PureMessage for Microsoft Exchange: troubleshooting spam rules download problems

  • Article ID: 29452
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  • Updated: 06 Mar 2015

PureMessage spam rules may fail to download for several reasons. The following troubleshooting steps guide you through the most likely reasons for this problem. Follow them in order.

Important:  Ensure the Sophos credentials (available on your license schedule) include PureMessage Anti-Spam component.  If in doubt email customer services.  For more information see the articles Sophos credentials: usernames and passwords for Sophos customers, and Sophos licenses and what components are included with each.

  1. Check the secondary download Address and User name/password
  2. Check your firewall
  3. Clear the AutoUpdate cache
  4. Create a missing registry key
  5. Edit your hosts file
  6. Try re-installing Sophos AutoUpdate

Applies to the following Sophos product(s) and version(s)
PureMessage for Microsoft Exchange

1. Check the secondary server details

Check this by right-clicking on the Sophos shield icon, click “Open Sophos Endpoint Security and Control” | 'Configure Updating', then select the Secondary location tab..

  • The 'Address' should be set to 'Sophos'.
  • Check the User name: this should be set to the required username as described in the article 12194
  • Ensure that the proxy server is correctly configured, if applicable.

2. Check that your firewall is not blocking the updates

You must configure your firewall (or other equipment) as follows:

To allow the following files to pass through:

  • xml files (*.xml)
  • dat files (*.dat)
  • PureMessage-AntiSpam-Data.ppd
  • PureMessage-AntiSpam-Data-YYYY.MM.DD.XXXXX.tar.gz
  • PureMessage-AntiSpam-Data-YYYY.MM.DD.XXXXX-YYYY.MM.DD.XXXXX.asdf

To allow access to the Sophos download locations:

  • http://pmw.sophos.com/
  • http://es-web-2.sophos.com/update

3. Clear the AutoUpdate cache

The problem can also be caused by a corrupt cache.

The paths given in the steps below will vary according to your operating system. Those shown here apply to Windows server 2003. For Windows server 2008 they will be different, e.g. C:\ProgramData\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Cache, etc.

  1. Stop the Sophos AutoUpdate service in Windows Services.
  2. Delete contents of the following folder: C:\Program Files\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Cache
  3. Delete contents of the following folder: C:\Program Files\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Data\Warehouse
  4. Delete contents of the following folder: C:\Program Files\Sophos\AutoUpdate\Data\Channels
  5. Delete c:\Program Files\Sophos\AutoUpdate\data\status\status.xml
  6. If any "pmsr_tempXX" folders exist within: c:\Program Files\Sophos\PureMessage\ please move them to a new folder within the Puremessage directory.
  7. Delete the contents of the following folder c:\Program Files\Sophos\PureMessage\datadir (you may need to stop the Puremessage service).
  8. Restart the Sophos AutoUpdate service.
  9. Run an update (you may need to watch the alc.log to view its progress).

4. Create a missing registry key

Open the registry (Start | Run | type Regedit and then click the enter key) and create the key using details below.

32-bit Windows:
"ProductName"="Sophos PureMessage"

64-bit Windows:
"ProductName"="Sophos PureMessage"

5. Edit your hosts file

  1. Browse to the following location:

  2. Copy the hosts file and paste with a new name, such as hosts_backup.txt.

  3. Open the hosts file with a text editor.

  4. Look through the file for the following text:

  5. Remove the word 'charlie' and then save the file.

  6. Open a command prompt (Start | Run then type cmd and press the Enter key).

  7. Type the following text, followed by the Enter key:
    ipconfig /flushdns

  8. Right-click the Sophos shield in the system tray (in the bottom right hand corner of the screen) and click Update Now.

6. Remove Sophos AutoUpdate from Add/Remove programs

If the cache is not corrupt, the version of AutoUpdate may be out of date.

  1. Remove Sophos AutoUpdate from Add/Remove programs.
  2. Navigate to C:\Windows\Temp and delete the sophos_autoupdate folder.
  3. Browse to the central installation directory and run setup.exe to reinstall the Sophos Anti-Virus.
  4. If running a standalone installation of Sophos Anti-Virus, download the Sophos Anti-Virus standalone installer from http://www.sophos.com/support/updates/ and run through the installation wizard.
  5. Once installed, right click the Sophos shield icon and choose 'Update now'.



If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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