1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Solved: Outlook Express sends, but selectively fails to receive incoming

Discussion in 'Web & Email' started by zapp22, Mar 18, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. zapp22

    zapp22 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    520
    I posted on this problem previously but have way more debug time now to narrow down the issue.
    Hoping one of you smarter people can help me with this.

    it would be a fun challenge if not so serious.....

    Several people who work together routinely email one another. they all use Outlook Express, and they all have their email addresses on one domain via their ISP, Grande Communications. One by one, the various folk reported they no longer were getting emails from their buddies. I tested things every which way and found only these qualifiers:
    - Webmail is fine. no issues at all if they login via browser and work their mail that way.
    - Outgoing mail sent from inside OE6 works fine. no issues, no error messages, things show up in the 'Sent' folder as they should, etc. however......
    - Mail sent to any of the buddies does not arrive. However mail sent to anyone "outside" that circle [me for instance] arrives just dandy.
    - Disabling Firewalls and Scanners [avast] has no effect.
    - Several good long chats with the Grande tech support yield no clues - there are no errors or anomalies that they can see. biz as usual....
    - Setting up new/additional identities in OE produces the same results. Send fine, receive fine from anyone OTHER than the buddies.

    To say I'm stumped is an understatement. If it were a port issue [server port... i.e. 110 or 995 or whatever] it would seem ALL incoming messages would be adversely affected. Similarly if the router were having issues with diallowance/block of the incoming side, you would think NO incoming mail would get through.

    ????

    The one thing I have not yet tried is to create a message that is very easy to search for, then search all folders to see if they have run afoul of a rule they don't even know about.
     
  2. zapp22

    zapp22 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    520
    For sake of anyone else that encounters this obscure and thorny problem, more info.
    There is only one person in this circle that appears to be "clean", and that one machine [laptop] is a bit out of date, running Windows XP Home Edition SP2. All the others are Windows XP Pro SP3. All use Outlook Express, or did so... now having to rely on webmail.

    I worked on this for several hours today trying various workarounds. Even in Safe Mode + Networking, the problem persists. I setup alternative User Account and created a new Outlook Express account, and the problem moved with me [using one of the affected machines, that is]. Checked everything I could with their Netgear router [614V9] and could see no reason it would have any effect on particular email addresses. One peculiarity of the disease that I note here, in case it means something to one of you: OE gives you the ability to select whether to leave copies on the server or not. By NOT leaving copies on the server, the messages that I could see using Webmail [using IE8] that would NOT be picked up by Outlook Express would be removed from the server. Gone from the server as if they were read/copied/exported to the local mail client, but those messages within the affected address group would of course not appear anywhere in Outlook Express. Quite baffling. I suspect that the problem is at the ISP but have zero hard evidence to go on.

    And to restate: all other mail, so far as I can tell, directed to any of these users is received, visible, "normal" in the OE6 Inbox. Only the frequently-used addresses between members of this group are not. However, I have not yet setup brand new email accounts under the same domain, with which to test the idea that the domain extension is being read and blocked somehow at the local client. This does not seem to be a capability of OE6 anyway, at least not a documented one.
     
  3. VistaRookie

    VistaRookie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,956
    Think you covered just about everything. These are probably redundant but
    off the top of my head, things to check (again). The fact that emails other
    than the "group" ones work makes it even less likely that these could be a
    cause.

    Should be set to view all messages. OE->View->Layout->Views Bar

    Security settings should be set Internet zone, less secure but more functional.

    Any message rules involved? OE->Tools->Message Rules->Mail
    Block senders list involved? OE->Tools->Message Rules->Blocked Senders List

    Many times simply turning off email scanning isn't enough. You have to uninstall
    the anti-virus program. And then you have to use a special tool provided by the
    anti-virus company (if available) to remove debris left behind.

    For instance, if Norton, McAfee, AVG, Avast. For any others, check their website.

    http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2005033108162039

    http://service.mcafee.com/FAQDocument.aspx?id=107083&lc=1033

    http://www.avg.com/ww-en/download-tools

    http://www.avast.com/uninstall-utility

    And then check to see if the problem is solved. When reinstalling, use the custom
    choice and make sure to uncheck email scanning.
     
