. It was most obvious on Spotify. This is using the built-in Realtek Audio hardware.

Previous driver was dated 12 Aug 2016 and the update is dated 19 Dec 2016, listed as Dell revision A07. Download Audio_Driver_RT1XX_WN32_6.0.1.6117_A07.EXE 

Worth noting the Dell Command Update utility (v2.3.1) for checking if updates are available, didn't list this particular audio driver update for download. We only spotted it when manually checking the Dell support website.

(Just for completeness - we'd also loaded BIOS 1.5.10 dated 9 May 2017 at the same time, but don't think that was relevant. There was mention of a LAN driver possibly causing audio interference, this system was already on the latest Dell download 20.4 A01 with driver dated 5 Oct 2015 for Intel l219-LM. Intel have a newer release 22.3 ProWinx64 with driver dated 19 Mar 2017. Hyper-V and VMware virtual adapters were present)

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Draytek Vigor 2760n dial-in VPN update

Just spotted a useful firmware update from Draytek for their Vigor 2760 / 2760n / 2760Vn range which adds an important VPN feature.

In a previous article on the Draytek 2760 I mentioned that although the early revision of the hardware (which uses firmware 1.x) has dial-in VPN support (PPTP, L2TP) the later hardware revision with firmware 3.x didn't provide dial-in VPN. Got caught out by that change before!

Guess what Draytek fixed with the firmware - they've added support for SSL VPN Remote Dial-In user connections. Excellent news - will be testing as soon as I get opportunity.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

SBS 2008 Best Practice Analyzer (SBS BPA) out of date, error ocurred trying to access the web

The Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) for Small Business Server 2008 (SBS2008) reports 'An error occurred trying to access the web' when it tries to update.

If you click on the 'About the Best Practices Analyzer' link you might see an older update than Configuration File version:

[ We had an SBS 2008 server that blue screened and had to be restored using a SystemState backup and SFC system file check - somewhere along the way we ended up with an old configuation file version of When run, this threw up an error about WSUS 3.0 needing SP1, when SP2 was actually installed. ]

You can manually update by copying a newer SBSBPA.CONFIG.XML file into the C:\Program Files (x86)\SBSBPA\en directory. You can find a copy here; sbsbpa.config.xml version

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