Deleted Emails Keep Returning for One Customer
Problem reported by Montague WebWorks - 4/12/2023 at 8:28 AM
Last week my SM server crashed. I had my hosts reboot the server because I couldn't even RDP in. After the reboot, I RDPed into the server, saw the drive was full, deleted some stuff I knew I could get rid of just to keep the server running, then ran a User report to see who was filling the drive. In the report, it showed one customer with over 400 GB of emails in her Deleted Items folder.

Long story short, I spent a couple days deleting 1,650 GRP files going back to February of 2017, totaling about 450 GB of hard drive space. I also purged the emails from the folder through the webmail interface, then set her account to reindex.

Problem is, many of the emails keep coming back. I deleted them all many times through the webmail, and then sit back in RDP and watched the GRP files start coming back.

My first thought is that one of her email client apps was not playing well. She has an old version of Outlook and also uses an iPhone. Suspecting Outlook (especially after doing some Googling) I asked her to keep Outlook shut down and to use only webmail on her laptop, or her iPhone. Nope. Deleted Items keep coming back. This morning I changed the password to her account, then deleted everything in Deleted Items again. Sure enough, within a matter of minutes, 127 GRP files with names like 2017_12_7.grp through 2018_5_25.grp started reappearing. I would impersonate her and check her email, but the page just spins, and has been spinning for ten minutes.

The fact that the password has been changed, yet the deleted files get re-synced back leads me to believe this is not an email client issue, but ... something else.

In working the issue, I've also looked in the Troubleshooting Logs searching for her email address in the IMAP logs and I see many entries, but cannot tell which device.

[2023.04.12] 08:29:00.883 [][9892555] betsy@******.com logged in
[2023.04.12] 08:29:11.901 [][59128289] betsy@******.com logged in
[2023.04.12] 08:29:34.578 [][60747488] betsy@******.com logged in
[2023.04.12] 08:29:34.625 [][59062533] betsy@******.com logged in
[2023.04.12] 08:31:43.632 [][14156540] betsy@****** logged in
[2023.04.12] 08:31:43.632 [][6307082] betsy@*****.com logged in
[2023.04.12] 08:31:44.194 [][66176371] betsy@*****.com logged in

[SIDE NOTE TO SMARTERTOOLS: It would be great if the IMAP logs, showing logins, also added the device name or type so I could see if the IMAP login was her phone or Outlook or whatever. That would be very helpful in times like this.]

So, at this point I still cannot log in to her account via webmail. I closed the window I was trying in before, then re-clicked Impersonate User, and it's still spinning, so I clicked re-index, again.

The GP files are steady at 127 totaling 90MB, so it's not that big a deal right now, but despite the CPU bouncing between 15% and 45%, and memory steady at 34%, I'm getting textx from users who say the webmail email is slow.

Anyone have any ideas?

My thought is she should uninstall Outlook from her laptop and her account from the email app on her iPhone, then re-add it back to the phone and download and install Thunderbird on her laptop. Then stand back and see what happens. I'm a little worried that the Deleted Item emails came back *after* I changed the password, but I can't test the deleting again since I cannot access her account through the webmail.
Mik MullerMontague WebWorks

4 Replies

Reply to Thread
Montague WebWorks Replied
Three hours later, her account is still being reindexed. I still cannot impersonate her to see what's what.
Mik MullerMontague WebWorks
Zach Sylvester Replied
Employee Post

Thank you for reaching out with this issue. I'm going to open a ticket for you so we can help you investigate this. From what it sounds like a JSON file could be corrupt. There could also be some issues with the deletion process itself such as file locking. 

Kind Regards, 
Zach Sylvester System/Network Administrator SmarterTools Inc. (877) 357-6278 www.smartertools.com
Montague WebWorks Replied
Mik MullerMontague WebWorks
Ron Raley Replied
Montague, SmarterTools can download all your JSON files and verify every account is healthy. They have done this for us a few times.

Reply to Thread