  4. zapp22

    zapp22 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    520
    VR
    thanks much for a thoughtful response.
    I did not think about a move to Uninstall AVAST but I guess I must give that a try also.
    Your tips on Security setting, rules, and Blocked Senders all covered. I'll check the layout. Since the problem just began a week or so ago "out of the blue" I'm not hopeful that settings has much to do with it.
    I do wonder if a Microsoft update from 3/11/2010 may have had some gift, but even that is unlikely to have resulted in such a selective problem, and one that produces no obvious error [no OE error message has showed itself]. Though AVAST has not caught anything on the fly, it does seem that, all other things being neutral, if a particular infection got in a mail message from one user, then got passed around without detection, it MIGHT cause such selective non-receipt. One would think the ISP's toolkit might catch, but perhaps that is asking too much.

    The one exception in this group is also of interest: one user's configuration is quite different, in that the laptop is setup with Windows XP Home Edition SP2, whereas all the others are XP Professional, SP3. The Exception user can send and receive as normal.


     
  5. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,176
    I find it strange that you say you can send a message and if you look in the Webmail it's there.

    That would indicate it's not a problem with the SMTP server or an address or it wouldn't be on the server.

    Have you tried logging the connection to see if anything pops out at you?
    Tools>Options>Maintenance tab>tick the appropriate box under Troubleshooting.

    I'm thinking OE might be sending a delete command (or the server might be executing it) before the mail is actually downloaded.
    Have you tried setting up a New OE Identity for one of the trouble machines?

    T. :)
     
  6. zapp22

    zapp22 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    520
    thx for helping.
    it is indeed very strange -
    I have not tried the logging: terrific suggestion I knew nothing of. Will do.

    yes I tried new identity - fail.
    Also tried new XP user account with fresh OE, but using one of the troubled email addies. Same result [definition of insanity :confused:]. Tried it again in Safe Mode - fail.... Same deal - it can send to anyone/everyone, and it can receive from NEARLY everyone on the planet, except the few troubled brethren.

     
  7. VistaRookie

    VistaRookie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,956
    This problem appeared only a week ago?
    Did you try system restore?
     
  8. zapp22

    zapp22 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    520
    no system restore yet. would prefer to find the real cause and fix it. The last general updates vary from one system to another, and restore points uncertain. In the category of shotgun-blasts I would try an OE6 uninstall/reinstall before I would go restore route, but I give neither high probability of an enduring fix.

    I'm needing to study one Avast log: late yesterday I kicked off a full/deep system scan on one of the computers, and had to leave it for awhile. The verbal report was that four corrupted/infected files are found. I don't yet know the details but will post here. I had assumed that if mail corruption or infection were detectable, it would be in the Documents/Settings folder, and had already scanned that thoroughly and came up clean.

    This find was post-combofix, btw, which found nothing unusual [but did cause a bunch of windows errors]
     
  9. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,176
    Anything pop up in the OE log?

    Do the messages arrive at the server and can be viewed through webmail consistently? At least until someone's OE tries to download them?

    T. :)
     
  10. VistaRookie

    VistaRookie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,956
    You posted to another thead regarding deleting the inbox.dbx file.
    I doubt it is your problem, however, here is the info.

    If you move ALL emails out of the Inbox, Outbox, Sent Items,
    Deleted Items and Drafts folders, the corresponding .dbx file can
    be deleted and OE will make up new files for those folders.

    The reason you want to move the emails out of those folders
    before deleting them, is because all emails are stored in the
    database files (.dbx) and any emails left behind will be lost.

    It's not something I recommend often, simply because it can be
    misunderstood and people will lose emails. But it is something
    that can be done without a problem in regards to getting brand
    new .dbx files for OE.
     
  11. zapp22

    zapp22 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    520
    Those log files are BIG. Can you tell me a string to look for?

    Yes, via Webmail I see no issues whatsoever. send/receive all looks like it should. :confused:

    I think i'll try nuking the inboxes today, and load T'bird just to convince myself that the problem is local, not at the ISP.

    This is definitely related, but might merit a separate thread: I read up on Avast 5 [free]: there ARE whitelist and blacklist files somewhere in AVAST and it apparently will "mark" senders based on its own algorithm with no interaction with the user at all. I have searched in vain to find such entries visible to a user. Supposedly this function is under the "Antispam" category but via the ordinary UI I can find neither the Macro nor the micro.... nada.
    If anyone has an answer to this, pls advise. I do know that merely turning off the realtime scan in AVAST produces no good result, which sorta would support the suspicion since "marking" is permanent & passive until you delete the entry.
     
