Mailing List SIMS@mail.stalker.com Message #14756
From: Bill Cole <listbill@scconsult.com>
Subject: Re: outlook clients, POP times out?
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 11:44:07 -0400
To: SIMS Discussions <SIMS@mail.stalker.com>
At 10:01 AM -0400 9/22/04, Charles Mangin  imposed structure on a stream of electrons, yielding:
let's call it the Mysterious Outlook POP Timeout

i thought it was just one client and some weirdness with their ISP (with whom i've had some discussions of their email policies), but now someone else is having the same problem using a totally different ISP. they're using outlook express on windows, and log in to receive mail, authenticatine successfully. the client sees there are messages waiting (downloading message 1 of 5, etc) but there's never any progress past that point. it times out and eventually asks if they want to wait another 60 seconds (or 180 or whatever the timeout is set on their client). despite waiting forever, nothing ever happens.

i've poked at the logs and set the logging to the most detail for POP, and i'll post a log snippet when i find what i'm looking for (but with ~90 clients checking mail every minute or so, it's a lot to scrub through)

the first client i saw this happening on had received some odd attachments and weirdly formatted spam, but i was able to log in using mail.app, get their mail and resend it to them, and they were then able to receive as before. i hate having to do this, as i'd hate to have someone else reading my email - and it'd be a pain to do this for every case that pops up (almost everyone i serve email to is using outlook these days)

any ideas or suggestions? is this something that's been discussed here before, but i've missed it?


One possible source of this is bloated mailboxes on the server. SIMS has to re-parse the mailbox for each POP login, and if the user is behind some system that is unfriendly to long-idle connections (as some firewalls and NAT devices can be) they can have their link severed without ever knowing it.

That's obviously just a guess, and the log might well show more clues.
--
Bill Cole                                  bill@scconsult.com

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