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Deleted email re-appearing in IMAP inbox

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eddi2005
 
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Post Posted May 28th, 2008, 1:07 am

I'm using an IMAP account Thunderbird 2 on XP professional. The account is shared between a number of people.

After deleting a message and clicking 'Get Mail', the deleted message re-appears in the in-box for that account. This happens regardless of whether the email has been placed in the deleted items folder or permanently deleted. I've also tried changing the server settings to mark emails as deleted and purge on exit, but still no joy. This is happening to more than one email.

Can anyone cast any light on this?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted May 28th, 2008, 9:08 am

tools -> account settings -> server settings -> "cleanup (expunge) inbox on exit" and "empty trash on exit" doesn't compact the inbox and trash folders until you exit Thunderbird. I assume "when I delete a message" is set to "move it to the trash folder".

What type of IMAP server are you using?

Does this problem only occur with messages that other users have opened, or does it appear to be random?

Does the deleted message also reappear in webmail (can you see it using a browser) or only in Thunderbird?

What version does "help -> about mozilla thunderbird" report?

Guest
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Post Posted May 29th, 2008, 1:03 am

Thanks for the reply.

I've tried having "when I delete a message" set to "move it to the trash folder", and to "mark as deleted". When set to the latter clicking 'Get Mail' simply removes the deleted mark from the email currently in the inbox.

Thunderbird version is: 2.0.0.14

IMAP server in use is: Courier-IMAP-v4.0.2

The issue appears random, though most prevalent for the first recipient to read the problem email. Currently it also appears to be intermittent, and I cannot answer the web mail question at the moment as there are no emails causing a problem right now. Has it been known for there to be caching issues with Thunderbird?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted May 29th, 2008, 1:54 am

See the first section (maximum number of server connections to cache) in http://kb.mozillazine.org/IMAP:_advance ... figuration

I've never seen too high a setting cause your symptoms, but it can cause wierd intermittent/random problems.

eddi2005
 
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Post Posted June 3rd, 2008, 5:46 am

Many thanks, I'll give that a go.

Roby
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Post Posted June 11th, 2008, 7:17 am

We here have a similar problem: email messages deleted (or moved) from the inbox keep reappearing once you restart Thunderbird. This happens only if you don't have the "Clean up (Expunge) Inbox on Exit" option checked, but if you don't have it checked, it always happen, on every client (Windows - Linux) we have. The problem shows up just with Thunderbird, and just for the Inbox. If you compact your Inbox, the deleted messages won't reappear, but if you restart Thunderbird without compacting, the messages reappear, and you have to delete them again and compact Inbox (I mean, if you just delete the messages, restart Thunderbird, and compact the Inbox WITHOUT deleting them the second time, they will stay there anyway).
I thought at first this to be a server issue, but Squirrellmail and Apple Mail just work.

First time for me on this forum, please help!!!
Thank you in advance!

tanstaafl
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Post Posted June 11th, 2008, 11:49 am

It sounds like you're not compacting the folders often enough. Compacting isn't meant as a way to reduce the size of the folder (though it does that as a sideffect), its preventative maintenance to keep things working. There is more than one way to automate compacting the folder(s).

The inbox is most vulnerable as corruption requires frequent deleting/moving of messages in a folder with a lot of messages, and most people don't bother to keep the inbox folder relatively empty.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Keep_it_working_-_Thunderbird

bkennelly
 
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Post Posted June 11th, 2008, 11:57 am

Roby wrote:We here have a similar problem: email messages deleted (or moved) from the inbox keep reappearing once you restart Thunderbird. This happens only if you don't have the "Clean up (Expunge) Inbox on Exit" option checked, but if you don't have it checked, it always happen, on every client (Windows - Linux) we have. The problem shows up just with Thunderbird, and just for the Inbox. If you compact your Inbox, the deleted messages won't reappear, but if you restart Thunderbird without compacting, the messages reappear, and you have to delete them again and compact Inbox

It is possible that the server just does not preserve the \Deleted flag across sessions, but I think that is unlikely.

Right-click on the Inbox folder, and select "Properties". Look at the "Sharing" tab, to see if it lists permissions, and verify the results.

What kind of IMAP server is it?

