Email Forwarding Is Bad: Why you should never forward email.

Forwarding mail is defined as re-sending mail from one mailbox to another.  For the sake of this discussion, we’re going to assume that you have an email account on a private domain name hosted at any web hosting company online, or even on your own VPS or dedicated server. We’ll use this tidbitsfortechs.com’s name as an example.  For our example email addresses we’ll use the name [ryansemailaddress]@. It’s in brackets so that it’s automatically broken- we don’t want anyone trying to send emails to it because it’s not real.

Ryan has to deal with many different email addresses, including [ryansemailaddress]@tidbitsfortechs.com. But Ryan doesn’t want to have to check every single address every day, and would like to have them all centrally located. We’d all agree that this is a reasonable need.

If this were 2003, Ryan would just forward the mail from [ryansemailaddress]@tidbitsfortechs.com to his email address [ryansemailaddress]@hotmail.com and it would be absolutely fine. The forward would work, and the problem would be solved.

But this isn’t 2003 anymore, and it won’t work correctly.

The Big Problem

Forget about email for a moment, and try to remember the last time you went to the airport and boarded an airplane. Depending on when that was, you may have been asked by a tired looking guy with a badge if anyone has asked you to carry a package for them. Why? Because that nice guy who just really needed to get that package to his grandma for her birthday wasn’t sending cookies. If you get on board a plane with his package, you’re now an accomplice. And when the sleepy guy with a badge finds out you’re carrying a suspicious package, chances are it’s going to be pretty hard for you to explain that away. In fact you might have a really hard time ever flying again.

How does this relate to email forwarding? I’m glad you asked!

Meet Joe Spammer. Joe Spammer is a real jerk, and he wants people to click on his links so he can steal their credit card numbers. Mail providers around the world keep an eye out for Joe Spammer’s spam, and they block it whenever they see it. Joe is especially bad in that he breaks into other peoples email accounts to send his spam.

So lets follow one of Joe Spammers emails. JS sends an email to [ryansemailaddress]@tidbitsfortechs.com, and Ryan, being on a quest for efficiency, has forwarded all email to [ryansemailaddress]@hotmail.com (or gmail, or msn, you get the idea). Hotmail.com looks at the email, and says “hey, this looks just like Joe Spammer!” and subsequently blocks the mail from arriving.

Normally, you’d think that that mail being blocked is a good thing. But it’s not. Why? Because Joe Spammer wasn’t the last person to touch that email. [ryansemailaddress] was! And now, [ryansemailaddress]@tidbitsfortechs.com is believed to be an agent for Joe Spammer, intentional or otherwise,  and is blocked.

But wait- there’s more. Now everything @tidbitsfortechs.com is suspect, and before you know it, the mail reputation for the entire domain is ruined. All email is blocked and can’t get to its destination. Yes, email providers rank email coming from any address at your domain, and will block your entire domain based on this.

You technical types, don’t bother looking for an RFC to find out how that works- there isn’t one. We’re in Magic Black Box territory here. Each mail provider does things their own proprietary way, and they’re not obligated to tell anyone how they do it.

Don’t Forward Email. Retrieve it.

If forwarding is bad, how do you get all your email into one inbox? Gmail, Outlook, and other email providers offer ways to use POP or IMAP to retrieve mails from another account and include them in your inbox. This is different than forwarding, because it’s being asked to retrieve the email instead of having random spammy emails forced down its throat.

Here are tutorials on how to turn on and use POP retrieval on Gmail and Outlook/MSN/Hotmail:

https://support.google.com/mail/answer/21289?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/add-your-other-email-accounts-to-outlook-com-c5224df4-5885-4e79-91ba-523aa743f0ba

You’ll need to know the POP settings for your email accounts, and your web host can provide you with those. Hint: Search google for “mywebhost.com pop settings”.

TL;DR

This isn’t 2003 anymore. Don’t be the last person to send a piece of spam to its final destination. Use POP retrieval to move mail from one box to another. Don’t forward email, and you won’t get blocked.

More Info

We’re not the only ones who say “don’t forward email” and so you don’t have to believe me. Instead believe the really smart guys at Oregon State University:

http://oregonstate.edu/helpdocs/forward-mail-exchange-gmail-not-recommended

And if you’re interested, I’ve written on this topic before:

How Autoresponders and Email Forwarding make you an Accidental Spammer.

0x8007007A – Windows Live Mail

0x8007007A

0x8007007A

“Ryan, I can’t send email!”

This was the call I got today from a frantic customer. None of the emails in his Outbox were sending. He uses Windows Live Mail 2012 for email and Google Picasa for picture management. The arrangement has worked fine for several years. Today it did not. What was causing the problem? I’ll give you a hint: Error 0x8007007A!

0x8007007A rears its head

My customer was using Picasa to send pictures through email. It automatically opens Windows Live Mail for this, and creates a Photo Email. I noticed that something had changed- Windows Live Mail prompted for a Microsoft Login. I ignored it and continued troubleshooting the problem. I’ll save you the long story and cut right to the chase. After logging in with a Microsoft account, Windows Live Mail finally produced the error “0x8007007A” upon trying to send.

