OT: email software/server weirdness



Has anyone ever had a corrupt mail file prevent email from downloading?

Yesterday evening I noticed that I hadn't received any new email since
about 9 am that morning. I was expecting some, and I noticed that
every time I hit "get mail" the cursor would spin for a long time ( at
least 90 seconds, very unusual) and then report no mail.

I tried sending myself mail, again nothing.

Odd. So I went to my isp's web page & logged on to their webmail
page--a horribly cobbled together pastiche of html code--and sure
enough there were 20+ unread emails there.

I spent hours trying out things, and finally got systematic about it.
I could send email just fine from my computer, but not receive. I used
wife's computer which uses the same server, and hers worked fine both
sending and receiving on her account. I changed her username and
password to mine, hit get mail, and the same results--long wait with
cursor spinning, no receive, send OK. I changed her username and
password back to hers, sending and receiving worked fine on her
account again.

Went back to mine. Set the username and password to HERS using my
computer, and it downloaded all of her email onto my computer. I reset
to mine, again no receive.

I then went back to my webmail page, and managed to compose an email
on the webpage and sent it to myself. It appeared on the webmail page,
proving that the ISP's mail system was working, but it still wouldn't
download to my computer.

At this point I felt confident that my computer's settings were OK,
and the ISP's server was working correctly. What could be preventing
my email client from grabbing the incoming mail?

My only clue was that when I hit "get mail" the wait cursor would spin
for at least 90 seconds or so, it seemed an eternity. The webmail page
reported that the total size of the incoming mail was 937K, something
that shouldn't take more than 10 seconds to download if that (I have
basic cable tv, but HIGHSPEED internet :) I was starting to suspect
that there was something problematic in the incoming email itself.

I painfully read all the unread emails on the webmail page, and then
deleted everything through the webmail functions, not an easy task.
Then, went back to my email client, composed a test mail to my self,
hit send, hit get mail, and voila--there it was back in my email
client's inbox. Problem fixed. Everything has been working normally
since then.

I really have no idea what happened, but I suspect there was some
munged bit somewhere in one of the emails that was preventing anything
from downloading--is that possible? Or is there some kind of
denial-of-service kind of hack that someone is using to fool with
email client software?

--
Charles
'99 YZ250
.



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