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Incoming Messages Get Stuck Preventing Others from Downloading

Posted on 2007-04-10
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Last Modified: 2010-05-19
I am running Exchange 2003 on a Windows 2003 server, standard edition.

There are SOME e-mails that prevent users from downloading the other messages in their inboxes. Using webmail, we can see these messages - and if we delete them, the other messages download to Outlook etc. just fine. However, until those messages are deleted, the account is essentially stuck.

While it is often junk mail that causes the problem, some legitimate e-mail does the same.

One specific e-mail from tourismexchange.com causes problems with all users on the server who have subscribed to it. While it's an HTML e-mail, there's nothing unique about it that should prevent it from being downloaded, as far as I can tell.

Does anyone else have this problem and if so, how did you solve it? Many thanks in advance.

Best Regards,

Mark Kawabe

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Question by:markwayne
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 18886246
I presume that you have users downloading email via POP3, not native Exchange/Outlook connections? If so this is quite a common problem and there isn't really a good work around for it. It is often caused by AV software mangling the message in such a way that the POP3 server cannot read it.

If you are using POP3 for remote access then you would be well advised to switch to RPC over HTTPS - this is the preferred remote access method for Exchange 2003 as it allows access to the full feature set.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:markwayne
ID: 18887517
Greetings Simon,

Thank you for your answer. We had installed Exclaimer anti-spam software, and it was only after the software was installed that we seemed to have problems with e-mail.

I've uninstalled Exclaimer, although the server hasn't been rebooted since the uninstall. I wonder if that might help...

To replace Exclaimer, I have a trial version of ORF running. It's working well for the anti-spam solution, but we still have the e-mail sticking problem.

To more directly address your reply, yes, our users are downloading e-mail by POP3. We're using the server for web and e-mail hosting.

I have clients who use a variety of e-mail software - surprisingly, not just Outlook Express or Outlook, so I'm not sure how the RPC over HTTPS solution would fit with their setups. I haven't read enough to know about this.

So, I guess my follow-up questions would be...

a) Should I reboot the server to remove the last vestiges of the former anti-spam software?
b) Will I likely have the same problem due to the current anti-spam software?
c) Will RPC over HTTPS be something that will work with non-MS-email software users?

Thank you Simon!
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 18888761
RPC over HTTPS is a feature that only works for Outlook 2003. It is not something that is supported for any other email client.
Although if you are using the server for web and email hosting you may as well offer the users Outlook 2003 as they get it as part of the CAL anyway.

I haven't seen any issues with Vamsoft ORF, I use it myself. However it doesn't scan the email in the same way - as it is designed to stop the messages from being delivered, rather than scanning them after delivery.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:markwayne
ID: 18890522
Greetings Simon,

Thank you for the clarification regarding RPC over HTTPS and Vamsoft's ORF.

The only question remaining is whether a reboot might have an effect with the e-mail sticking as the former anti-spam software may still have some hooks into Exchange.

I feel kind of dumb that I have to ask this, but as mentioned before, I'm rather green at this. Apparently so's my server admin person...

Thanks again for your prompt answers - you've been very helpful.

Best Regards,

Mark Kawabe
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Sembee earned 250 total points
ID: 18890693
When you remove AV/AS you should restart the server to ensure that the hooks are fully removed. It is due to the nature of the products and where they hook in to the server.

If you have got to reboot the server then get hold of the automatic updates for Windows that were pushed out last night and do two jobs at the same time.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:markwayne
ID: 18890754
Fabulous!

Thank you Simon for your help with this. I'll be rebooting tonight so hopefully all will be resolved.

Crossing the fingers though...

Best Regards,

Mark Kawabe
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