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Thread: Outlook randomly redownloads old emails via POP3

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  1. #1
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    Default Outlook randomly redownloads old emails via POP3

    Over the past couple weeks my Outlook 2007 clients have been randomly redownloading all of the old mail on the server. They are configured to connect via POP3 and to leave 30 days of mail on the server. It has only affected about 5% of my users but the ones it hits it tends to hit more than once.

    I'm not really sure what is causing this, but I did recently upgrade Zimbra from 5.0.2 to 5.0.9 and also upgrade from Symantec Corporate AV 10.0 to Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0 (settings were imported from the old management server so the scanning levels are the same). Both of these were done about 2 weeks before I started having this issue, so I'm not sure either are actually related.

    Any thoughts?
    Jason Litka
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  2. #2
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    Not specific to Zimbra, but just a POP3 issue in general, if a user connects via POP3 and does not let the download of new messages complete the next time you connect it will download all the previous messages again. This can happen sometimes if a user has a large message on the POP3 server. It is not always apparent that Outlook is still downloading messages. How are your users connecting up? I used to see this a lot, prior to our move to Zimbra when we used POP3, with our Outside Sales force connecting remotely over slower links.

    As an aside, if you are going to be using Zimbra you really should consider at the very least switching to IMAP. You really lose out on a lot of the Zimbra functionality using it as a plain old POP3 server. But this is just my opinion.

  3. #3
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    I'd love to use IMAP for all my users (I actually use a combination of POP3 and IMAP for myself) but some of my users have HUGE (20GB+) mailboxes in Outlook and keeping all that mail on a remote server, when all they really need is the last 30 days worth in webmail, would be difficult and wasteful.

    All the users are here onsite (webmail is used when out of the building) and I've got an underutilized bonded 4xT1 for connectivity.

    I just talked to one of the users who was affected and he said that his computer immediately started downloading all the mail again when he first opened Outlook. Is it possible that Outlook would lose track of what emails had been downloaded if it was closed during a send/receive? I would think that it would finish before closing if you tried (and, if I remember correctly, it does make you want).
    Jason Litka
    Utter Ramblings

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    I just talked to one of the users who was affected and he said that his computer immediately started downloading all the mail again when he first opened Outlook. Is it possible that Outlook would lose track of what emails had been downloaded if it was closed during a send/receive? I would think that it would finish before closing if you tried (and, if I remember correctly, it does make you want).
    Don't have much experience with Outlook 2007, but I'm pretty sure Outlook 2000 and even 2003 would let you shutdown the app right in the middle of a send/receive without any warning. (I could be wrong on this though.)

    So, is the a problem that you can reproduce or is it just kind of hit and miss, even for the users that have run into it? Because if you can reproduce the problem you should be able to check the logs for the POP3 session. Might give you clues as to what is going on. I would still lean towards it being a POP3 connection session ending before it was complete.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by soxfan View Post
    Don't have much experience with Outlook 2007, but I'm pretty sure Outlook 2000 and even 2003 would let you shutdown the app right in the middle of a send/receive without any warning. (I could be wrong on this though.)

    So, is the a problem that you can reproduce or is it just kind of hit and miss, even for the users that have run into it? Because if you can reproduce the problem you should be able to check the logs for the POP3 session. Might give you clues as to what is going on. I would still lean towards it being a POP3 connection session ending before it was complete.
    Nope, I've yet to be able to reproduce it on my machine, and for the users it hits, it does it fairly randomly. They also typically don't tell me for several hours after the fact (if not days), making checking the logs difficult. We run a fairly loose shop here and most people just fix their own problems...
    Jason Litka
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  6. #6
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    Default Happens to me all the time

    I can't figure this out either. I have Outlook 2007 that I connect through POP3 to a webmail. Maybe once a week I will do a send/receive and out of nowhere it starts grabbing all my old emails on the server, all 2k. This does seem to have something to do with not allowing a back-end process to complete but many times I need to close and re-open Outlook to get it to complete a send/receive. Any suggestions as to why my send/receive doesn't work maybe 15% of the time and then when it does maybe 1% of the time it grabs all emails from the server?

  7. #7
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    I eventually figured it out. For me it was a flaky Cisco router that was dropping packets. Once it was replaced by a Nortel everything started working correctly (internet connection was faster too).

    Try checking your packet loss between your computer and your mail server.
    Jason Litka
    Utter Ramblings

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