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Outlook 2003 receiving same message duplicated hundreds of times

Posted on 2006-07-21
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
We are running Outlook 2003 on Windows XP Pro and have a strange problem. A single email is being downloaded from our mail server in a the company we host our email with to one of our local machines over and over again. All other mail is fine and is simply being downloaded and removed from the server. This message has gotten "stuck" it seems. The problem was solved by going to the server and deleting the message, but we are still trying to see why this happened. The hosting company is reputable and all other mail for over fifty users is not doing this. Does anyone have an idea of why this is happening? Is this a virus?

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Question by:Sauron66
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by:giltjr
ID: 17158593
Why not ask the hosting company what they were seeing the the Exchange log?

It is possible that there was an error attempting to download the file and thus it was never fully "received" and so it was never deleted.  Could be that the problem was on the server side and not the client side.
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by:war1
ID: 17160354
Greetings, Sauron66 !

I double if the problem is due to a virus, since removing the email removed the problem.  

Email get stuck on the server for various reasons.  The most likely reason is that email could be too large or has a large attachment.  Email does not have time to download before the server times out.  You may want to increase your server timeout time to prevent future occurance.

Email could be badly formed and have some characters that your server cannot read.  So the email gets stuck.

Virus checking of emails also slows the download, making it more likely to get stuck.  So next time try disabling the virus check of emails before deleting the stucked email.

Best wishes!
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Leon Fester earned 250 total points
ID: 17166224
It was/is quite common to get this kind of error in a POP3 environment... Basically the mails take too long to download, and as such each time the user tries to download mail the start at the beginning of the list. Then you will get the first message repeatedly until the 'faulty' mail is deleted and the rest of the messages can be downloads. In a POP3 scenario, mail is only deleted from the server once the full list of emails have been successfully downloaded.

It is also possible that a NDR(Non-delivery report) can be sent back to your user due to a mail delivery failure. Especially in an Exchange environment running default settings. By Default Exchange will attempt to re-send any failed messages every 10 mins.

But your hosting company should be able to tell you exactly what the problem was.
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Expert Comment

by:GinEric
ID: 17175347
A.)  you blocked return receipt, so the server never thought the message was actually delivered
B.)  you did not set delete message from server after receving it [your configuration]
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by:war1
ID: 17177326
Sauron66,

We have not heard from you. Did any comment help you solve your problem? Do you have any more question? If an Expert helped you, please accept his/her answer above with an excellent or good grade.

Thanks, war1
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