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SMTP won't send Thunderbird 2.0.0.23

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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 1:23 pm

I've used Thunderbird, KompoZer (and still bristle at that stupid name), and Firefox since back when it was Netscape in 1999, and have to use Thunderbird 2.0.0.23 due to my operating system.

In all those years, I never had any SMTP send problems that weren't due to problems with the ISP mail server being down, but starting several months ago, some messages would fail to send sometimes, and if there were any attachments, they were guaranteed to fail, but if tried again and again, they would send eventually.

If it were 10mb of attachments, no chance it would go through on the first try, but would after a few tries.

With 25mb of attachments, it would take 50+ tries and still maybe fail and I'd give up and have to break it into several mails.

Earlier I thought it was an ISP problem, but switching to one of my other SMTP sending profiles at different domains and different ISPs, same thing. So I know it was a problem with Thunderbird, which my ISP had first suggested, but I dismissed, then they agreed and said it was because I was still using POP3, and switching to IMAP would solve it.

I've recently had some errors with not being able to move some messages out of sent and into one of the other four versions of sent (like sent-3/3/1999-to-12/31/2009, which is how I solved some space problems before), "The folder Sent-7-23-2005-to-12-31-2016 is full, and can't hold any more messages. To make room for more messages, delete any old or unwanted mail and compact the folder.", so I think it is related to this.

I can't recall the details, but I think there is some limitation to the MBOX format that limits it to a very, very small number of message or disk space. I have over 250,000 messages in all folders combined. If this sounds like a lot to someone, well, in computer science, it's not. What if the power utility in a city of 4 million was using a database that could only have 100,000 users? Tell them to go solar? Or a hard drive that couldn't have more than 100,000 files on it? Nonsense. No reason why there can't be millions of entries.

I've tried in recent years to minimize the disk space by NOT putting any photo attachments on mails, instead making a second e-mail that has the same subject field and says (photos) so that I can later delete those from sent and delete them from the trash before compacting regularly.

Today, it's freshly compacted, I've yet again moved the sent messages out to multiple subfolders of sent, and it still happens.

The message box that pops up after a few minutes of trying to send is:

Send Message Error

Sending of message failed.
The message could not be sent because connecting to SMTP service (one of my domains).com failed. The server may be unavailable or is refusing SMTP connections. Please verify that your SMTP server setting is correct and try again, or else contact your network administrator.

And this is after getting to 40% or 70% or 90% or more on sending. It has CLEARLY made contact and held it.

The most confusing aspects of this are how if you keep trying, it will work. That would not be the case, for example trying to enter a 100 in a field that only goes up to 9, and that the error it is giving me is clearly wrong.

I searched here and could not find an answer.

If anyone knows the solution or knows where it is written, please let me know.

Thank you.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 1:50 pm

Moving to Thunderbird Support as no bug has been identified here.

It seems odd to think that a bug in Thunderbird Thunderbird is causing problems when the problems appears after a long period of use and you haven't changed versions or settings. The fact that you are eventually able to send (in most cases) suggests that Thunderbird itself is working properly but can't hand off the message to the SMTP server.

Your ISP's suggestion that changing from POP to IMAP would solve sending problems is just ludicrous! Both POP and IMAP deal with inbound messages but the server involved with sending is the same for both, the SMTP server. In fact, IMAP accounts can have more performance issues with sending than a POP account if Thunderbird is set to store the sent messages in the Sent folder on the IMAP server. That adds a potential lag as Thunderbird awaits the server's copying of the message to that Sent folder.
What is the target for storing the outgoing messages in the account? Find out using menu path Tools->Account Settings->Copies & Folders.

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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 1:57 pm

Thanks for your reply DanRaisch.

Using the same version for at least 6 years with no changes in settings, mostly no changes for over 10 years, I wouldn't think that suddenly I'd have to change settings or versions to make it continue working the same.

When sending messages, automatically:

Place a copy in

"Sent" Folder on:

Local Folders

(and keep drafts in drafts and templates in templates)

DanRaisch
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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 2:30 pm

Using the same version for at least 6 years with no changes in settings, mostly no changes for over 10 years, I wouldn't think that suddenly I'd have to change settings or versions to make it continue working the same.

