Smartermail webmail no longer works on windows XP after latest update
Problem reported by Paul White - 4/25/2023 at 11:50 AM
Not A Problem
I recently updated my install of smartermail to the latest update Build 8496 (Apr 6, 2023) 
A few days later one of my clients reported they were having trouble getting to the mail server.  
They use the webmail interface to check their email.
Turns out they are in pretty desperate need of some IT upgrades at the business.
Every computer there is running windows XP.
They they attempt to pull up the webmail,  it just gives them a blank screen, when using Google Chrome.
We also tried installing Opera which is supposed to have good support for XP, and same issue. Blank Screen.

I had to find an old copy of thunderbird version 52, 32 bit ( which still supports Windows XP ), walk them through installing it, and setting it up for IMAP access.  Now they have email access again.
Granted I am sure we can't support Windows XP forever, but I wanted to point this out just in case this was a bug, and to warn others who might have clients running on ancient hardware.  I partly take blame. I upgraded them a Samsung SSD drive many years ago.  So instead of those machines crashing from a traditional Disk Failure, they have chugged along without issue.  

6 Replies

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Roger S. Replied

Sorry, but that has nothing to do here if customers are still using solutions that have been end-of-life for 10 years despite a significantly extended support phase, because then it would be 15 years. This is actually a deliberate threat to information security in this day and age.

Mainstream End Date: Apr 14, 2009
Extended End Date: Apr 8, 2014

The fact that a company still uses Windows XP on workstations at all is an absolute imposition, especially with regard to security / patch management, etc.

The cryptography support on Windows XP alone and the browsers supported on it is so outdated that not much will work on other modern systems with current cipher suites, crypto challenges, etc. either.

Then the customer has until he finally has a decent working environment just use an email client for Windows XP and forget the web interface.

I'm sorry I can't give you a better answer here, but the customer's IT infrastructure has probably been armored 20 times already, and you'll quickly find alternative hardware at the specialty store next door.

In the short term you can also simply install Ubuntu Linux everywhere or provide a USB boot stick per workstation, then they have a tiptop running environment in the meantime.
Heimir Eidskrem Replied
Im glad its not supporting Windows XP anymore, its time to move on.
Supporting very old and outdated technology is costly and risky.  

Kyle Kerst Replied
Employee Post
You're likely facing blank screens in multiple browsers because Windows XP is unable to support the TLS/SSL protocols in use currently. TLS 1.0/1.1 and SSL v2/v3 have been deprecated in Windows Server environments and this is likely what XP requires. You may be able to find a process to implement support for the newer versions in the existing XP environment, but your best bet is to get those outdated clients up to date. 
Kyle Kerst
System/Network Administrator
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
Paul White Replied
Thanks Kyle.
Would the TLS / SSL issue still affect webmail if its running in an insecure environment.  (HTTP instead of HTTPS).  I agree they need to update their computers.  
Kyle Kerst Replied
Employee Post
You're very welcome. I know all too well how hard it can be to get some environments to upgrade. Usually it takes an event like this one ;-) 

On your question; no, TLS/SSL versions won't come into play when using an HTTP binding. Most modern browsers redirect to HTTPS automatically though so maybe its doing that? 

You may be able to get Fiddler Classic installed on one of the problematic clients too and that should at least provide some clues on what is failing "behind the scenes" possibly!
Kyle Kerst
System/Network Administrator
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
echoDreamz Replied
Wow... I mean, it's been almost a decade since M$ dropped XP, I cant believe anyone in IT would allow, let alone support someone on XP. There is no need to even bother wasting time in Fiddler, the 23 year old OS is the problem.

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