AdminChallenge: Dewey's trouble with Netscape Message Server

Ever had a problem with Netscape Message Server? It could pay off! If you have an answer to Dewey's NMS problem, you might win a TechRepublic T-shirt.

Every other Monday, AdminRepublic poses a systems or network problem requiring a solution. Some challenges are routine, while others may be more difficult. We then conduct a random drawing from the correct responses and send two lucky winners a fancy new TechRepublic T-shirt. You'll be the envy of the office! Let's start with the solution to our previous challenge.
Valerie’s VPN confusion
In our last Admin challenge, we discovered that Valerie was having a bit of a problem. She was working too late and getting to see too little of her family. Fortunately, Valerie’s friend suggested that she try using VPN so that she could connect to the office network from home.

After contacting the IT personnel in her office to see if she could connect from home using her cable modem, she took home the instructions that she was given by the head of the IT department and began to set up her machine.

However, after following all of the instructions she was given, she still could not seem to connect to the office network via VPN. Frustrated and confused, she returned to the office the next day and found the head of the IT department who had helped her the day before.

Valerie explained that she had followed the directions that he had given her step-by-step:

  • She opened My Computer and then opened the Dial-up Networking folder.
  • She clicked on the icon to add a new connection.
  • She was given the option to name the connection, which she decided to call Office.
  • She saw that her 56K modem was the selected device, and she clicked Next to continue.
  • She was prompted to type in a number for dial-up networking to dial. She entered the IP address that the IT people had given her.
  • She clicked Next to continue, and in the next window, she clicked Finish.

She told him that even after she had done exactly as instructed, the connection just wouldn’t work. However, the IT head found a flaw in the instructions he had given her.

He had forgotten to mention that she needed to select the VPN option from the drop-down menu where the 56K modem was highlighted in the settings of the dial-up connection she had named Office. He explained that because her modem was selected, when she put in the IP address the modem would try to dial it like a regular telephone number. He instructed her to go into the properties of the Office connection and to choose VPN instead of the 56K modem. After clicking on Next, she would be prompted to type in the host address of the machine she was trying to connect to. Once she entered the IP address given to her, she would then be able to connect to the office network using her cable modem.
Congratulations go to Russ Wear and Brian Davis, whose winning entries were randomly selected from all the correct submissions received.
The next challenge
Dewey has a problem he's not quite sure how to solve. His company, a new Internet start-up, has been running Netscape Message Server for NetWare for a short while now. He is still getting his feet wet, as he has textbook experience but no real hands-on experience with the server.

Recently, an employee in the company sent e-mail to half of the employees within the company network and carbon-copied a few people outside the network as well. The recipients within the network received the message just fine, but around an hour or so later, Dewey received a call from the employee who'd sent out the mail. She said that the people she had carbon-copied outside the company were receiving the e-mail she had sent—over and over again. The e-mail was quickly filling the recipients' mailboxes. The server the messages were sent to began to bounce the e-mail back to the employee, stating the recipients' inboxes were full.

Dewey tried to correct the problem, but he couldn't figure out why the e-mail was being sent repeatedly. He eventually had to call customer support in hopes of finding a solution.

Do you know what’s wrong?
What does Dewey need to do in order to make the Netscape Message Server stop sending the messages? Send your answer to TechRepublic by Monday, May 29, 2000. We'll send a TechRepublic T-shirt to two individuals whose names we select randomly from all the correct answers received.

Our lawyers love this part …
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