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Outlook express generates a warning with no information

Posted on 2008-06-26
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Last Modified: 2012-02-24
I have a client that has told me and I have now look at a problem with OLE6.
in the last couple days attachments are causing OLE to generate a warning but not reporting what the error/warning is. the mail remains in the outbox, yet is sent complete to the receipient.
I removed AVG free 8.0 and retested, same thing. I tested with a plain text message no problem, only with attachments, and I'm using small ones (100K) to test with. pdf files.
The outgoing ISP is Time Warner in Southern California. I have several other clients in the same office using the same network and outgoing setup without the problem.

anyideas or other information I can provide to help find a solution?
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Question by:Compservices
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war1 earned 250 total points
ID: 21878577
Hello Compservices,

Outbox could be corrupt.  With Outlook Express closed, do a search for outbox.dbx file and delete it.  Restart OLX, and test if you still get the warning message.

By default, Outlook Express DBX location:
C:\Documents and Settings\<account name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\<hexadecimal number>\Microsoft\Outlook Express\

It is a hidden folder.  In Windows XP, open Windows Explorer or any folder.  Click on Tools > Folders Options > View. Check "Show hidden files and folders".  If you want to see system files as well, unclick Hide protected operating system files.   Click OK.

In Windows Vista, open Windows Explorer or any folder. Click the Layout button (to the left of the Views button). Click Folder Options > View tab. Check "Show hidden files and folders".   Click OK

Hope this helps!
war1
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Expert Comment

by:mwarstler
ID: 21878816
Why don't you move the to an Exchange solution. You can use a hosted Exchange company like http://www.apptix.com/ . They'll even provide Outlook 2007 for free. You can also sync mobile devices like Blackberries or iPhone 3g
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Assisted Solution

by:Vanguard_LH
Vanguard_LH earned 250 total points
ID: 21882084
Enable the troubleshooting logging in OE (Tools -> Options -> Maintenance, just the Mail logging).  The logfile gets created under the same path as their OE identity and where their .dbx files are stored, so click on the "Store Folder" to see what is that path.  The logfile gets named <ptype>.log where <ptype> is the protocol type (POP, IMAP, HTTP, etc.).  Then you can see what are the commands sent from the e-mail client to the mail server and what status codes were returned by the mail server.

After the mail session has been established, you should see the e-mail client send a "RCPT TO" command to the mail host for each person specified as the recipient of an e-mail.  That is followed by the e-mail client sending a DATA command which is the body of the e-mail (headers and message).  The server must first report +OK to denote when it is ready to accept the data and then the client begins sending bytes.  The last line sent by the e-mail client consists solely on a single period character (".") to tell the mail server that all the data has been sent.  The mail server should respond with an +OK status to show that it got all the data okay.  Then the e-mail client should move the message item from the Outbox to the Sent Items folder and the mail session should terminate.  By looking at the logfile, you could see if OE is getting an +OK status from the mail server after the DATA command completes.  If instead the mail server returns -ERR then maybe OE, for some odd reason and possibly due to 3rd party e-mail related software, doesn't popup an error dialog to show you the error.

war1 already mentioned about deleting the outbox.dbx file in case it became corrupted.  Since the message item gets moved into the Sent Items folder after a successful send, it is also possible the "Sent Items.dbx" file is corrupted instead of outbox.dbx.  However, if you delete the "Sent Items.dbx" file then the record of all previously sent e-mails is lost.  Copy the entire folder containing the .dbx files to a temp location, like under the %temp% path so you will still have the old "Sent Items.dbx" file (but also have all the .dbx files as a complete message store since a message store path is what you will later point to).  Then delete the "Sent Items.dbx" file (and outbox.dbx file) and restest sending e-mails using OE.  If that works, now you can try to import the old sent e-mails by using the File -> Import -> Message menu, selecting "Microsoft Outlook Express 6", enable "Import mail from an OE6 store directory", and point to where you just previously saved a temp copy of the entire folder that had the .dbx files.  As I recall, you cannot get OE to import based on a particular .dbx file but instead have to point to a path for a message store (i.e., the folder containing all the .dbx files).  

The user might've configured OE to *not* "Save copy of sent messages in the 'Sent Items' folder".  In that case, the copy of the message in the Outbox must get deleted after a successful send.  But if the "Deleted Items.dbx" file is corrupt then OE cannot move (not delete) the item from outbox.dbx to get it over to "Deleted Items.dbx".  So you could try deleting the "Deleted Items.dbx" file to have OE recreate it when you next load OE.