0x8007007A: The cause

0x8007007A is caused because Microsoft no longer supports using OneDrive with Windows Live Mail, apparently. When you create a Photo Mail, Windows Live Mail uploads the photos to OneDrive (Microsoft’s Cloud storage) and then links that to the email, and so you send a little tiny email (this is a good thing!) and when the recipient gets the mail, the pictures are displayed via OneDrive. Great, right? Well it was, until Microsoft broke it.

0x8007007A: The Workaround

There’s no actual fix for this. The only way to send photos in Windows Live Mail is to NOT use the Photo Email option. First, you need to go to your Outbox and delete any Photo Emails you tried to send. Then click Send/Receive, and your mails will go out. Don’t try to send a new Photo mail. Instead, create a new standard email. Click the Insert tab, select Single photo. This will open an Explorer Insert Picture window where you can navigate to and choose the photos you want to send. You can use Ctrl-click to select more than one picture, then click Open. Now put in the recipient and a subject and hit Send. It’s as easy as that.

0x8007007A: The Aftermath

So yeah, this stinks. Microsoft changed how Windows Live Mail works, and now it doesn’t work the same as it did before. Is it really progress, or is it just change for the sake of change? I’ll leave that for you to decide.

If this works for you, please let us know in the comments below!

Slow HP Printer: A fix for HP Wireless Printers

Slow HP Printer? You’re not alone!

Recently I had a couple of computer repair customers who had HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 series printers. One was an OfficeJet Pro 8600 and the other the OfficeJet Pro 8620. They were both experiencing similar issues. Both complained about a slow HP printer, and both were using Wireless networking to print, and experienced rather severe problems aside from slowness. One would simply refuse to print until either the computer or the printer were restarted. The other would print fine for a few pages and then stop for sometimes several minutes before it started back up. This made printing long documents very difficult for the customer.

I tried various fixes including using older PCL-only drivers, and OfficeJet 8600 drivers on the 8620. The problems persisted. Finally, I gave up and called HP. Slow HP Printers, specially wireless, are apparently a real problem, since they were able to identify the issue immediately and fixed it in just a few minutes.

Since I could find no documentation on the web regarding this easy fix for a slow HP printer, I thought I would write it up for you here. This fix should also work on other models that are similarly configured, such as the newer OfficeJet Pro 8720.

The Fix

The general idea is that we’re going to configure both the printer and the computer to use Port 9100 printing instead of the default configuration. Once configured, the slow HP printer should be a fast HP printer.

Step 1: Find the Printer’s IP Address

Use the control panel on the printer itself.

  • Touch  Settings > Wireless > Display Network Configuration > Display Network Summary (or similar).
  • It should display at least 4 lines: Hostname, IP Address, MAC and SSID. If it shows none of those things, then it isn’t connected to a network, and this isn’t the guide you’re looking for.
  • Write down the IP Address It’ll look like “192.168.1.10” or “10.0.0.3” or something similar.

Step 2: Log In to Printers Web Interface

Now, open up a web browser, and enter the IP address of the printer in the Address bar, and press Enter. You’ll be presented with the HP Embedded Web Server. That’s great! We’re getting there.

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Step 3: Set a Static IP Address

Normally your router will assign your printer an IP address every time it reconnects. We’re going to bypass that. Click the “Network” tab, and then select “IPv4 Configuration” on the left column. Change the setting under “IP Address Configuration” on the right side so that “Manual IP” is selected instead of “Automatic IP”. Don’t change any of the IP information. Your router is smart enough not to assign that IP to another computer, so we’re not going to worry about changing the IP. We’re just ensuring it doesn’t change. DNS Address Configuration should be changed to “Manual DNS Server”. Click Apply.

Step 4: Change Bonjour Priority

Click the Advanced Settings option on the left column. Several options will show themselves. Select “Bonjour”. Bonjour should already be enabled. Open the “Bonjour Highest Priority Service” drop down, and select “9100 Printing”, then click Apply.

Step 5: Enable TCP Port 9100 Printing

Still under Advanced Settings in the left column, click “Port 9100 Printing”. Enable it on the right side, and click Apply.

Step 6: Configure the PC for Port 9100 Printing

While I am presenting these steps as done in Windows 10, they are almost identical between Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10.

  • Open the Control Panel, and go to Printers (or View devices and Printers).Slow HP Printer: Configure TCP/IP Port
  • Right Click on the slow HP printer and select “Printer properties”.
  • Select the “Ports” tab, and then “Add Port…”.
  • Select “Standard TCP/IP Port”, and then click “New Port…” and click Next.
  • Type in your printer’s IP Address, and let Windows select the Port Name. Click Next.
  • Close the “New Port” box.
  • Click on the new port, which says “Standard TCP/IP Port” and click “Configure Port…”
  • Click the check box labeled “SNMP Status Enabled” and then click OK.

Now, try printing a document. You may need to cancel any documents you’d tried to print previously, but even those will likely start printing.

This should fix your problem with a slow HP printer. It changes the networking of the printer to use a more tried and true TCP/IP connection on port 9100, which is how network printers have been printing since, well, forever.

Did this work for you? Please let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear your experiences with this fix for your slow HP printer!

 

 

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