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Malformed/corrupt header causing outlook 2003 to download from POP to crash...

Posted on 2004-11-09
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Last Modified: 2011-10-03
I have a user that has Outlook 2003 on Win XP sp1. We use ATT global net for our POP. He recieves about 150-200 spam messages a day. We use the spam feature of ATT Global net to divert a majority of the spam to what is called a "GrayMail" folder. The problem is that the graymail folder is a finite size and fills up regularly. When this happens the overflow of spam get through and downloaded with the regular email. Now the problem: Some of the spam has malformed, incomplete or currupt headers. It seems that when Outlook gets one of theses it restarts the download putting it in a loop or just plain crashes. Please let me know if I can providemore info. This is a hot one for me as it is the CEO's computer.
Another insight... When Outlook stops downloading or goes into a loop or crashes, the user has to go to his web mail and delete the offending email. Regarding the looping MS support sugested that he had his automatic send and recieve time set to to short a time and indeed he did. It was set to check every minute. I changed it to 7 minutes this should take care of the looping problem.
Hope I have provided enough clear info. Please ask me to clarify if needed. Thanks.
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Question by:billyki
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Aland Coons earned 2000 total points
ID: 12538835
Option One:
You need to contact your ISP (AT&T) and have your spam deleted instead of held (in "GrayMail") for processing.

(When I use COX and they just delete (or alternatively tag) the spam mail.  Yahoo holds the mail but doesn't let it overflow into your INBOX or count against your mailbox size. If AT&T cannot do better than this then I would suggest to them you can find a better ISP.)

Option Two:
You automate Outlook to download your spam and delete it.  If you can change your ISP options to tagging the easist thing to do would be to "download headers" and run a rule to scan for the tag (usually [SPAM]) and then automatically delete them (NOT move them to the recycle bin!).

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Author Comment

by:billyki
ID: 12539147
Option One... Not an option that I can find. ATT response is that if you can get youor mail we are working and it's not our problem.

Option Two... It is the actuall downloading that Outlook hangs so this is also not the best option. I am working on filters to attempt to find and eliminate the "bad" headers.

Thaks for your input! it is truly appreciated.
Bill

All: More input:
Apparently some of the email with the "bad" headers gets through the ATT spam filters and also causes the problem. This makes it all the worse as it does not require the "Gaymail" folder to fill.
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by:Aland Coons
ID: 12543636
Sometimes changing email addresses is a good way to deal with spam.  If you choose this option you might consider changing ISP at the same time. You wouldn't be the first to leave AT&T for poor customer service.
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Author Comment

by:billyki
ID: 12543927
If it were only that easy...
I was tasked with specifically fixing this issue and not changing his email ady again. He has done that in the past and it is quite a chore...
Going to an exchange server soon...
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Author Comment

by:billyki
ID: 12556214
Is my question not clear? Am I missing something... Please let me know as I need to solve this and am unning out of resources.
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Expert Comment

by:Aland Coons
ID: 12557914
Sorry.  I would suggest to you as I have to my own ISP for the last decade that network issues such as spam email and viruses including "malformed headers" are an issue best fixed by them and not my massive multiple updates by all their customers. When I cannot get the results I desire I take my business elsewhere.
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Author Comment

by:billyki
ID: 12558039
Allan,
I totally agree...
However I am bound by this ISP and the troubles I am having with them. AT&T is a very arrogant orginization and I will soon cease doing business with them and I advise everyone else to avoid them. In the meantime the CEO of my small company, that I have been recently hired on to wants his situation fixed now. So if anyone out there can point me to a spam filter, a way to keep outlook from freezing on the malformed/corupt headers, or anyother workable solution, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for taking the time, looking and responding.
Bill
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Aland Coons
ID: 12559252
I think you're on the right track.  Use a spam filter not designed to work within Outlook (like the infamous MailWiper) but one that acts as a POP3 client (and a POP server to your mail software) like these:

Spam Interceptor
http://si20.com/

SpamSleuth
http://www.bluesquirrel.com/products/SpamSleuth/index.html?ASCID=1797

SpamWeasel
http://www.mailgate.com/products/spamweas/sw_intro.asp

MailWasher
http://www.mailwasher.net/

SpamBuster
http://www.contactplus.com/products/spam/
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