Note that it might not just be an anti-virus that interfered with OE's operation by using a transparent proxy to interrogate your e-mail traffic.  It is also possible the user installed other security or protection software that interrogates e-mail traffic, like an anti-spam program.  Even a HIPS (host intrusion protection system) security program, like some firewalls that include HIPS, could affect OE when trying to access its .dbx files.  Although some security software remains active, you might try rebooting into Windows' Safe Mode to try to not load all of those protection programs and retest sending e-mails from OE.
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Author Comment

by:Compservices
ID: 21947238
Bump, been delayed getting to this, should have an answer in the next day or two

MIke
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Author Comment

by:Compservices
ID: 21974507
Good morning, below is a log file of two messages sent, although I blieve they were sent twice while this logging was on.

Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1807
SMTP Log started at 07/10/2008 08:27:18
SMTP: 08:27:18 [rx] 220 hrndva-omtalb.mail.rr.com ESMTP Welcome to Road Runner. WARNING: *** FOR AUTHORIZED USE ONLY! ***
SMTP: 08:27:18 [tx] EHLO un007MikeF
SMTP: 08:27:18 [rx] 250-hrndva-omtalb.mail.rr.com
SMTP: 08:27:18 [rx] 250-HELP
SMTP: 08:27:18 [rx] 250-VRFY
SMTP: 08:27:18 [rx] 250-XREMOTEQUEUE
SMTP: 08:27:18 [rx] 250-ETRN
SMTP: 08:27:18 [rx] 250-PIPELINING
SMTP: 08:27:18 [rx] 250-DSN
SMTP: 08:27:18 [rx] 250-8BITMIME
SMTP: 08:27:18 [rx] 250 SIZE 30996480
SMTP: 08:27:18 [tx] MAIL FROM:  
SMTP: 08:27:18 [rx] 250 Sender  Ok
SMTP: 08:27:18 [tx] RCPT TO:  
SMTP: 08:27:18 [rx] 250 Recipient  Ok
SMTP: 08:27:18 [tx] DATA
SMTP: 08:27:19 [rx] 354 Ok Send data ending with .
SMTP: 08:28:24 [tx]
.
SMTP: 08:28:28 [rx] 250 Message received: 20080710152127.DGIM9567.hrndva-omta05.mail.rr.com@un007MikeF
SMTP: 08:28:28 [tx] QUIT
SMTP: 08:28:29 [rx] 221 hrndva-omtalb.mail.rr.com ESMTP server closing connection
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 220 hrndva-omtalb.mail.rr.com ESMTP Welcome to Road Runner. WARNING: *** FOR AUTHORIZED USE ONLY! ***
SMTP: 08:29:20 [tx] EHLO un007MikeF
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 250-hrndva-omtalb.mail.rr.com
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 250-HELP
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 250-VRFY
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 250-XREMOTEQUEUE
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 250-ETRN
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 250-PIPELINING
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 250-DSN
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 250-8BITMIME
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 250 SIZE 30996480
SMTP: 08:29:20 [tx] MAIL FROM:  
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 250 Sender  Ok
SMTP: 08:29:20 [tx] RCPT TO:  
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 250 Recipient  Ok
SMTP: 08:29:20 [tx] DATA
SMTP: 08:29:20 [rx] 354 Ok Send data ending with .
SMTP: 08:30:26 [tx]
.
SMTP: 08:30:31 [rx] 250 Message received: 20080710152328.NPCL29555.hrndva-omta02.mail.rr.com@un007MikeF
SMTP: 08:30:31 [tx] RSET
SMTP: 08:30:31 [rx] 250 Ok resetting state
SMTP: 08:30:31 [tx] MAIL FROM:  
SMTP: 08:30:31 [rx] 250 Sender  Ok
SMTP: 08:30:31 [tx] RCPT TO:  
SMTP: 08:30:31 [rx] 250 Recipient  Ok
SMTP: 08:30:31 [tx] DATA
SMTP: 08:30:32 [rx] 354 Ok Send data ending with .
SMTP: 08:30:46 [tx]
.
SMTP: 08:30:51 [rx] 250 Message received: 20080710152439.NQER29555.hrndva-omta02.mail.rr.com@un007MikeF
SMTP: 08:30:51 [tx] QUIT
SMTP: 08:30:51 [rx] 221 hrndva-omtalb.mail.rr.com ESMTP server closing connection
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 220 hrndva-omtalb.mail.rr.com ESMTP Welcome to Road Runner. WARNING: *** FOR AUTHORIZED USE ONLY! ***
SMTP: 08:31:38 [tx] EHLO un007MikeF
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 250-hrndva-omtalb.mail.rr.com
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 250-HELP
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 250-VRFY
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 250-XREMOTEQUEUE
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 250-ETRN
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 250-PIPELINING
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 250-DSN
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 250-8BITMIME
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 250 SIZE 30996480
SMTP: 08:31:38 [tx] MAIL FROM:  
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 250 Sender  Ok
SMTP: 08:31:38 [tx] RCPT TO:  
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 250 Recipient  Ok
SMTP: 08:31:38 [tx] DATA
SMTP: 08:31:38 [rx] 354 Ok Send data ending with .
SMTP: 08:32:43 [tx]
.
SMTP: 08:32:48 [rx] 250 Message received: 20080710152545.TSXC8838.hrndva-omta03.mail.rr.com@un007MikeF
SMTP: 08:32:48 [tx] RSET
SMTP: 08:32:48 [rx] 250 Ok resetting state
SMTP: 08:32:48 [tx] MAIL FROM:  
SMTP: 08:32:48 [rx] 250 Sender  Ok
SMTP: 08:32:48 [tx] RCPT TO:  
SMTP: 08:32:48 [rx] 250 Recipient  Ok
SMTP: 08:32:48 [tx] DATA
SMTP: 08:32:48 [rx] 354 Ok Send data ending with .
SMTP: 08:33:02 [tx]
.
SMTP: 08:33:07 [rx] 250 Message received: 20080710152655.TTSP8838.hrndva-omta03.mail.rr.com@un007MikeF
SMTP: 08:33:07 [tx] QUIT
SMTP: 08:33:07 [rx] 221 hrndva-omtalb.mail.rr.com ESMTP server closing connection
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 21975172
Compservices, did you try the suggestions that I posted?
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Expert Comment

