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Error when adding/deleting users in an alias - Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
Problem reported by Veso Ganev - 3/10/2022 at 11:58 AM
Submitted
We have a staff alias that has about 45 recipients. Went on to try to add a user to the alias, but we get an error "Object reference not set to an instance of an object". The alias works as-is and it still forwards emails to the current user list, but we get the same error if we try to add or delete any users. 

So far, we've tried restarting the smarter mail service, rebooting the instance. Also confirmed other aliases work just fine. I can also copy the user list into a new alias with a new name without an issue. My next step would have been to delete and re-add the alias with the existing list, but I was worried that we may end up being unable to reuse the name, which is a problem as its a widely known/used alias.

We are running Build 8055 (Jan 20, 2022). 
Any ideas?


4 Replies

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Kyle Kerst Replied
Employee Post
Hello Veso, I am sorry to hear you are having these issues. Based on the behavior you've outlined, I believe you may have some corrupted or locked JSON configuration files within this domain or its aliases. You may be able to restore a backup copy of the JSON configuration files from this domain's Archived Data folder with the system service stopped, but recommend validating those JSONs before restoring them. Please let us know if you need any help tracking this down. 
Kyle Kerst
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Veso Ganev Replied
Kyle, 

this has not been a successful solution for us. We've followed the instructions and restored an archived file, but still cant edit this alias. For a while, we had a workaround success by stopping Smartermail service, editing the accounts json file and restarting the service. This removed or added the emails we need. Lately, this has stopped working too. We can still edit the file directly on the server, but in the alias list in account on webmail it is still the old one. We are not sure how to address that. Could you help us resolve this issue?  
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Kyle Kerst Replied
Employee Post
Hello Veso, thanks for your followup on this. It sounds like there are either some file locking concerns in this environment, or the underlying JSON might be malformed. If anything else is opening/editing these JSON files it will prevent SmarterMail from updating those configurations accordingly. You can check for other applications accessing those JSON files with Process Monitor from Microsoft which you can find here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/procmon

Once installed, configure it to check only the directories where our configuration files are, and exclude any traffic from MailService.exe, w3wp.exe, explorer.exe, clamd.exe, etc. Please let me know what you end up seeing here and I'll try to help out!
Kyle Kerst
Technical Support Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Veso Ganev Replied
Kyle, 

thank you for your reply. I've ran the Process Monitor app for a while with the traffic filtered per your suggestions. While the capture was running, I opened random files within the config file direcotyr, opened webmail, tried to edit the alias, restarted the service, etc. We still get the exact same error when trying to edit the alias in question. Something different is that we were able to manually edit the accounts.json config and have smartermail pick it up after a service restart. 

During all that, the trace was running and according to it, no other processes other than the excluded ones tried accessing files within that directory. 

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