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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Bizarre FTP problem January 28, 2008 4:54 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Daily Life, Technology
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One of my clients changed their ftp server to use active mode instead of passive mode. Using SmartFTP, WinSCP, the DOS prompt, and Filezilla all fail to get a directory listing off the server. They each appear to connect but then die. One gives an error message of "Failed to retrieve directory listing" and "An established connection was aborted by the software in your host machine." I initially thought Comcast was blocking a necessary port but I can FTP fine to other servers both secure and non-securely.

I can however, connect to the client’s server from one of my shell accounts on a server where I do some hosting. So my work around to this problem is to ftp files to and from the client’s server with the shell and then to and from my local machine with the shell. So the shell account is acting like a middle man. What a pain!

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1. Matt - March 4, 2008

Very odd, im having the same problem. Also on Comcast, and can also connect via shell account from my computer at work. Did you ever resolve this issue?

2. Doug McCaughan - March 4, 2008

Haven’t resolved the issue yet. I noticed that upgrading my ftp clients allowed me to get further in the connection but still the connection drops every time I change a directory. Are you trying to ftp into a Windows 2003 server running Filezilla as the ftp server? If so, this may have something to do with it. But I haven’t tested that yet.

Has Comcast blocked port 25 for smtp for you yet? I’ve had to switch all outgoing mail to port 587 because my outgoing mail volume was excessive. Same thing happened to my inlaws because they had a worm, trojan, or virus that sent spam from their machine. Thing is, Comcast never told them. For 6 months they just couldn’t send mail. I’d troubleshoot off and on over the phone and finally spent a day trying to figure it out. If you are an ISP and going to block an important port, send your customer a notice!