by:Vanguard_LH
ID: 21975226
If 2 e-mails were expected to get sent, there were 5 that were actually sent to the SMTP mail host.  Below shows just the transmissions out from the e-mail client since all responses from the SMTP mail host were okay and as expected.

----- Start of 1st mail session -----
SMTP: 08:27:18 [tx] EHLO un007MikeF
SMTP: 08:27:18 [tx] MAIL FROM:  
SMTP: 08:27:18 [tx] RCPT TO:  
SMTP: 08:27:18 [tx] DATA
SMTP: 08:28:24 [tx] .
SMTP: 08:28:28 [tx] QUIT
----- End of 1st mail session -----


----- Start of 2nd mail session -----
SMTP: 08:29:20 [tx] EHLO un007MikeF
SMTP: 08:29:20 [tx] MAIL FROM:  
SMTP: 08:29:20 [tx] RCPT TO:  
SMTP: 08:29:20 [tx] DATA
SMTP: 08:30:26 [tx] .

SMTP: 08:30:31 [tx] RSET  <-- E-mail client aborts, then resends

SMTP: 08:30:31 [tx] MAIL FROM:  
SMTP: 08:30:31 [tx] RCPT TO:  
SMTP: 08:30:31 [tx] DATA
SMTP: 08:30:46 [tx] .
SMTP: 08:30:51 [tx] QUIT
----- End of 2nd mail session -----


----- Start of 3rd mail session -----
SMTP: 08:31:38 [tx] EHLO un007MikeF
SMTP: 08:31:38 [tx] MAIL FROM:  
SMTP: 08:31:38 [tx] RCPT TO:  
SMTP: 08:31:38 [tx] DATA
SMTP: 08:32:43 [tx] .

SMTP: 08:32:48 [tx] RSET  <-- E-mail client aborts, then resends

SMTP: 08:32:48 [tx] MAIL FROM:  
SMTP: 08:32:48 [tx] RCPT TO:  
SMTP: 08:32:48 [tx] DATA
SMTP: 08:33:02 [tx] .
SMTP: 08:33:07 [tx] QUIT
----- End of 3rd mail session -----

Because the e-mails were sent to the same recipient and because RoadRunner doesn't mention the total bytes received after the DATA command, there's no way to differentiate one e-mail from another in the log.  

