Trying to configure a Helpdesk e-mail inbox results in "-ERR" errors

Article:TECH41886  |  Created: 2009-04-20  |  Updated: 2011-10-07  |  Article URL
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Technical Solution


Trying to configure a Helpdesk email inbox results in "-ERR" errors. No inbound email can be received.


Various, including:

  • -ERR Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password
  • -ERR Unable to log on
  • -ERR Command is not valid in this state
  • -ERR Protocol error. 14
  • -ERR Unable to Connect to Server
  • Error connecting to server. <server_name>
  • DNS Error GetHostByName


Helpdesk version 6.0 (any build)
Microsoft Exchange 2007 and higher


Receiving  errors while trying to configure a Helpdesk email inbox is generally caused by incorrect credentials or invalid email server name. The following describes how to troubleshoot configuration errors:

Invalid server name and/or credential errors

Verify that the Protocol, Server, Account, Password, and Authentication  Mode are correct. The Email Administrator may need to be contacted for verification. If the credentials appear to be correct, use the following methods of testing this external of Helpdesk:

  1. Use Outlook Express with the same credentials.
  2. Use Telnet with the same credentials.

    a. Open a Command Prompt window.
    b. Type "telnet" and press Enter.
    c. Type "open <email_server_name> <port>" where "<email_server_name>" is the name used in the Server field of the Helpdesk email inbox, and "<port>" is the port to use. For example:

    open mail-server 25

    d. Type "helo <email_server_name>" where "helo" only has a single letter "l" and "<email_server_name>" is the name used in the Server field of the Helpdesk email inbox. This should return "250 Requested mail action okay, completed".
  3. If any connection errors occur using these steps, it is very likely that the credentials are incorrect. Contact the Email Administrator for more assistance, as this issue is outside of the scope of Helpdesk being able to resolve.

Microsoft Exchange 2007 or higher is being used

Helpdesk was not designed to work with Microsoft Exchange 2007 and higher. While this may work, if issues occur, Symantec may not be able to assist in resolving these.

It is recommended to configure the following on the Microsoft Exchange 2007+ server and Helpdesk server to enable Microsoft Exchange 2007+ to work with the Helpdesk email inbox:

  1. On the Microsoft Exchange 2007+ server:

    a. Ensure that the POP3 or IMAP4 service is running and is starting automatically.
    b. In Microsoft Exchange 2007+, go to Server Configuration > Client Access > right click on POP3 or IMAP4 and choose Properties. On the Authentication tab, choose "Plain text logon (Basic authentication)" for "Specify the security settings". On the Retrieval Settings tab, choose "Html and alternative text" for "Message  MIME format". Restart the POP3 or IMAP4 service afterwards.
  2. On the Helpdesk server,In the E-mail Inbox, ensure that the same protocol (POP3 or IMAP4) is being used as for the Microsoft Exchange 2007+ server. Add the Server name, the Account name or email address, and Password. Set "Authentication Mode" to be "Plain". Clicking on the Test Connection should result in "OK".

Note: Helpdesk 6.0 does not include support for SSL/TLS. Only plain authentication (basic) can be used with Microsoft Exchange 2007. SSL is supported, however, by ServiceDesk 7.x (but not TLS). Information on this can be found here:

Does Helpdesk 6 support using SSL with email?

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