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HELP : BACK RECEIVED MAIL VANISHED (IMAP)


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I have been using POP email for a couple of years, I recently read about IMAP and reconfigured my SC account back in early October to use it. I use Mail on Mac OS Panther as my IMAP client. With my POP account the received mail that I haven't deleted stays in the INBOX. Call me lazy, I just like to keep one searchable index. Sure I could set up rules to transfer, but its quicker just to type in the Inbox filter to find messages.

When I set up the IMAP in Mail, I checked the box:"keep copies of all messages and their attachments for offline viewing"

What has happened is that all the messages betwen moving to IMAP and 8th November (one month) have disappeared from both my machine and the webmail server. Is there any way I can get them back? Surely something should tell me before it deletes everything?

I now realise that there must be a limit on the amount of email stored on the SC server. Its just that when deleting it shouldn't have the power to deletethe stuff on my computer without permission.

Can anyone help?

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The "limits" on an e-mail account has been much discussed, I believe I even added a FAQ entry about that. But also seem to still be under the impression that it was a bit self-limiting, in that if the folders got too big, other problems (speed, login issues, for instance) came into play. You make no mention of these issues, so I'm kind of discounting a limit problem. Even if it fit in there and JT was now enforcing a size limit, it would surely be handled along the lines of new stuff comes in and old stuff disappears to stay at the limit .. or the other mode of bouncing any new until you do something to reduce the size. You don't mention any of this.

So the flip side of the issue is how IMAP works. In general, IMAP means that your e-mail is stored on the server. When you connect, a bit of a mirror condition exists, copies of the stuff on the servers is copied to your system (especially based on your setting of "keep copies for off-line viewing") .... Normally, what's on your hard drive would be more considered something like a Temp file, only in use while connected.

That you set things up to "keep" local copies brings up something that may have happened at your end. Deletion of any of those local copies would have also set flags such that at the next connection to the IMAP server, all that e-mail would have also then been deleted from the server .. so as to "match" the contents and actions taken on your "version" of the InBox contents.

Though you may only be the first reporting it, something done at JT's end that would be deleting entire folder contents would surely have many folks howling here and over in the newsgroups. Thus far, only your query. You appear to still be able to login, so it's not that your account was wiped.

Not much help on the recovery side, I know, but ... from what you've provided, not much more to go on. A pointer fouled in your Mail application, a system clean or purge gone wrong maybe? Any additional facts that you can come up with on things done just prior to the e-mail going missing?

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Thanks for taking so much time to reply, and so promptly. Having read up on the Apple Mail discussion boards I am a bit more savvy. I feel there ought to be a bit more info up about setting up IMAP for newbies, both on your end and in the Mac Mail helpfiles, and to what can go wrong.

The pressure is off, since I have only configured my regular machine to IMAP: my older machine (rarely used) still has POP and has a pretty full record of all the messages that have diappeared, which I can transfer over.java scri_pt:emoticon(':unsure:')

Just to clarify, what appears to be happening is that mail is disappearing from view on both on webmail on on the client once it reaches a certain age (and the total disk space is exceded)

What may have happened is that I inadvertantly binned the Mailbox, or folder, that may have been created when I set up the IMAP account, although I can't be sure. Reading the discussions, although no one has pointed to the problem, there is guidance as to how I can salvage the situation - I have set up a local folder and a rule to copy all inmail there: so when the server wipes it to create space (or anyone else), the local copy is always available. However I will need to delete in two places now.

I can absolutely see the reason why the space needs to be limited. It would be nice to be able to purchase more, if possible, but a month's back mail is about OK for synching between machines. I have also just discovered the massive 'held mail' folder on my machine, which is why I moved to SC in the first place: this will be regularly cleaned out from now on.

Thanks again

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spamcop.net,Nov 25 2004, 12:21 PM]Thanks for taking so much time to reply, and so promptly. Having read up on the Apple Mail discussion boards I am a bit more savvy. I feel there ought to be a bit more info up about setting up IMAP for newbies, both on your end and in the Mac Mail helpfiles, and to what can go wrong.

If you've loked at the FAQ "here" .. you'll see that what has happened is that existing Topics, disussions, and/or postings have been added to 'explain' things. I'm not rich enough to have stepped up to 10.3 (and wondering how to make the jump to 10.4 <g>) on an iBook here .. and I don't use the e-mail side of the house. (Yeah, I know .. so why are you listening to me? <g>) So now that you've done all this research and gained the knowledge, I'd be glad to take what you can spare the time to write up for a FAQ addition ... just start a new Topic over in the Lounge and start the wordsmithing .. lot's of folks around willing to point out the mistakes <g>

Just to clarify, what appears to be happening is that mail is disappearing from view on both on webmail on on the client once it reaches a certain age (and the total disk space is exceded)

If you're at all sure of any of that, please try to develop some numbers / date to back that up. As stated before, this is a "new" problem / situation.

What may have happened is that I inadvertantly binned the Mailbox, or folder, that may have been created when I set up the IMAP account, although I can't be sure.

For the stuff to have been there and only later disappeared, the "binned" action should have had to occur after the IMAP creation date, and even then only after the next connection to the SpamCop E-mail server.