You missed my point. The fact that you have been using the same installation for 10 years would seem to prove that the new problem is NOT a bug in the program. Instead, it suggests that the issue is with some element of the profile.
How many messages are currently in the Sent folder under Local Folders?

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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 2:41 pm

I'm sorry, yes, and I think I might have posted it in the wrong category, bugs.

But the known inability to handle, for example, 50,000 messages in the Inbox is a form of a bug, in that if it were written better, it wouldn't have that limitation.

I've always used the latest one I can, but the box running it is Windows 98SE and can't run anything newer. As of last year, this prevented me from sending from gmail and one other online mail, but otherwise still good until this problem sprung up around May 2018.

Well, literally there are only 9 messages in Sent because I dumped out out to others before posting this, as my last try to fix it, but Sent is sort of a tree of subfolders, there are 7 subfolders from it, with 1,343, 491, 11,547, 11,434, 17,800, 158, and 80 messages in them, or around 43,000 in all. It takes about 70 minutes to compact the whole thing.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 3:01 pm

It has a limitation on the number of messages that can be in one folder without performance impact because all messages in a given folder are stored in one mbox format file on the hard drive. That's not necessarily the case with an IMAP account as the user has the option to store or not store copies of messages on the local system. If messages are stored on the server, the only limitation on the number of messages in a given folder would be imposed on the server side, not by Thunderbird.

Each of the sub-folders of Sent under Local Folders is totally separate in terms of the number of messages it contains. That is, the contents of the sub-folders does not count in the number of messages in the parent Sent folder.

Try the following:

Create a new sub-folder of Local Folders and move those 9 messages from the Sent folder of Local Folders to that new sub-folder.

Close Thunderbird. Use Windows explorer to navigate to the profile folder ( http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Folder#Thunderbird ) and locate the "Local Folders" sub-directory of the "Mail" directory. Find and delete file Sent and the file Sent.msf. You must have "View hidden files and folders" on http://spywarewarrior.com/viewtopic.php?t=272 and you need to set "hide extensions for known file types" off (just below View Hidden) if you are using Windows.

Launch Thunderbird and try sending a message. IF you don't see any performance improvement, you might try changing the target for storing Sent messages to the Sent folder of the IMAP account.

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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 3:13 pm

Thanks.

Just to be clear, I don't have IMAP. I've never had it, never even tried it. A tech at my ISP just said POP3 was the problem. I didn't change just because they said it. I use POP3, it's fine for me.

I NEED to have all the messages on my own hard drive that I can clone to another hard drive weekly.

I've already had one ISP shut down unexpectedly and another get outed on the lie about daily tape backups of all servers, the newest old copy they could restore was over 9 months old. So I keep them. I also don't like to access things over the internet if I could just have them.

I'll give it a try.

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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 3:51 pm

Good luck.

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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 5:14 pm

I suggest you read http://kb.mozillazine.org/IMAP_backup sometime. You could configure a IMAP account to only download headers for your messages to the hard disk (to improve performance) and periodically use a utility program such as IMAPSize to make incremental backups (the next backup only backups any messages that haven't been already backed up) using *.eml files that would get stored outside of your profile. IMAPSize will run under W98.

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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 5:24 pm

DanRaisch, okay, I did all that okay, no problem. Was a little alarming to see all my 43,000 messages not existing in the sent subfolders because there was no sent, but sending out a test message made sent appear, which I'm sure you know, and the subfolders reappeared then.

I tried to send out about 8mb of photos, it made it about 65% and got the error two times out of two.

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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 5:29 pm

Tanstaafl, thanks for the suggestion, I will look into it. It's good to know there is some option for it.

I somehow feel there was a long message here that appeared and was deleted before I read it.

I'm sorry to see that my local computer/software isn't robust enough to handle the e-mail of one person, but the shit Linux box/software my ISP has can handle it and the mail of about a jillion people and companies all on one box.

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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 5:53 pm

"I somehow feel there was a long message here that appeared and was deleted before I read it. "

I deleted two short paragraphs in my last post shortly after submitting it, suggesting you look into switching to tiny core linux if you mainly use W98 for a browser and email client. Tiny core linux will run on a 486DX, though its recommended you have a pentium 2 or better. It should run much faster than W98 because its so lean. Its designed for really old PCs. It was forked (originally based on) from Damn Small Linux.

