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SBS2008 IMAP intermittent - Thunderbird - The connection was refused

Posted on 2014-09-08
Last Modified: 2016-06-13
SBS2008 Server
20 x client on LAN with Thunderbird (lets not discuss this choice) connecting to the Exchange server via IMAP (STARTTLS)

One of the workstations has a issue were several times a day thunderbird report 'The connection was refused'.   Restarting the workstation sometimes solves this.

The event logs on the workstation do not show anything related.
The event logs on the server do not show anything related.

Any ideas?
I don't have much experience with IMAP on Exchange - Maybe there is some tweak to make it work 'correct' ?

Question by:pc-cyt
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 40309676
1 out of 20 having the issue,right? Do you try to create for this user to user IMAP on other machine?
LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 40309677
Most problems with IMAP on Exchange are outside of Exchange. They are usually client related.

Have you got logging enabled on the IMAP server? It isn't enabled by default. That may give you some more information.

Not really much you can do with IMAP configuration wise, it either works or it doesn't in my experience.


Author Comment

ID: 40309820
Ok, let add some more details.  This is new client to me with a setup they have self-managed for a some years, some bits are ok, some setup is ugly.

5 machines were having this issue last week and it seems to be related to an AVG update that requested the machines to reboot.   After the reboot these machines had an issue.   A further two of three reboots seemed to clear the issue.   Since then, AVG has been removed and a bitdefender powered AV has been installed (something I can support).

So 4 machines cured, but this 1 machine still has issues.  AVG removed, still issues.
As a work around I have found a license for Office 2003 in there collection of discs anf have installed Outlook 2003.   This worked first time, but not perfect as old mail and contacts still in Thunderbird.
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Author Comment

ID: 40310018
Let me also add, that one a second workstation is now reporting 'connection refused' when using with Thunderbird/IMAP/STARTTLS

Can you advise how to switch on IMAP logging on the server?
LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 40310110
EMS commands.
This is the TechNet article that explains how.
It is for Exchange 2010, but the commands are the same for 2007.

Be wary of the paths involved, as the logs could get quite large if you are using IMAP a lot.

Mail and Contacts should be in the mailbox, so seen by Outlook 2003. Check the mailbox through OWA to ensure the content is there. If it isn't, then the old client is removing the content, which rather defeats the point of using IMAP.


Author Comment

ID: 40310138
Thanks fo rthe reply.  I did find that docuemnt, but the command will not accept '-ProtocolLogEnabled'

I can get the status tho:

[PS] C:\Windows\System32>Get-ImapSettings | fl

ProtocolName                      : IMAP4
Name                              : 1
MaxCommandSize                    : 10240
ShowHiddenFoldersEnabled          : False
UnencryptedOrTLSBindings          : {:::143,}
SSLBindings                       : {:::993,}
X509CertificateName               : remote.[redacted.name]
Banner                            : The Microsoft Exchange IMAP4 service is rea
LoginType                         : SecureLogin
AuthenticatedConnectionTimeout    : 00:30:00
PreAuthenticatedConnectionTimeout : 00:01:00
MaxConnections                    : 2000
MaxConnectionFromSingleIP         : 2000
MaxConnectionsPerUser             : 64
MessageRetrievalMimeFormat        : BestBodyFormat
ProxyTargetPort                   : 143
CalendarItemRetrievalOption       : iCalendar
OwaServerUrl                      :
EnableExactRFC822Size             : False
AdminDisplayName                  :
ExchangeVersion                   : 0.1 (8.0.535.0)
DistinguishedName                 : CN=1,CN=IMAP4,CN=Protocols,CN=SERVER,CN=Ser
                                    vers,CN=Exchange Administrative Group (FYDI
                                    BOHF23SPDLT),CN=Administrative Groups,CN=Fi
                                    rst Organization,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=S
Identity                          : SERVER\1
Guid                              : 8d655287-a4aa-45ab-94ac-9f4aa274044e
ObjectCategory                    : [redacted].local/Configuration/Schema/ms-Exch-
ObjectClass                       : {top, protocolCfg, protocolCfgIMAP, protoco
WhenChanged                       : 08/09/2014 11:01:07
WhenCreated                       : 04/11/2009 12:07:57
OriginatingServer                 : SERVER.[redacted].local
IsValid                           : True

Author Comment

ID: 40310140
[PS] C:\Windows\System32>Set-ImapSettings -server "server" -ProtocolLogEnabled $true

Set-ImapSettings : A parameter cannot be found that matches parameter name 'Pro
At line:1 char:54
+ Set-ImapSettings -server "server" -ProtocolLogEnabled  <<<< $true
LVL 63

Accepted Solution

Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
ID: 40310161
I don't do much with IMAP so was sure the commands are the same. A quick check on my lab 2007 server shows it is not, it is XML files.

in C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\PopImap

open the file Microsoft.Exchange.IMAP4.exe.config in a text editor.
Near the bottom is the line:
<add key="ProtocolLog" value="false" />

Change it to True.
You can also change the path of the log here as well if you wish.
Save the file, then restart the IMAP service.

Don't forget to disable the log by changing it back to false when you are done.


Author Comment

ID: 40310199
Good find - thanks
I assume the IMAP service will need restarting?
LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 40310285
That is what I said. :-)
"Save the file, then restart the IMAP service. "


Author Comment

ID: 40310373

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