Webmail troubles
February 26, 2004 9:11 AM   Subscribe

Webmail troubles: my ISP was bought out by another ISP and recently my ADSL connection migrated from the one to the other.

For my work, I use a webmail, because they can't or won't make POP mail available for the work account. Since I migrated, it became impossible for me to reply to mails, add new contacts and some other stuff. I can still send entirely new emails, but it's a hassle not to be able to just reply and forget about it.

The webmail works fine from other locations, but not on my partner's laptop, which is sharing my internet connection.

The ISP claims that 'absolutely nothing' changed and it's not their problem. The IT guy at work isn't terribly interested. I think I might convince either of them to act if I know exactly what the problem is. Can somebody crack this for me? Thanks.
posted by NekulturnY to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
When you say that it is impossible for you to reply to emails, what is the nature of the failure? For instance, are you unable to click on the reply button? Do you click on the button, but it hangs? Does the mail appear to be sent, only to bounce back sometime later? Explain exactly what happens when you try to reply.
posted by mfbridges at 9:22 AM on February 26, 2004

Could be cookies or cached files. Clear out your internet cache, and delete your cookies - see if that makes a difference. In case its cached files at the ISP end, try pressing Ctrl+F5 several times on each of the affected pages.

Plus - more info required.
When adding a contact, what errors are you getting?
What browser are you using?
posted by seanyboy at 9:23 AM on February 26, 2004

does something require javascript, which is disabled on the laptop, or similar? are you using the same browser everywhere?
posted by andrew cooke at 10:07 AM on February 26, 2004

There's not enough information here to go on.

"...it became impossible for me to reply to mails, add new contacts and some other stuff."

Impossible in what way? There's no button to push? You push the button and nothing happens? You push the button and an error message of some kind -- you know, the sort of thing that tells you what went wrong -- appears? You push the button and the browser crashes? You push the button and rampaging Huns swarm ouf of the machine and spear you away from the keyboard to prevent you from typing a reply?

Crying "it's impossible!" doesn't make a genie pop out and make your problems go away. You have to describe the problem you're having with something so that people who understand how the something works can tell you what's broken. All we helpful people can do is stab around in the dark until you turn the lights on:

On the one hand, you're talking about your ISP being sold, and that your suspicions lie that way. But then you turn around and say it works fine except on one machine on your network. This makes no sense: you said you're sharing the same connection! Maybe you're trying to say it doesn't work on either machine, but it works from other networks? It's really hard to tell.

Help us out, here! Give us some information!

Does it work on any machine on this network?
What operating systems are these machines running?
What different browsers have you tried?
Are you using software that filters web content or otherwise alters the behavior of your browser?
Not even a pop-up blocker or ad filter?
Not even some browser extension?
If you're using IE on Windows, are you really sure there's none of that crap installed?
Does it work when you try it in Mozilla or Opera?
Does it work when you take that laptop to another location and use a different network?
What steps have you taken to try to narrow down the problem domain?
posted by majick at 10:37 AM on February 26, 2004

And of course, most importantly of all, if you choose to say nothing else, at least cover these:

Can you describe the failure in a way other than "impossible to do this?"
What do you do to cause the problem (push a button, click a link)?
What happens when you do that?
Is there an error message? What does that error message say?
posted by majick at 10:42 AM on February 26, 2004

i once asked a co-worker "what do you mean by 'you can't'"?
after suffering his explosive rage and exasperation at my stupidity (apparently related to my shocking inability to read his mind), i told him "it cannot be fixed. you are simply too stupid to be operating this machine. in fact, i think you are a danger to yourself and everyone else here, given you can't even describe for me what the screen looked like when you suddenly discovered this disasterous technological breakdown. and by the way, how many times have i told you, you have to look at the *screen*, not at the *mouse* when moving your cursor. how *did* you get this job again?" he's never asked me for help since.
posted by quonsar at 10:53 AM on February 26, 2004

Response by poster: Heh, fuzz, I actually read that post. I'm sorry. I'll try to do better.

As I said, the problems on my partner's laptop are exactly the same as on my desktop, and they're sharing the internet connection.

I use W2k on both computers. I use Internet Explorer, but I also tried Mozilla - same result. The webmail service is Outlook Web Access.

When I press "Reply", a new (popup) window opens. I can type a reply, and when I press 'Send', the window becomes a bit shadowy (sorry, can't describe it better: it's the colour of disabled-but-visible buttons in Windows tabs) but instead of then disappearing into the outbox and subsequently be sent out (like it's supposed to), it just returns. Strangely enough, when I delete them, all these mails end up in the "Drafts".

When adding a contact and pressing 'Save', it says: "You don't have permission for performing this operation".

When I open a "Reply" window and then close it again it says "You do not have permission to delete this item".

When I use the old connection (which is still active but will be discontinued on March 1) everything works fine.

Hope this is better!
posted by NekulturnY at 11:44 AM on February 26, 2004

Does this help?
posted by willnot at 12:10 PM on February 26, 2004

My money's on willnot's answer. "You do not have permission..." sounds like requests are being proxied. Badly. With NTLM auth headers dropped.

1. Try to see if there is an https address to use the webmail. Most transparent caches won't munge SSL traffic, and for criminey sake you're logging in to work, a little security isn't out of place!

2. Tell your ISP to stop caching your traffic transparently. That's evil and you ought to consider taking your business elsewhere even if they do so -- an outfit mangling your packets without your permission or consent (and then lying to you about it) is not going to treat you well as a customer.
posted by majick at 2:52 PM on February 26, 2004

Response by poster: I asked my employer about the HTTPS connection, if that fails, I'll call the ISP. Thanks!
posted by NekulturnY at 2:50 AM on February 27, 2004

Response by poster: Update: the HTTPS thing works. Thanks again for all the help.
posted by NekulturnY at 5:25 AM on February 27, 2004

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