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Author Topic: Lock on email (POP3) account preventing access to email  (Read 4693 times)

Offline lebruns1

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Lock on email (POP3) account preventing access to email
« on: November 29, 2003, 07:50:05 PM »
I have been experiencing a problem with my Lunarpages email account on Saturn off and on for quite a while now.  The problem is that every so often, I am unable to access my incoming email.  I can send email fine.  The message that I get from Outlook 2002 is:

Quote
Task 'saturn.lunarpages.com - Sending and Receiving' reported error (0x8004210A) : 'The operation timed out waiting for a response from the receiving (POP) server. If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).'


According to Lunarpages Technical Support, the problem is that "I am attempting to access my email account from multiple programs at the same time".  In other words, two programs are trying to read my email account at the same time causing Lunarpages software to place a lock on my account,  a lock that is suppose to expire on its own but I have had to call Tech Support after three days without email.

I do believe that a lock is being placed on my account since each call to Tech Support has resulted in my account being unfrozen.  What I have difficultly in believing is the cause of the lock being placed on my account in the first place.

I am the only accessing this account and I do so from a single computer using a single program, Outlook.  I find it difficult to see that Outlook is attempting to access the same email account multiple times simultaneously especially since I am now getting this same error after not running Outlook for two days and I have no outgoing email in the queue.

So unless Lunarpages POP server cannot handle Outlook safely or someone   who is unauthorized is reading my email, I do not see how I am causing a read lock to placed my email account so often.

Is anyone else experiencing this or similar problems with accessing their email?
Steven F. LeBrun
steven@lebruns.com
http://www.lebruns.com

Offline lebruns1

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Problem in Office XP
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2003, 08:59:13 PM »
Reading some of the other problems with email, specifically the thread where Outlook (Express?) is return the error code of 0x800CCC0E lead me to use Google to search for a cause and a possible fix.

It looks like the problem exists in Outlook, in my case Outlook XP.  Outlook XP has problems with behaving nicely with POP3 servers.  Microsoft has published a hotfix for this problem.  See the URL below for more detail:

     http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=827349

It looks like Outlook tries to download email in parallel with other POP3 operations such as deleting messages from the server.  This would certainly explain why the Lunarpages software is detecting multiple simultaneous access to my email account from a single program running on a single computer.

The fix will require that I download and install SP-2 for Office XP first and then I can install the post-SP-2 hotfix which was released on 05-Sept-2003.  Since it is almost midnight here and I do have work in the morning, I will be testing these fixes tomorrow.

Let's hope this works!   I will post later with results.  Unfortunately, waiting for a condition not to occur may take a while  :wink:
Steven F. LeBrun
steven@lebruns.com
http://www.lebruns.com

Offline Ed

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Lock on email (POP3) account preventing access to email
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2003, 10:37:43 PM »
I have had the same problem - it only occurs in outlook though.

I use Eudora and havn't had this problem with it :-)

Thanks for posting the hotfix info!

- Ed

Offline lebruns1

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Getting Hotfix
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2003, 12:43:13 PM »
I have not updated my software yet with Office SP-2 and the hotfix patch.

After a couple of hours, I finally did manage to get the hotfix patch from Microsoft.  It was like pulling teeth.  First, the hotfix patch is not available for downloading; you need to call Microsoft Product Support Services.  There lays the rub - try obtaining the phone number for Microsoft Product Support Services.  I never was able to obtain it.

I found myself in a Catch-22 situation.  The hotfix is only available from Microsoft but Microsoft would not answer me because their software was installed at the OEM.  Outlook came with my Dell computer that I bought earlier this year.  The webpages that "provide" you with contact information for the Product Support Services refused to provide me with a Microsoft phone number.  It insisted that I had to go through my OEM for all software problems.  I did call the support number for Dell that Microsoft provided.  They, like myself, thought that this was crazy since Microsoft did not provide them with the hotfixes to redistribute and that I still needed to go through Microsoft for the patch.

Next I tried the Passport.Net method of submitting a bug request.  This also did not work because as soon as they were able to determine that software was installed at the OEM, they refused to continue.  In the Passport pages, you had to specify whether the sofeware was installed by your OEM.  If you say yes, you are shunted to the list of OEM tech support phone numbers, end of the line.  If you say no or unknown, you need to present a valid Product ID.  All OEM installed version of Microsoft products contain an OEM code.  Once that code is detected, you are shunted to the OEM tech support phone numbers.  My copy of Outlook's Product ID contains the OEM code so I was stuck.

Then I went searching for contact information on the Microsoft website.  They really do not want to hear from customers.  My search finally yielded a PC Virus and Security support number (1-866-PC-SAFETy).  At first, they told me that they could not help me at all since they were the anti-virus support division.  After telling them of my situation, they were able to give me a Microsoft support phone number (1-800-MICROSOft), funny how I never saw that number listed on the Microsoft website.

So, my next step was to call this number.  Of course, being Sunday night (Monday morning, after midnight), no Home User customer support was available.  After playing with the menu selection, I was finally able to speak to a human.  I quickly explained that all I wanted was the hotfix (no diagnostic required), the man on customer support was very helpful.  He was able to set up a ticket number and send me the email on how to download the patch, which is password protected because it is not a "fully tested fix".  

It only took three or four tries to get the URL provided to work and in the end, it never asked for the password.

All I can say is that this hotfix patch better work after all the hoops Microsoft had me jump through to obtain it.  Isn't modern tech support wonderful; unfortunately Microsoft is not alone in their method of technical support.  That is the reason that my latest desktop is a Dell instead of a Gateway.
Steven F. LeBrun
steven@lebruns.com
http://www.lebruns.com

Offline lebruns1

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Lock on email (POP3) account preventing access to email
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2003, 12:46:51 PM »
BTW.  If I understand the Outlook problem correctly, this problem only occurs when you have Outlook configured to check multiple email accounts.  It is unclear from what I read whether the multiple email accounts triggers the problems or if it makes it more likely to happen.
Steven F. LeBrun
steven@lebruns.com
http://www.lebruns.com

Offline lebruns1

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Patch no good
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2003, 07:15:54 PM »
After applying the patch and turning it on (registry changes needed to activate it), the problem is still there.  The patch did reduce the frequency of the timeouts occuring.

One thing that I did notice was that there was a huge delay between when the detail dialog box stated that it had downloaded 0 of N messages and when the first message is actually downloaded.  The question is now, who is responsible for the delay before the first message is downloaded; Outlook or Lunarpages?

After the hotfix failed to eliminate the problem completely, I took a look at Norton's AntiSpam.  Disabling the Norton AntiSpam does seem to reduce the delay in the download of the first message.

I will have to keep searching and trying different things.
Steven F. LeBrun
steven@lebruns.com
http://www.lebruns.com