"Tiny Core Linux is a 12 MB graphical Linux desktop. It is based on a recent Linux kernel, BusyBox, Tiny X, Fltk, and Flwm. The core runs entirely in memory and boots very quickly. The user has complete control over which applications and/or additional hardware to have supported, be it for a desktop, a nettop, an appliance or server; selectable from the project's online repository. " from https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=tinycore . That web page also claims the latest version of Thunderbird (60.2.1) runs on it.

If you do try that I'd suggest uninstalling the bundled Lightning (calendar) add-on and disabling global search/indexing due to a slow CPU. ReminderFox is a much lighter weight calendar add-on you could use if you wanted a calendar.

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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 6:11 pm

Thank you.

Do you somehow suspect I am having a lack of performance problem on the PC? I wouldn't have suspected it, or that it could cause lack of comms with SMTP.

BTW, I'm not using a 5150 or anything like that, it's an Intel motherboard with a 2ghz Pentium 4 and 1gb of RAM.

That's significantly faster than the 450mhz Pentium III/64mb RAM I started using 98SE with in 1999, especially considering that 70% of the software/drivers and even hardware (scanner) is the same as then, and it can open up any program it has or any file via any program that opens it faster than any computer that has been in the store in years. I'm using mid-2000s 80-wire IDE drives in removable carriers (have 50+ of them used in backup cloning). After a reboot, which is something I typically only do 1-2 times/month, I can set my eyes on 50 photos in 20 seconds, try that on Windows 10 and whatever crap image viewer they copied off ACDSee.

The major drawbacks I have experienced are just that it doesn't run a current web browser so I only do light web use on it, I can't upgrade the Firefox on it (and KernelEX is a lie and a scam run by idiots).

tanstaafl
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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 6:24 pm

I wouldn't expect the performance of your hardware (PC) to create the problems you are running into.

"Earlier I thought it was an ISP problem, but switching to one of my other SMTP sending profiles at different domains and different ISPs, same thing. So I know it was a problem with Thunderbird, which my ISP had first suggested, but I dismissed, then they agreed and said it was because I was still using POP3, and switching to IMAP would solve it."

Both POP3 and IMAP accounts using the SMTP protocol to send messages. They'd normally use the same SMTP server. I'm skeptical Thunderbird is causing your sending problems. It would be a different story if you had problems getting new messages.

If you have similar problems using different ISPs, from the same physical location and PC, I'd investigate your connection to the Internet. I'd start by running a speed test such as https://www.speedtest.net and see if you're getting the numbers your ISP claims you should have. I'd also think about what hardware might have developed a problem. For example when I used to have DSL the phone cord from the DSL modem eventually became flaky, causing lots of intermittent problems.

Are you using DSL, a WiFi connection, a cable modem or .....?

I suggest you also sign up for a Gmail POP account and see if you have similar problems using it. If you are using your ISP as your email provider one possibility is that your connection to the SMTP server is fine, but their SMTP server is flaky/overloaded. They're not going to admit that. ISPs are generally poor email providers because they view email as just a cost center.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Gmail

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Post Posted October 5th, 2018, 6:35 pm

I have three profiles in my SMTP server settings, one is obsolete, so really just two. They are at different webhosts in different states, though similarly priced and probably similarly equipped.

I can switch from one to the other and back, as I did for the first time today before asking for help, and it's the same thing. There's not no chance it will send a 5mb or 10mb mail, it's just a low chance, and 10-20 tries will get it through.

My home ISP is sadly the lowest end thing for this area and still too much money. Almost $28 on top of normal landline service for DSL Extreme 768K DSL, and yes, I've recently had my doubts about it even being that. Would totally believe that they are interrupting it, or that a piece of my own hardware is. Which is a Linksys 1/4 router + WiFi with a pretty powerful signal I like, going to a generic PCI NIC. A cable modem here would cost me triple, minimum, and constantly raise prices. This, I don't really understand why it's not a competitive environment.

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