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SMTP server question

I have run a problem using the SMTP settings provided with PHP's mail() function. I have XAMPP installed on my Windows XP machine and I am using Windows' fake sendmail (sendmail.exe) program. In the past I had no problem and everything used to work well, but, recently I have noticed that it stopped working and it's returning an authentication error everytime I try to send a test email through mail() function. Here is the error I am receiving:

Jan 07 19:58:54 tls=off auth=on user=XXX from=[] recipients=[] errormsg='cannot connect to, port 25: Unknown error' exitcode=EX_TEMPFAIL

Note: I wrapped [] around email addresses to avoid automatic links

Here is my PHP.INI mail settings:


[mail function]
; For Win32 only.
; SMTP = localhost
; smtp_port = 25

; For Win32 only.
; sendmail_from = postmaster@localhost

; For Unix only.  You may supply arguments as well (default: "sendmail -t -i").
sendmail_path = "\"C:\web-server\sendmail\sendmail.exe\" -t"

; Force the addition of the specified parameters to be passed as extra parameters
; to the sendmail binary. These parameters will always replace the value of
; the 5th parameter to mail(), even in safe mode.
;mail.force_extra_parameters =

; Add X-PHP-Originating-Script: that will include uid of the script followed by the filename
mail.add_x_header = Off

; Log all mail() calls including the full path of the script, line #, to address and headers
; mail.log = "C:\web-server\apache\logs\php_mail.log"

And here is my sendmai.ini configuration file:


# Example for a user configuration file

# Set default values for all following accounts.
logfile "C:\web-server\sendmail\sendmail.log"

# A freemail service example
account Frihost
from []
auth on
user []
password ************

# Set a default account
account default : Frihost

Note: I wrapped [] around email addresses to avoid automatic links

I know that I have stripped off tls and tls_certcheck because Frihost doesn't support these. Also I changed auth value from on to plain to login and the result is the same, FAILURE!

Also I used user my_account_username but still failed.

My question here is there an issue with SMTP authentication? I'm sure it was working for me before, but it stopped recently. By the way, My PHP version is 5.3.0.
I'm not sure I fully understand your problem, however it's possible that if your using sendmail to try and send email out to the web from a home server... Your ISP could be blocking that traffic, many ISP's block port 25, because that is what SMTP servers use to send emails, and if they left that open alot of people would setup SMTP server's at home and spam people, or phish, or anything that your mind can conjure up.
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