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Troubleshooting

E-mail Accounts

Many people seem to have few problems in creating and using e-mail accounts in Outlook. Unfortunately, other people experience many difficulties.

When you're creating e-mail accounts in Outlook, it's very important to get detailed information about server requirements from the server administrator and to exactly follow the instructions the administrator provides.

If you work in a large organization and are using Outlook as a client for Exchange Server, the administrator and support staff are likely to be very experienced in creating e-mail accounts in Outlook. Problems are likely to arise, though, in a small organization that doesn't have a full-time server administrator. Setting up Exchange Server is not all that difficult if you stay with the basics, but it can become quite complex if you go beyond the basics. I recommend that, if you run into Exchange Server problems that are beyond your experience, you should seek the help of an experienced consultant.

To set up Outlook to send and receive Internet e-mail, you need information from your ISP. Well-established ISPs should have exactly the information you need, but I've come across some ISPs who offer no help for Outlook users. In that case, you should at least be able to get some basic setup information that, with some thought, you can translate into Outlook settings.

Drop-outs are a common problem for people who use a dial-up connection to an ISP. You might find that you can connect to your ISP, start sending and receiving messages, and then suddenly become disconnected. One possible cause for this problem is a poor-quality telephone line, something that's more likely in rural areas than in cities. If you experience this problem more than just occasionally, you should ask your telephone company to test the line. The result of this test might result in the discovery of a problem the company is willing to remedy.

If the telephone line seems to be satisfactory, your ISP might be the culprit. Some ISPs have a reputation for frequent drop-outs—that's why I suggested previously in this chapter that you should inquire about local people's experience with an ISP before signing up. The only solution to an unreliable ISP is to change to one that has a better reputation.

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