Don't Panic (in
large friendly letters)
These are emergency/disaster recovery procedures to fix the
server and get it running if something really bad happens.
Some key things you should know:
The main config file is /etc/surgemail.ini or
The main log files are: (in c:\surgemail or /usr/local/surgemail)
Command line interface:
If you modify surgemail.ini by hand then issue this command:
If you change something related to 'ports' then restart surgemail!
net start surgemail
Server is not responding at all (check
- Test locally to see if it's actually running ok, if so it's a
network issue: telnet localhost 25, tellmail status
- Check the end of startstop.log file, it should show if it's
endlessly restarting and may give the reason
- Check the end of mail.err it may give a clue to the problem.
- If 'another' mail server is grabbing the ports then surgemail
won't start (port 110, 25 etc), on linux try: netstat
- Try manually starting it:
/usr/local/surgemail/surgemail_start.sh and then examine
mail.log to see when it fails. (or net start surgemail on
License key is failing or won't load
- Check if it's actually expired and is blocking user
logins (see login_failed.log), if not don't panic, just email
- If your key won't load, read the error it gives you carefully,
it should give you some advice!
- If SurgeMail cannot activate due to a firewall issue then it
will give you details to email to email@example.com, be
sure to send this email using 'text' not 'html' in your email
client, and you should get a response within seconds with a key
you can load.
- If your user limit is exceeded, Try tellmail
users_recount (this will only work once)
- If all else fails then you might just need to purchase another
license key from our website to get the system running, we will
refund this if it's not something you need once we resolve the
Users cannot login
- Check login_failed.log to find out why, it will probably tell
you the problem setting you need to adjust.
- Check your authent module and backend database, the authent
module is defined in surgemail.ini in the setting
g_authent_process, you can test it manually like this, lets
assume it's nwauth
check firstname.lastname@example.org password
Note: Most authent modules also allow extra options lie
-debug to show more info.
No incoming email
- Go to the 'log' page in the web admin tool, to see if your
server is 'rejecting' the incoming email for some reason.
- Check your MX DNS entry points to your server: http://mxtoolbox.com/
- Use an email test website to check your server: http://reputation-email.com/reputation/rep?rep_ip=&cmd_smtp=SMTP+tests
- Check your router/firewall is letting port 25 into your
server. (from outside your network, telnet
Outgoing email bouncing
- Check the main log page in the we admin tool, look for the
reason it gives for the failures.
- Check your g_dns_host setting is pointing to a valid working
- Check your ISP allows outgoing connections to the smtp port:
telnet netwinsite.com 25 (if it doesn't, ask them, they will
usually allow it on request, or failing that you should use a
g_gateway setting to send outgoing mail to an external mail
server for delivery)
Server/System keeps restarting
- Check startstop.log and mail.err for reasons/explanations.
- Send the crash report or crash*.log file to
- Try disabling the virus scanner.
- Check the disk isn't full (df -k)
- Check your resent configuration changes, and undo them
(ini_yymmdd.rec is a copy of the config file each time it is
modified, so you can use diff to find changes)
- If you recently installed a patch/new version, try downgrading
the binary or rolling back the upgrade. Within versions
you can simply replace the surgemail binary and restart, or you
can use the command line ( surgemail -rollback )
Hardware failure I need to
re-install/recover from backups - I wasn't using mirroring...
- Install surgemail from our website like a new installation.
- Stop surgemail, and replace surgemail.ini with your backup
- Replace nwauth.txt nwauth.add with your backups of those files
- You should now have a working mail server with all accounts
and domains, but no actual email, if you have backups of the
mailbox_path files you can restore those too.
- (Next time use mirroring!)
Hardware failure I need to
re-install/recover from backups - I have a surgemail mirror yay!
- Redirect the users to your mirror server (by changing it's ip
address or whatever...)
- Build a new system and install surgemail, then follow the
mirror installation instructions to mirror the working slave to
the new system. Be sure to issue the resync commands from
the working server that has the data (e.g. the slave in this
How do I move the server to new hardware
- Mirroring is usually the best option, or you can just copy the
relevant files. See instructions here: http://netwinsite.com/surgemail/help/faq.htm#moving_surgemail