This article was previously published under Q98159
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
After the Microsoft Mail Gateway to SMTP starts and initializes, it checksfor outgoing mail from the SMTP outgoing queue. If it detects outgoingmail, it opens a session with the smarthost and begins to process theoutgoing messages.
If the gateway comes to a message in the queue that it cannot process,this error message may occur:
ERROR translating message to SMTP: protocol error
This error can result from a damaged message in the SMTP gateway queue.When there is a damaged message in the queue, the gateway stops processingthe outgoing messages and switches to the idle state waiting for TCP/IPconnections. It then repeats the same process during its next scheduledconnection attempt time.
The problem message in the SMTP queue should either be deleted or returnedto the sender. You may want to first rename the temporary files used by theSMTP gateway that are found in the MAILDATA\SMTP directory. Any file withextension .API in the SMTP directory should be changed to an extension of.OLD with the following command:
ren *.api *.old
Deleting or returning of messages is done from within the ADMIN.EXEprogram:
Start ADMIN.EXE with an account that has Admin privileges.
From the Admin menu, choose Queue.
In the dialog box, type SMTP and press the ENTER key.
Return the problem message (probably the first or last message in the SMTP queue).
The user who sent the message needs to resend the returned message or be notified that it was deleted.
NOTE: If there is a file called FROM_NC.API or OUTBAD.API in the SMTPdirectory of the Mail Postoffice, you can view this file and decipher whothe sender of the problem message is. The sender's name is preceded witha FROM: and contains the full 10/10/10 Microsoft Mail address. Once youhave this information, you follow the steps above to remove the messagefrom the SMTP outgoing queue. It is suggested to use Debug since manyMS-DOS editors show the file as one big line of text.
Assume there is a file stranded in the M:\MAILDATA\SMTP directory calledOUTBAD.API. Use the following steps to find the sender of the problemmessage:
Type the following:
At the hyphen (-) prompt, type the letter D and press the ENTER key.
A mix of HEX values and ASCII text is displayed on the screen, repeatedly press D, ENTER until the word FROM: shows up in the ASCII column.
Note the information following the FROM: because this is the sender of the problem message.
NOTE: There may be multiple messages in the .API file, where each one has its own FROM: information. If the old .API files are renamed prior to the startup of the gateway as mentioned above, a new file containing only the problem message should be created.
Use this name when following the steps above to return or delete the message out of the SMTP queue.
NOTE: The "protocol error" message can be a vague error message and mayrefer to a number of other issues. The resolution in this article hasbeen proven to work in many situations where this error occurred.