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Recovering Lost Emails

Posted on 2011-02-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have an SBS server. The info@ account was not setup by accident. Now we have lost a weeks worth of emails.

If an email address does not exist on the system where would those emails go? Is there a way of finding those emails?
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Question by:ftsos
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by:ajaykerala
ajaykerala earned 100 total points
ID: 34959488
either it will be returned with undelivered error to sender or if you have catch all acc then it might be inside there
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Alan Hardisty earned 300 total points
ID: 34959491
If someone emails an address that doesn't exist the message will bounce.

Now you have it setup, you will have to ask people to resend the messages, assuming you know who they are!

They are not recoverable because you didn't receive them, unless your mail is sent via a 3rd party in which case, they might have a copy.
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by:loki_loki
loki_loki earned 100 total points
ID: 34959503
It depends on how the system has been set up.  Have a chat to your ISP as they may store emails at their site, until they can be delivered to yours.  If not then the mails will be returned as undliverable to the sender.
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Author Comment

by:ftsos
ID: 34960875
Checked with hosting company, and although it says MX backup service on MX records, no such service exists with them and we are not paying for such a service. ery frustrating not being able to retrieve those emails.
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by:ajaykerala
ID: 34961084
u cannot retrieve it would have ended undelivered. check with someone whom u think might have emailed to that id to double confirm.
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by:loki_loki
ID: 34961109
unfortunately I would say that the emails would be lost then.  Do you know of anybody that tried emailing that address?  Can you confirm that they got an non delivery report?  Again, depending on the congiuration they may not have got one.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 34964449
If there is no backup service, which it seems you don't, the emails will have bounced back to the senders and they won't be recoverable.

Nothing you can do I am afraid.
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Author Comment

by:ftsos
ID: 34964526
OK Guys.

This is what it seems like: now that the address has been re-setup they are getting more than expected emails all at once. One of my friends said that the emails will try and re-send up to 4 days, before it stops attempting to deliver. Is this true?
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 34964566
Only if they original delivery is unsuccessful, not successful, but rejected.

If your server was down and uncontactable, then remote servers would retry for the time period they have been configured to retry, but as your server was up and running and the account didn't exist, the messages would be rejected as invalid and no further delivery attempts would be made.

Short answer - they are not going to arrive again unless the people that sent them re-send the messages.

If you try to send me a message to bananas@it-eye.co.uk - it will bounce and you will get a rejection message.

Once you have tried this - post a comment, then I will setup an email address with this address and then I'll post again and then you re-send the original message and it will eventually go through.

That's the same situation you are facing and you can see for yourself the problem and that there is nothing you can do about it.

Alan
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Author Comment

by:ftsos
ID: 34964594
OK Allan. I assume you are right. I have no reason to doubt you. Say they normally recieve 10 emails a day on this account and now they are getting 25 all in the same day. There must be some reason why they are getting some many emails through on the same day!
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 34964611
I can't answer that.  That's not anything that anyone can answer, but one thing is for sure, it is not servers retrying mail that they originally tried to deliver to your missing email address.
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Author Comment

by:ftsos
ID: 34964632
OK. I thought there might be rational explanation out there.
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 34964655
None that I can think of - you must just have a popular email address all of a sudden!
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Author Comment

by:ftsos
ID: 34964688
:) They think I must have done something to recover the emails, and I have had to be honest and say I did not do anything and my explanation is that the failed emails are being re-delivered...but now you are saying that is not possible, I know you are not probably wrong, but for my sake, I hope you are, as this was a close shave.

Thanks all for participation.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ftsos
ID: 34964705
Thanks all.
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 34964711
I will keep my fingers crossed for you that they will be re-delivered, but I know deep down that they won't be, plus if they are, you won't know because the emails will be stamped with the date / time that they are received by your server, not the date / time they were sent.

The only way to now is to look at the email headers for each email, but unfortunately, none of them will show what you are hoping for.

Sorry.
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