Roby
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Post Posted June 12th, 2008, 7:36 am

Thank you for your answers!
The Sharing tab says: "This server does not support shared folders"
Our server is uw-imapd, version 7:2007~dfsg-1 (The server distribution is Ubuntu 8.04)
To tanstaafl: I don't think this is the case, because it happens on a regular basis, on every user account I tried, even if I compact the Inbox just before I delete a mail, if I restart the client I keep seeing it.
How can I recognize the deleted flag on the mbox file on the server? Because I tried to search in the mbox file on the server, but i never saw such flag on any mail.

bkennelly
 
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Post Posted June 12th, 2008, 8:54 am

The problem is on the server side; the \Deleted flag is not being maintained across sessions.

Do the message statuses (Starred, read) persist across sessions?
Does the problem occur only in the Inbox, or in all folders?

Roby
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Post Posted June 13th, 2008, 1:03 am

The problem is just in the Inbox. (I recently found 2 users' inbox that were corrupted, I don't know if the problem is related). The message statuses follows the same rule: if I compact the Inbox or leave the "Expunge.." option checked before I exit Thunderbird, they persist, otherwise they don't. This also just happens in the Inbox. If it matters, on the server side I'm also using clamd via MailScanner (not the Hoary version, which doesn't handle clamd) and Spamassassin via procmail.
I suspected this was a server issue, so Squirrell and Apple Mail aren't affected because they expunge after every other command (so I suppose). I checked the log for first, but found nothing strange, apart for some lost mailbox lock messages (which I think is normal when a mail client uses more than 1 session, which is Thunderbird's case)

Roby
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Post Posted June 13th, 2008, 1:52 am

I found out the deleted flag is X-Status: D
If i delete a mail in a folder, when I exit Thunderbird it gets this X-Status: D, while if the deleted mail lies in the mbox (Inbox), the flag isn't set. I guess this isn't entirely true, because if I expunge the Inbox the mail gets deleted, I can only assume Thunderbird sets the flag, then something makes it reset to its previous state. This seems to be true for the other flags too, so it definetly seems a server issue. Anyway I'm clueless about what could be the cause.

bkennelly
 
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Post Posted June 13th, 2008, 7:55 am

The flag is probably held in memory on the server until the session ends, then written, to save the write overhead. (If you EXPUNGE, the messages can be deleted without first writing the flag.)

It appears that something is preventing the X-Status header from being written. Ensure that the server is working from the mbox INBOX file in the home directory. IIRC, that is the default, but can be changed to work directly from the spool.
You could try storing the mail in a different format on the server (mbx or maildir).

At any rate, it is not a Thunderbird problem, but the 'Expunge Inbox on exit' setting will work around it. If you do not want to lose deleted message when you exit, use the 'move to trash' setting.

Roby
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Post Posted June 17th, 2008, 1:40 am

This thread http://objectmix.com/imap/201451-uw-ima ... gated.html is very interesting, my case seems to be a little different, anyways it gave me some test ideas. I definitely agree with you bkennelly: I think the problem is on the server. My last test was setting "Maximum number of server conncections to cache" to 1, so that when I deleted/starred a mail and then changed my view to another folder, Thunderbird sent a CLOSE imap command to the server, because it couldn't open another session to work on the other folder. Rebooting Thunderbird, the mail remained flagged/deleted. So the problem seems to be that if the server doesn't receive a CHECK, CLOSE, EXPUNGE, or LOGOUT command, it loses its flags. What really puzzles me is the fact that this happens just for the Inbox.
Bkennelly: I don't think I can change the spool/mbox setting you're talking about, uw-imapd has not even a configuration file (altough this could explain the fact that the problem is Inbox-only).
As Thunderbird isn't to blame, this is not the best place to discuss about the problem, so I filed a bug here https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+sour ... bug/240373 please let me know here or there if you find out something more about this, it's not a crucial problem but it's irritating!!

mikolajek
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Post Posted June 15th, 2010, 6:54 am

I believe it's a bug in refreshing local mailboxes - I used to have the same issue and when I turned off downloading messages - it works like a charm - deleted messages ARE deleted and stopped reapperaing after cleaning/purging.

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