  12. VistaRookie

    VistaRookie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Messages:
    1,956
    One would think that uninstalling Avast with their removal tool would
    also remove the white/black list. That is the express purpose of a
    special removal tool from Avast. Then check to see if the problem
    has cleared up - reinstall Avast (or another anti-virus) and uncheck
    any email scanning.
     
  13. zapp22

    zapp22 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    520
    VR - just reading up on that removal tool. I posted a question, to your point, in the forum.

    Could one or more of you who are smarter than I on this stuff help me with this: Can we do a Shortlist of all/every-thing that could possibly block one or two good senders from the OE6 Inbox? What are the routines that could nix these few senders while allowing everything else in? [even some occasional SPAM] ? I'm trying to get my brain around the steps in the process here - the OE6 Send/Receive function makes a connection to the mail servers, "downloads" messages [really? or does it first mark them or something?], Fetches message headers, Fetches message bodies [?], checks against a Blacklist [the one in OE6], then what? Like, is there a Junk Filter in OE6 itself? I do not know of such if there is. If something is "marked" as bad, what is it in OE6 itself [only] that does such "marking"? Again, I know of no such function.
    If I did not have the flag set to "leave copy on Server", what function is it, and at what point in the sequence of actions, that tells the server "I got the message, now you can dump it" ??? Is that message sent as a "shotgun" whenever the "Receive" function in OE6 is executed, irrespective of successful downloading? Or is it sent on a message-basis?
     
  14. throoper

    throoper Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    5,176
    Must be you left the logging on for a while. You only need to log the period where there is a message on the server and OE tries to download it.

    The section to look at will appear as follows.

    POP3: 10:46:26 [rx] +OK Password required.
    POP3: 10:46:26 [tx] PASS ********
    POP3: 10:46:26 [rx] +OK logged in.
    POP3: 10:46:26 [tx] STAT
    POP3: 10:46:27 [rx] +OK 1 127446
    POP3: 10:46:27 [tx] LIST
    POP3: 10:46:27 [rx] +OK POP3 clients that break here, they violate STD53.
    POP3: 10:46:27 [rx] 1 127446
    POP3: 10:46:27 [rx] .
    POP3: 10:46:27 [tx] RETR 1
    POP3: 10:46:27 [rx] +OK 127446 octets follow.
    POP3: 10:46:30 [tx] DELE 1
    POP3: 10:46:30 [rx] +OK Deleted.
    POP3: 10:46:30 [tx] QUIT
    POP3: 10:46:30 [rx] +OK Bye-bye.

    What that shows is there is a message waiting for download (LIST), the download command (RETR), delete after download (DELE), and connection to server ends (QUIT), with each command followed by the servers response.

    Main thing to look for is if the retrieval and deletion are being acknowledged in the right order by the server.

    That would seem to indicate the server isn't rejecting the receipt of the messages, so it's not treating them as spam or otherwise filtering them.

    I see you're trying T-bird. I was going to suggest trying retrieving them with telenet, but T-bird might work.
    If they still disappear, then I think it would be at the server end.

    T. :)
     
  15. zapp22

    zapp22 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    520
    Let me make sure I understand what you're saying, 'cause I'm about to try some of these steps.
    So, perhaps I should flip OE6 to "work offline", then turn "ON" IMAP and Mail [pop3] logging, then go Online, hit Send/Receive, and when its done, flip the switches "Off". Right?
    Oh, and I'll pile up a few 'victim' messages to make sure its dealing with messages from the ill senders.

    I went googling for something like this: "How to force WLM client to always receive messages from select senders"... trying to put the positive-spin on this.
    I had posted earlier that I loaded the bulky and iffy WLM client and tried it, with the same unfortunate results.
    I'm just trying to think of every way to either "force it to receive", or in the negative, what routines at the client can actually 'tag' a certain sender as bad. And to my view, there ain't much in the latter category. In fact, in an automated and blind fashion, the only idea I can come up with at all is AVAST. If you know of another, for sure, lemme know.

     
  16. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/910966

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice