The Cache: Technology Expert's Forum
 
*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register. September 17, 2019, 05:41:35 PM

Login with username, password and session length


Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Mail IMAP Issue  (Read 6046 times)
dbspeer
n00b
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7


View Profile
« on: August 23, 2007, 07:06:17 AM »

I recently switched my email client on my desktop and my laptop to an IMAP account so that I could take advantage of SpamSieve filtering on my iPhone, which I also use with IMAP. My only problem is when my computer and/or my laptop do not update the IMAP account.

It seems that at some point, I'll find that the IMAP account is several hours behind in checking for mail. I have both my desktop and laptop set to check for new mail every minute, and neither computer set to go to sleep. I even have my desktop set to shut down and restart once a day, just to get Mail to restart so it will "wake" it up.

If anyone has any ideas on why Mail quits updating my IMAP account I'd love to figure out what to do to fix it.

Thanks!
Doug
Logged

No links in signatures please
perkiset
Olde World Hacker
Administrator
Lifer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 10096



View Profile
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2007, 10:04:24 AM »

I recently switched my email client on my desktop and my laptop to an IMAP account so that I could take advantage of SpamSieve filtering on my iPhone, which I also use with IMAP. My only problem is when my computer and/or my laptop do not update the IMAP account.

It seems that at some point, I'll find that the IMAP account is several hours behind in checking for mail. I have both my desktop and laptop set to check for new mail every minute, and neither computer set to go to sleep. I even have my desktop set to shut down and restart once a day, just to get Mail to restart so it will "wake" it up.
So you're using OS-X mail, and it just stops polling? Couple QQs:

Do you get an exclamation point next the that mail account when look at it and it's been dead for a while?
Does it automatically update when you restart it, or does it need some other push?
Did it used to work correctly with POP accounts?
Do you have anything else working on the net that might give you troubles ie., do you have a firewall that might be expiring your  IP lease, and restarting your machine reacquires the lease?

First thing I'd do: open a terminal window and do something like "ping mail.yourserver.com" and let it run... it will throw a ping packet once a second forever. Let this run and dont have your machine reboot itself and see if that corrects the problem. If so, then there's a network sleepy thing happening somewhere ... peculiar that a once-per-minute IMAP check doesn't do it, but that may be a good symptom.

Second thing I'd do: when the machine is not in a "not polling anymore" state, run the Connection Doctor option from Mail - see what the connections say when they hook up (or don't). If they do, then wait and see in another minute if your machine starts polling again. I have no idea what that would mean or what to do about it, but that'd be a great symptom.

If none of this does anything, then we'll need to figure out some more symptom grabbing techniques...

Good Luck!
/p
Logged

It is now believed, that after having lived in one compound with 3 wives and never leaving the house for 5 years, Bin Laden called the U.S. Navy Seals himself.
dbspeer
n00b
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2007, 12:03:44 PM »

To answer your questions:

I do not get the exclamation point when it stops polling.
I have found that if I take the account offline then back online immediately, it will check and update the mail. When the program is restarted it also will start again, which is why I have the computer shutting down and restarting everyday with Mail as a startup item. Then I know it will update if I'm away.
I never had the problem when I was using a POP account with the same mail account.
I don't have a firewall. I am on cable and then use a wireless router for my access.

I will try your suggestions with Terminal and Connection Doctor.

Thanks for your help and suggestions!
Doug

Logged

No links in signatures please
perkiset
Olde World Hacker
Administrator
Lifer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 10096



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2007, 12:18:14 PM »

Hmmm... cable...

Do you have any restrictions on your cable account? What I mean is, for example - Cox here in the Phoenix Valley blocks port 25 for home accounts and has some timing issues on other ports and features ie., they'll shut you down for a while if they fear you are doing something sneaky. This is tough to figure out, but can you see how long exactly from live to dead - is it consistent every time? 

Your wireless router - I assume it is doing a NAT translation - is it port-forwarding anything to your machine? I don't know how that would fare as a front-line box - it's probably behaving as a firewall. Although this is not a permanent solution, put your Mac on the direct line for a day and see if it stays alive.. then you'd at least know where the problem was...
Logged

It is now believed, that after having lived in one compound with 3 wives and never leaving the house for 5 years, Bin Laden called the U.S. Navy Seals himself.
dbspeer
n00b
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2007, 03:03:15 AM »

Ok... I did the Terminal ping thing and it still happened. Also, I checked the Connection Doctor and it said it had a connection to the accounts.

I am beginning to wonder if you are right about the cable connection or the wireless router since both of the computers I have set up as IMAP seem to do this. It's going to be very hard to determine the time interval however, since I'd have to be watching and sending emails to my account on a regular basis for hours at a time.

I will connect my laptop to directly to the cable signal and see if that solves anything. Can I take the ethernet signal from a router on the back of the wireless box or do I have to take it straight from a cable modem to test this properly? Also, I have two different wireless routers set up and running. I'm going to try the second one on the tower to see if it makes any difference.

Thanks again...
Logged

No links in signatures please
perkiset
Olde World Hacker
Administrator
Lifer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 10096



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2007, 09:38:04 AM »

I am beginning to wonder if you are right about the cable connection or the wireless router since both of the computers I have set up as IMAP seem to do this.
Oh man that i's an incredibly important symptom - it eliminates problems with the machine/OS almost entirely.

It's going to be very hard to determine the time interval however, since I'd have to be watching and sending emails to my account on a regular basis for hours at a time.
Are you a programmer at all? A great test would be to write yourself a little program on another system that emails you once every 5 minutes - then look to see if the two computers stop receiving at the same time. Howver, since we are talkng about 2 machines now, I am extremely hesitant to believe it is an OS or Mail.app problem.

