Problem loading mailing lists page from SM 13.3
Problem reported by Ben Bednarz - January 28, 2017 at 12:46 PM
Submitted
We've been using SM 13.3 for quite a while now and I new problem was recently discovered.  In any administrator account for any domain, we can't load the pages related to mailing lists.  We get a web page that says "Oops! There was an error that caused this page to malfunction."  Then the time bar (when it's waiting to load a page) shows up.  And it never resolves beyond that.  You can click to any other category (e.g., reports or inbox), but can't do anything with mailing lists.
 
Any idea on why this happening or how to track it down?

11 Replies

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Ben Bednarz Replied
No suggestions? There is no error message that we can find.  And the list service itself seems to be still working, but we can't access the admin pages for the list server to, for example, add or remove names from any mailing list.  This problem is across all domains and the list server is the only part of SM that seems to have this problem.
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
What happens if you create a new fake domain, and manage the list. Does it still show an Oops page?
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Ben Bednarz Replied
That's an interesting thought, so I did some testing. First, when i created a new domain (named, cleverly, "test"), it did not show the Oops page. Then I decided to test all our domains more thoroughly. I was thinking that maybe it's only domains that have lists. However, I found one domain with no lists that generates the Oops page (all other domains with no lists do not generate the Oops page). And I found one domain with lists that did not generate the Oops page (all other domains with lists generate the Oops page). I wondering if this is also based on how the lists are stored. Does anyone know how the lists are stored on the server?
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Ben Bednarz Replied
Any ideas on how SM stores its mailing lists?
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
Each domain has a mailinglist.db file in their root.
`C:\SmarterMail\Domains\<domain>\mailinglist.db`
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
Each domain has a mailinglist.db file in their root.
`C:\SmarterMail\Domains\<domain>\mailinglist.db`
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
You can open these files with http://sqlitebrowser.org/
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Ben Bednarz Replied
Thanks for the information on the SM stores for mailing lists.  Although now that I know that these files are separate by domain, it makes it less likely that the problem is in the stores.  Otherwise, I would only see problems with a one or two specific domains.  What else could cause this?
 
And I wonder if upgrading to a newer version would help.
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Matt Petty Replied
Employee Post
I would set your error log to detailed then try your test again to get the oops page. Hopefully what gets logged in the error logs would contain an exception message or stack trace we can work off of.
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Ben Bednarz Replied
The Oops page includes a link to a page that supposed to show the relevant error logs.  However, because the whole web page at that point is timing out (grayed out with a time spinner running), I can't get to that link.  So which logs should I be looking at and how do I set the detail?  Thanks.
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Ben Bednarz Replied
For anyone following this thread or who might read it in the future.  I opened a support ticket (just no help for it) and this is what we came up with: some service (could be SM, could be some AV app, could be a system app; we never knew) was locking the mailinglist.db files.  Once those files are locked, they show as 0 KB in Explorer and they can't be accessed.  When the SM admin interface can't access them, you get the Oops! message and the page freezes until it times out.  Kind of ugly way to handle the error, but there you have it.
 
The got an unlock when I did a system update followed by a reboot (being a mail server, we don't reboot very often).  Once the .db files were no longer locked, the problems went away.
 
The really mysterious part of this was that when one particular mailinglist.db files was unlocked, it didn't return as its current version.  Instead, it came back as a version from 2012.  That is, there is one particular domain that adds new mailing lists on a semi-annual basis (two from 2010, two from 2011, etc.).  Before the .db file got locked, that domain had the two most recent mailing lists from 2016 (plus two from all the prior years).  Then the file was locked and mailing lists in that domain did not work at all.  Finally, after the file was unlocked, mailing lists worked again but there were only lists from 2012 and prior.  Also, other posts-2012 data (such as a new user field and changes to subscriptions) were missing.  I have no idea how the system put back an old version of the file; I wouldn't know where to find one if I wanted it.  Fortunately, i had a recent backup and restored the .db file from that.  So now the .db file is up-to-date and the system is working.
 
Tech supporting also recommended upgrading to version 14.x or 15.x (we're running 13.x) because those handle filing locking much better. So that's next on my agenda.  I was really hoping v16 would come out and we could skip straight to that, but I don't know when that will be.
 
Thanks for all your help.

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