Reading the discussions, although no one has pointed to the problem, there is guidance as to how I can salvage the situation - I have set up a local folder and a rule to copy all inmail there: so when the server wipes it to create space (or anyone else), the local copy is always available. However I will need to delete in two places now.

I consider this as part of a standard procedure. Never use the OS default folders for permanent storage. A re-install, re-build, generally places "new" folders there but shouldn't touch any data sitting somewhere else. Even consider it another small step in protection from virus action, as your stuff is no longer found at the "standard" location ...

I can absolutely see the reason why the space needs to be limited. It would be nice to be able to purchase more, if possible, but a month's back mail is about OK for synching between machines.

I'm positive that there have been other posters talking of having mail stored for much longer than a month, though again, the issues about file/folder size were the discussed situations. Just how much e-mail might you be talking about?

I have also just discovered the massive 'held mail' folder on my machine, which is why I moved to SC in the first place: this will be regularly cleaned out from now on. 

This statement has some bothersome qualities about it. The suggestion is that you were POPing for a while, which only extracts from the InBox. Looking at your previous statement of "a month's worth" .. what's the age of stuff showing in your Held folder (which again, is a mirror of the Held Folder on the SpamCop server .. if there's a "space" problem, this is where it should have shown up) I'm probably wrong, but I don't get the sense that you were logging into your WebMail account and handling/Reporting the stuff in your Held Folder...???

Thanks again

You're more than welcome, just hope I'm hitting the right points ...

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To be honest, I am a bit out of my depth when it comes to the intricacies of email synching, just a humble architect... but I do like email and I particularly like a complete searchable database of all my correspondance, which is why I panicked somewhat when I found a large slab of messages had 'disappeared.'. I started IMAP 7th October or thereabouts. What disappeared was about 4 weeks of stuff from then on, but it only disppeared in the last few weeks (and I only really found out about it today, although I had noticed something fishy before.

The truth of it may lie in some strange behaviour I had been experiencing in the powerbook to do with file permissions and startup problems: these thankfully subsided about a month ago after I found out how to restart in safe mode, and that may have triggered it, I am only guessing. But it is strange that I can still access messages predating the 'cut off' of received mail of 9/11 in the sent items and the held mail folders.

From what you have said, it seems likely that the mail got somehow deleted on the client, this then synched to the server.

Thanks for your tip about the local data storage. An idiots guide to IMPA is definitely a must have. What I would like to know is "when you run out of IMAP storage, what will the tell tale signs be?"

with regards the Held Mail folder, when I set up the IMAP account a new inbox logo was added, but I never clicked on the arrow to inspect the folders within it. When I did that today, I noticed the held mail folder (had previously assumed this was accessed via webmail - I don't really want to DL all that junk if I can avoid it, which is why I joined SC in the first place. If I trash this folder, will that have any advers effects? As I say, I would rather the junk stayed on the server.

I did do mail reporting initially, but there was so much of the stuff I lost patience - sorry!

Regards

Anthony

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spamcop.net,Nov 25 2004, 01:59 PM]To be honest, I am a bit out of my depth when it comes to the intricacies of email synching, just a humble architect... but I do like email and I particularly like a complete searchable database of all my correspondance,

sounds like a perfect candidate for a Google GMail account. 1 Gig and searchable ...

The truth of it may lie in some strange behaviour I had been experiencing in the powerbook to do with file permissions and startup problems: these  thankfully subsided about a month ago after I found out how to restart in safe mode, and that may have triggered it, I am only guessing.

Now you've got me headed off in another direction of research .. safe mode on OS-X .. hmmmm

From what you have said, it seems likely that the mail got somehow deleted on the client, this then synched to the server.

That's just the best guess at present. Again, if it was JT's servers going bad, there would definitely have been more traffic about the problem by now.

Thanks for your tip about the local data storage. An idiots guide to IMPA is definitely a must have. What I would like to know is "when you run out of IMAP storage, what will the tell tale signs be?"

And again, I did suggest the FAQ here, Quota, limits, storage, something like that for the lead-in pointer .. but as you should have found there, your query doesn't presently have an answer, as I hadn't heard that JT was yet enforcing size limits.

with regards the Held Mail folder, when I set up the IMAP account a new inbox logo was added, but I never clicked on the arrow to inspect the folders within it. When I did that today, I noticed the held mail folder (had previously assumed this was accessed via webmail - I don't really want to DL all that junk if I can avoid it, which is why I joined SC in the first place. If I trash this folder, will that have any advers effects? As I say, I would rather the junk stayed on the server.

No adverse that I can think of, except for the fact that you do want to take a look and verify that there isn't any "good" e-mail in there before doing a massive delete.

I did do mail reporting initially, but there was so much of the stuff I lost patience - sorry!

Reporting the spam found within your Held (or other Folders) will help to add new sources to the BL and help keep those already here to remain there ... this helps your (and other folks') future filtering actions ... it's generally recommended to pick some target variable, say the last 10 spams, the porn stuff, etc., and report those, delete the rest .. just to keep from burning out, spending too much time, but still helping the cause ..

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