Windows XP, Outlook 2003 with IMAP, and User Accounts

This week, I had a client whose computer I rebuilt. Standard stuff. New Windows XP. New Office installation. One Admin account, one personal Standard account for daily use.

When I went to deliver the computer, the last thing to do was re-configure Outlook for her email account with Swisscom/bluewin. Also, standard stuff. Or so I thought.

I was trying to set it up with IMAP so that the computer, iPad, and two iPhones would stay in sync. My plan was to set up the computer and then use iTunes to transfer the settings to the devices.

It wouldn’t work. Full stop. I tried with SSL and without. I tried with authentication and without. I called Swisscom for support who tried exactly the same things and said that their mail servers were fine.

The problem we encountered was an *instant* error message when trying to Send/Receive, something about not being able to get the folders or connect to IMAP.

We tried POP3. Worked fine, but that’s not a solution, that’s just more information.

I went to the Admin account, just for laughs. Configured the exact same email account with IMAP as instructed. Worked the first time. WTF?!

I set up a new, completely fresh non-Admin account. Tried the same. Wouldn’t work.

So, it seems as though Outlook 2003 and IMAP have a problem when using a non-Admin account. Can that be? Really, Microsoft?

I’m disgusted, but still looking into it. Maybe it’s Swisscom that’s got it all wrong.


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