Another Vista problem and solution…

I’ve been having some “odd” email problems since installing Vista.  One of my email accounts (Telus) fails (times out) with an error 0x800CCC19 whenever there is an email in my inbox longer than about one or two kilobytes.  If I use my email service’s web interface and delete any such messages, the connection works fine. 

I tried the obvious things, such as disabling my anti-virus program and increasing the time out value in Windows Mail.  I then launched my trusty Google search, and found this forum thread on the topic.  The thread included the usual advice, but one post stood out:

 Jake  (Msg. 5) Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:03 pm
Post subject: Re: Receiving Mail [Login to view extended thread Info.]

There is a fix floating around that goes like this.
This is very step-by-step, so bear with me.     

1. Go to the Vista start menu and type cmd
2. The search results will display a program titled cmd
3. Right-click on the link and select “Run as administrator
4. type “netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled” without the
quotatioin marks
5. Test your POP account and see if you can now download the files.
6. If nothing changes, reenable the autotuning feature by typing “netsh 

I followed the instructions exactly, and voila- email worked!  I’ll have to do some more research later on what “global autotuning” does, and why it is causing my email session to fail.   Thanks, “Jake”, whoever you are!   

UPDATE: I found a good description of what Vista’s “autotuning” is about, and why it might be causing problems.  Basically, autotuning is a negotiation between the client and the server regarding network packet size, and the problem arises when the process agrees to a large packet size but where some part of the negotiation gets blocked by an intermediate router/network device.  Apparently, turning it off doesn’t have a significant performance impact in most situations.  Now I’ll have to investigate my router to see if it might be causing problems with the negotiation….

8 thoughts on “Another Vista problem and solution…”

  1. Please explain to the plebe why this new OS is a) an ‘upgrade’ and b) what it does that my older OS cannot do?

    Second question: Is there some known conflict with GForece 5500 boards and/or DirectX and/or WinXP Home?

  2. Regarding Vista…it’s an upgrade like all the OS upgrades that come before it. That is, Microsoft has spent several years (six, I believe) since they released Windows XP rebuilding the underlying code in Windows. They’ve improved security, added a new “three dimensional” user interface, and generally tweaked things all over. If you want an overview of the “improvements” between Windows XP and Vista, you can read this blog entry from a Microsoftie. To get more ideas about Vista, do a Google search on “why vista?”

    As for my own view- for most people, there is no strong reason to upgrade to Vista. If you buy a new computer, that’s the time to get Vista…or if you need to use an application and find it is only available for Windows Vista. I’d say waiting a year or two is a good idea.

    You might ask “why did Kelly upgrade?” Well, d’uh, read my website 🙂 Seriously, though, its because I like new toys, and Vista has a cool new look and feel that I liked when I tried it earlier. It’s more “elegant”, adopts some characteristics familiar to people who have used Macintosh’s OS X, and has a ton of “hidden” changes within the underlying code base. I fully expected to encounter problems: however, I enjoy figuring things out. So long as most of the things I want/need work, and so long as I get some fun new toys to play with, I’m happy.

    Regarding your second question- I can’t say that I’m aware of any specific problems with GeForce 5500s. Generally, it’s a good idea to upgrade your video card drivers (available at NVidia’s website) if you are encountering difficulties. I’m not sure exactly what kind of problem you are encountering/referring to, though.

    Usually, problems are a combination of things: a particular video card with a particular driver and a particular version of DirectX will have a problem running a particular game. Change any one of the factors, and suddenly it will work. When I run into a problem, I usually try a few “logical” things (like upgrading my video card drivers and installing the latest version of DirectX…or re-installing it). If that doesn’t work, I start Googling, using the model of video card, the version of Windows, and the particular piece of software as keywords.

    Hopefully that helps!

  3. Thanks Kelly, that site is quite interesting in showing the differences. A more Mac OS type of feel certainly intrigues me but as you say I will be waiting at least a year before I do any serious upgrades.

    As for the second question a majority of the problem started when I loaded Mechwarrior 4 on the the system. Initially for reasons unexplained (I must have installed something) the screen resolution will sometime change when I start the machine up. When this happens it doesn’t seem to affect much except when I shut down the “standby’ option is not available. The machine also doesn’t come out of standby very well if at all and requires a full reboot. Anyway… I load the game and now I am told the hardware is insufficient, which cannot be true as the board new than the game. The problem is solved if I lower the graphic quality in the game. So is it that the drivers are not compatible with the game and require an upgrade? Or some other strange conflict?

  4. Hmmm. That’s a tough one to figure out, but some of the behavior could be related to a driver problem. But frankly that’s just a guess.

    Some general maintenance checks are probably in order. I’d likely start by checking for viruses, just as a precaution. If you are running a good + up to date anti-virus program, that should be a non-issue. The other “general maintenance” thing I’d check is for spyware- if you don’t have it, get something like AdAware or Windows Defender (from Microsoft) and run a scan. Once that’s done, I’d likely also check your system’s virtual memory settings (right click “My computer”, chose Properties, Advanced tab, click the button under Performance, Advanced tab again, and check Virtual Memory). Your Virtual memory should be about twice as large (rule of thumb) than your physical memory. One thing I do if I think there might be corruption is re-create the virtual memory file- set it to “zero”, reboot the computer, then come back to the above-noted menu and set it back to a reasonable number again. As a couple of final “basic maintenance” things, I’d suggest running a disk scan and a defragmentation of your drive.

    None of these “maintenance” things are specific to your problem- and they may be things you are already doing. But they are things I usually do when I encounter a problem. Once that’s done, and all the basics are in order, I’d check for new drivers for your your video card.

    Regarding going into / out of stand by: I’ve had numerous different problems with “standby” mode on various computers for years. It seems as if all of the drivers (video, disk, etc) have to be just “perfect” for standby to work. And the hardware manufacturers seem to have a devil of a time making “perfect” drivers 🙂 If it worked correctly at some point in the past, though, I’d be suspicious of something new that you had installed.

    One thing to be aware of: Windows XP has a neat feature that allows you to turn back the clock after making a system change. System Restore (accessible under Start=> Help and Support=> “Undo changes with System Restore”) can be a life saver. However, it’s mostly useful if you notice a problem right after you make a change- if you have no idea what caused the problem, it’s less useful.

  5. You rock. Yes my anti virus and spyware checker are up to date and running so no issues there but I will try the other basic maintenance stuff and see if that helps. I did recently double my physical memory so that could also be an issue as the virtual was never changed. If that doesn’t resolve the issue then I chalk it up to user related idiocy and will delve further into the problem. So far, to be honest it’s been a nuisance more than a problem but still. Thanks a lot! 😀

  6. You mention adding more RAM: if nothing else works, you might want to consider looking at that as a possible source of problems.

    RAM can be defective…also, some systems require specific memory configurations (E.G.: a certain combination of # of SIMM components, or only certain memory sizes in certain RAM slots). To debug *that* problem, you could start by going back to a known state (E.G.: removing the new RAM) and seeing if the problem persists. If the problem goes away, there is something wrong with the new RAM you added.

    I’m doubtful that your RAM has anything to do with it, though- however, it *is* possible.

  7. Greetings, Juan!

    I’m glad something I posted here helped someone 🙂 As an aside, there is a firmware update for my switch/router (a Cisco/Linksys RV016). According to the release notes for firmware version 2.0.16, they “Fixed the TCP Window Scaling issue with Windows Vista.

    This makes me believe that, if I apply this firmware patch, I can turn autotuning back on and it should work. I would imagine other hubs/routers/switches might have similar firmware updates.

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