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Old 5-23-05, 10:36 PM   #1
Mirzabah
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Thunderbird + IMAP + PowWeb = Broken???

Is there anyone else have trouble with Thunderbird and PowWeb's IMAP mail store?

Every time I start up Thunderbird, it tells me I have a bajillion new messages. Well, 400+, or 700+, sometimes 900+, occasionally less than a 100. Whatever the number is, it bears no relation at all to the number of new messages I can actually see in my inbox.

I'm also getting deleted messages mysteriously reappearing and the order of my mail has been completely screwed up.

These problems started after the migration from mbox to maildir.
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Old 5-24-05, 09:25 AM   #2
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This also seems to be affecting Microsoft Entourage as well. I've reported it to admins to see if this is something server-side or not.
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Old 5-25-05, 05:20 AM   #3
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Any word? What server software is being used? Is it a bug with that? or with Thunderbird and Entourage. Seems unlikely that both clients would have the same bug. Googling hasn't revealed much except that some maildir implementations are flaky .. but so is Thunderbird's IMAP. If I knew what software was being used I might be able to find something more definite.

Here is a more detailed list of the symptoms I am seeing:
  • Inbox reloaded ... re-re-re-re-re-re-reloaded
    Everytime Thunderbird checks my mail, it sees already-read messages as new. I'm not talking about read/unread flags here - it is completely reloading headers it has already seen. This is completely random. Mostly it reloads about 450+ headers, but it often reloads up to 900+ messages and occasionally as few as a hundred or less. Never does it load exactly the number of genuinely new messages on the server.
  • Deja vu mail
    Messages that were marked as "read" suddenly and randomly show up as "unread". This doesn't happen very often.
  • Vampire mail
    Mail that has been deleted reappears. This happens whether the message has been marked for deletion and expunged, or moved to trash. If a message is deleted often enough it will eventually disappear for good .. or at least for a while. This happens a lot.
  • Same mail, different order
    Thunderbird's notion of a message date and ordering has always been idiosyncratic with "new" messages often being placed before messages received earlier, but after the switch to maildir the problem seems much worse. You can kind of get around this by sorting by "order received" instead of "date", but it doesn't seem entirely reliable.
The problem is so bad that I am currently looking for alternative mail clients. I need to use IMAP, web-based mail clients are slow and don't do everything I need and I really, really don't want to go back to Outlook Express :ugh:
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Old 5-25-05, 09:28 AM   #4
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No word yet Mirz. Although I can say that I don't have this problem in Outlook XP - only Entourage. I don't know what that exactly means, but I'm trying to get to the bottom of it all.
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Old 5-25-05, 09:53 AM   #5
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thanks
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Old 5-26-05, 10:19 AM   #6
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OK - according to what I've been told, we didn't move away from UW-IMAP, but it was patched to handle the new format in maildir. So somewhere along the way either the server or email client index is confused. Things are internally consistant now, so I was advised to delete the IMAP account in Entourage. I tried that and it didn't work. But then I remembered that Entourage keeps preference files, and once I deleted the account AND the preference file, things work normally.

So - my guess is that Thunderbird also has some sort of preference file somewhere as well.
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Old 5-26-05, 10:58 AM   #7
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I also had this problem - and used a workaround for it some days ago (deleting the imap account and preference files would certainly also have worked): I created a new IMAP folder, then moved all my inbox messages into it. Then let Thunderbird get confused for about 15 minutes, then get back; it will have put a few of the messages back into Inbox instead of the new folder for no apparent reason - just move them into the new folder -again-. After a while Thunderbird will 'remember' it and will no longer say "you got new message! you got new message! you..." every few minutes.

When that point is reached you can simply move all the messages back to the Inbox folder.

When you have a whole lot of messages it is probably better to simply remove the imap account like tbonekkt says, (and delete all preference things associated with it) and then put it back (I have a few thousand messages in "Inbox" (which are all messages since january 1), which was just managable).


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Old 5-26-05, 10:26 PM   #8
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Thanks Sygmoral, out of desperation I'm going to try your inbox shuffle - I have about 1000 messages there at last count, so it's going to take a little while. For the record, deleting the account and spending an hour going through your hard disk and registry and deleting anything that looks like it might be remotely connected to the problem account does NOT work. Presumably Thunderbird squirrels away key data in some mysterious location I was unable to locate
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Old 5-26-05, 10:28 PM   #9
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Look in the C:/Documents and Settings/<username>/Application Data/ folder Mirz. There should be a Mozilla Thunderbird folder there.
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Old 5-26-05, 11:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbonekkt
Look in the C:/Documents and Settings/<username>/Application Data/ folder Mirz. There should be a Mozilla Thunderbird folder there.
Been there. Trouble is I have other accounts, so I don;t want to completely wipe everything in there, but I have cleaned out anything that appears to be related to the account I am having trouble with. Basically I've done everything short of downloading the Thunderbird source code and debugging the damned thing myself.
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Old 5-29-05, 10:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sygmoral
I also had this problem - and used a workaround for it some days ago (deleting the imap account and preference files would certainly also have worked): I created a new IMAP folder, then moved all my inbox messages into it. Then let Thunderbird get confused for about 15 minutes, then get back; it will have put a few of the messages back into Inbox instead of the new folder for no apparent reason - just move them into the new folder -again-. After a while Thunderbird will 'remember' it and will no longer say "you got new message! you got new message! you..." every few minutes.

When that point is reached you can simply move all the messages back to the Inbox folder.
This trick worked, though it wasn't a completely trouble free operation. At first I used Thunderbird to move the messages into a temporary folder, but this seemed to confuse it even more, so I thought I'd complete the operation in webmail. Unfortunately, webmail has this bug where it can move a message to any folder EXCEPT the INBOX (go figure ), so I did some of it in SquirrelMail, which is also a bit flaky.

I have about 1000 messages in my INBOX in addition to a whole bunch in various other folders. Somewhere along the way, a big chunk of messages were copied instead of moved and this pushed my mailbox over quota, so there was some hurried trashing of messages to try and bring it back under.

All of this has left my mailbox in something of a mess, but Thunderbird seems to be behaving itself again - which is to say it's IMAP flakiness has returned to tolerable levels, and I don't think I lost anything... well, nothing I can't live without, anyway.
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Old 6-3-05, 11:22 PM   #12
sanelson
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Hi All,

Don't know if this helps or not, but I thought I would share the problems I'm having. I am suffering from exactly the same symptoms in Thunderbird, but I didn't want to go to all the trouble of pushing the messages in my inbox around. Instead I tried firing up Outlook 2003 to read my IMAP mail. I received the following error message when Outlook 2003 was connecting to the IMAP mail server:

---

Your server has reported a UID which does not comply with the
IMAP standard. This typically indicates a server bug. Your program
may not function properly after this.

---

If I click on "Details" I can see the following error message in which the numbers seem to change slightly every time the error comes up:

MsgSeqNum 80, New UID 1117164981. Prev UID: 1117165264, Next UID: 0.
Protocol: IMAP
Server: mail.siliconfuture.net
Port: 143

According to Outlook, this is a server side problem. I'm not sure how much I trust Outlook on it's diagnosis, but maybe this info will help find a root cause for this.

Cheers,

Sam
 
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