Another thought I had was to set your mail checking to once every 2 minutes and see what happens. There are a couple possibilities:
* if the amount of time that you stay alive is consistent, then it is more likely a sleep or lease issue somewhere OR it is something else on your net that is causing the drop outs
* if the amount of time doubles between normal machine stoppage and new machine stoppage then it is a "number of packets" problem
* if it is solved entirely, then it is perhaps a repetition problem ie., something gets tired of you pushing email packets once a minute, but at 2 minutes is doesn't mind.

I will connect my laptop to directly to the cable signal and see if that solves anything. Can I take the ethernet signal from a router on the back of the wireless box or do I have to take it straight from a cable modem to test this properly? Also, I have two different wireless routers set up and running. I'm going to try the second one on the tower to see if it makes any difference.
You can plug right into the back of the cable modem, provided you have the right kind of cable. Depending on how your setup is, you'll either have a straight ethernet cable or a crossover - my bet is a straigtht cable. If this is the case, then you can hook up just fine. I am assuming that you have DHCP setup on your machine so that your wireless router grants you an address - that will work just fine for the back of the cable modem as well.

NOTE: You must go to System Preferences | Sharing and shutdown all shared services on your machine (Personal Website, File Sharing etc). You DO NOT want to leave open services on a computer directly connected to the internet. Trust me on this one.

Well good - we're eliminating possibilities - that's progress at least.

/p
Logged

It is now believed, that after having lived in one compound with 3 wives and never leaving the house for 5 years, Bin Laden called the U.S. Navy Seals himself.
dbspeer
n00b
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2007, 02:41:42 PM »

My progress report...

1. I did change the interval that Mail checks on one machine and it didn't make any difference. Both still got stuck.

2. I hooked up another laptop using an ethernet connection and it did the same thing. I'm convinced it's losing connection to the cable. I went in to Network preferences when the account hadn't been refreshed and hit renew the DHCP lease. It did and then new mail showed up. I'm not sure if that's scientific or not but it worked.

I wish there was some way I could either create an Automator program of some kind that would take the IMAP account offline and then back on again at a regular interval, or renew the DHCP lease every hour. I don't know if that is possible and I don't know if I could even figure it out. No... I'm not a programmer.

Any other ideas or am I just going to be stuck with this because of my cable company (Comcast)?

Logged

No links in signatures please
perkiset
Olde World Hacker
Administrator
Lifer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 10096



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2007, 02:52:16 PM »

Your wireless router is configured to automatically expire leases after [n] minutes.

Get to the management software for your router - it's probably a web page on the default gateway address of your network. There, you should find parameters for DHCP and leases... if you can, set it to never expire - or at least as long as it will let you.

Hoping that does it,

/p
Logged

It is now believed, that after having lived in one compound with 3 wives and never leaving the house for 5 years, Bin Laden called the U.S. Navy Seals himself.
dbspeer
n00b
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2007, 11:33:22 AM »

I thought I'd update you on a very curious phenomenon that I've discovered about all this.

First of all, nothing has solved my problem with Mail, but new information has come to light!

As you know I'm using Mail to clean the spam from my account. I've set up my tower to do this so my laptop and iPhone don't have to deal with spam. Well, I am also cleaning the spam from an account used by the guy I work for, so his iPhone won't have any spam. Here's the interesting piece of information: his account works perfectly and always has, according to him. I mentioned that occasionally the computer isn't checking for mail and a backlog of spam ends up on the server and that's why he's getting it on his iPhone. He replied, "but I don't get any spam on my iPhone!" After questioning him about it, he's never experienced the problem even though his account is running in my Mail client just like his is.

After that, I checked his account and it was indeed always up to date, even when my account was 1 or more hours behind. So I did a test. I deleted my account from Mail and recreated it. Alas, it still didn't work, in fact, I think it got worse. Then I had another idea. I downloaded Thunderbird and set up my account in it with SpamSieve. Sure enough, it works perfectly. I haven't had a problem with spam since.

So there's a real mystery for you... why does Mail stop checking on my account and not my colleagues?  Clearly, it's not the cable connection because it's all on the same computer. It's not the mail server because we share the same company mail server. Both accounts are set up identically.

At least I have a work around! I don't know that I'll spend much time worrying about it now, but if anything occurs to you, let me know.

Thanks for all your help and patience!

Doug
Logged

No links in signatures please
perkiset
Olde World Hacker
Administrator
Lifer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 10096



View Profile
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2007, 02:38:52 PM »

WOW that's an unattractive problem.

The mail application will, or at least should be, only installed once on the machine. That means you're both using identical stuff except for your personal mail settings and the email account.

Here's another interesting test, although it's really unnecessary anymore - ask this person if he'd be willing to let you have *his* email account in your login, and put yours in his and see where it fails.

Curiouser and curiouser...
Logged

It is now believed, that after having lived in one compound with 3 wives and never leaving the house for 5 years, Bin Laden called the U.S. Navy Seals himself.
dbspeer
n00b
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2007, 07:11:16 AM »

Well, I spoke too soon. Even Thunderbird goes to "sleep" and stops checking. Still, the other account in Mail hasn't missed a beat.

I'm dumbfounded!
Logged

No links in signatures please
ratthing
Journeyman
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 75


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2007, 12:55:13 PM »

Are you and your friend using the same mail provider?  Not all IMAP server software works the same in terms of the way that clients connect.  You might want to check out your mail provider and find out what IMAP software they are using, and then read up on how it handles client connections.

=RT=
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Perkiset's Place Home   Best of The Cache   phpMyIDE: MySQL Stored Procedures, Functions & Triggers
Politics @ Perkiset's   Pinkhat's Perspective   
cache
mart
coder
programmers
ajax
php
javascript
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC
Seo4Smf v0.2 © Webmaster's Talks


Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!