You sure there were only 2 e-mails that got sent?  There are 3 mail sessions (noted by the QUIT command).  It looks like 3 e-mails got sent, not 2.

1st mail session:
  Starts at 08:27:18
  End at 08:28:28

2nd mail session:
  Starts at 08:29:20 (52 seconds after 1st session ends)
  Ends at 08:30:51

3rd mail session:
  Starts at 08:31:38 (47 seconds after 2nd session ends)
  Ends at 08:33:07

These mail sessions are way too close to each other.  What is the mail poll interval the user has configured in the e-mail client?  It should not be less than 5 minutes.  If a mail session is in progress but the e-mail client is configured to perform another mail poll before the current one has completed then the e-mail client will step atop its own mail session currently in progress.

Because the e-mail was sent the same recipient and with no size info back from the SMTP mail host after the DATA command, I can only guess at what happened.  It looks like the 1st mail session was okay in that only 1 copy of that e-mail got sent.  The 1st mail session started, the e-mail client sent the e-mail, and the mail session ended.  It's what happens in the next 2 mail sessions that looks odd.

In both the 2nd and 3rd mail sessions, the SMTP mail host sent back an equivalent +OK status after completion of the DATA command (when the "." line got sent to mark the end of the data that was sent).  However, then the e-mail client issues a RSET (reset) command and resends the e-mail again.  That's why it looks like there 3 e-mails sent: the 1st one sent okay, the 2nd one sent okay but TWICE, and the 3rd one sent okay but was sent TWICE.  So 3 e-mail were intended to get sent but 5 actually got sent.

The RSET command specifies that the current mail transaction is to be aborted.  Yet the SMTP mail host sent back a status that indicates it received the message okay after the DATA command ended.  So the SMTP mail host got the message but the e-mail client thought there was a problem, tried to abort the transaction (but too late), and the e-mail client resent that message.  The SMTP mail host does *not* close the mail session after the RSET command (as it would after receiving the QUIT command) because the e-mail client can then retry sending the message.

You sure the user isn't seeing any error messages in the e-mail client?  I would think that if the e-mail client issues the RSET (reset) command to abort sending a message (but which happened too late) then it would also display an error to the user.  It could be that not all of the message got transmitted during the DATA command but the SMTP mail host got some data and got the "." line denoting the end of the message so it looked okay to the SMTP mail host.

It doesn't look like 2 e-mails got sent.  It looks like 3 e-mails got sent.  First one went okay.  Second and third ones were received okay (as far as the SMTP mail host was concerned) but the e-mail client thinks there was an error so it sent a RSET command and then resent those 2nd and 3rd e-mails.

First have the user increase their mail poll interval so it is a minimum of 5 minutes, unless they are in the habit of sending huge e-mails then make it a minimum of 10 minutes.  If that doesn't help, have them uninstall AVG8 and retest.  Also have them disable any other software that interrogates their e-mail, like anti-spam and anti-malware software.
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Author Comment

by:Compservices
ID: 21978999
Thanks for all of that input, I'll go back, remove AVG until we fix this. I'll change the polling(Send/recieve time to 10 minuets. Then I'll delete this log and start a new log, I'll create and send one message and see what we log. Hope that will help us get a better picture.

Mike

P.S> War1 Yes Sir I did try them and thank you.

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Author Comment

by:Compservices
ID: 21999059
Good mornig, well wouldn't you know the users system is not generating the error today.
No Worries I'm sure it will very soon. I'll post ASAP
MIke
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Author Comment

by:Compservices
ID: 22016248
Good morning folks,
Well interesting enough the problem has mysteriously not occured anymore.
I did notice that the users Sendfile was at 2 gig's and that's awfuly large for outlook express. I have had them clean the folders up and and then taught them how to rename and save the folders for future reference if needed.

I'm going to split the points off to each of you and say thanks for all your help and time.

MIke R
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Expert Comment

by:Vanguard_LH
ID: 22018179
2GB for a .dbx file is not only large, it is TOO LARGE.  OE will only support .dbx files up to 2GB in size.  Warn that client that they are lucky that they didn't lose e-mails.  Going over 2GB will cause corruption and then hoping that DBxtract/DBxpress can yank out some of the items when OE won't work anymore.  2GB is the max size for each .dbx file.  It isn't just a limitation in Outlook with its ASCII .pst files.  It is also a limitation in OE.
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