Random duplicate email

I came into the office this morning and one account was getting receiving errors, now it’s bringing in the mail fine (via POP3) but it’s sending through some duplicates now and then, they appear to be random duplicate mails from the last week or so.

I do have this account here set as POP and leave message on server for 7 days, I have it set up IMAP at home so I can access the last week from there.

Has there been some kind of hiccup on DH’s end or is it likely mine?



It’s your end. When you mix POP/IMAP and have POP leave mail on the server, you’ll likely get “duplicated” emails now and then. It’s just the POP daemon and your client not being sure which emails have been downloaded yet.

I’d recommend using IMAP all the time.


I agree with nate. My comcast email does this from time to time. I’ve had it happen elsewhere with POP and keeping a copy on the server.

On a side note, I was working on my system drive and messed up my email client. Since all my important email is done via IMAP, if I wasn’t able to get it working again, a reinstall would only clear my prefs, not my mailbox.

I’ve got my reasons for doing it this way for sure but I appreciate the IMAP mantra (really, I do). I wish I could do it that way but for reasons I won’t go into here, I can’t.

The way I’ve been doing it works fine 99% of the time but there is the occassional hiccup and it’s hard to understand why it’s blamed on my mail client. The setup works fine for a 6 month stretch (pie in the sky fuzzy example numbers here) then all of a sudden, for 2 days, at random intervals, I receieve random duplicate emails.

I read the response about the client being to blame so I shut everything down, rebooted; still same. Today is day number 2. Heck, I’ve even installed XP SP2 in between diagnosis and now, still random weirdness.

Any idea exactly what the glitch in my client (MS Outlook 2002) may be specifically? Or is it possible that something’s going on on your mail servers the past few days that would alter the timestamp or some little thing on the mail that’s sitting there?

That’s a lot of typing for something that’s only mildly disturbing at this point but it could increase it’s “crap!!!factor” if it keeps up like this for much longer.



Actually it’s goin on for a week now and it’s really beginning to be a thorn in my side. Contstant new mail notices only to find dupes when I go to check.

Also getting contant errors of the type:

Could these interruptions possibly have to do with your spam blacklist resolution problem and server loads being high? That would cause my client to see the mail left on the server as “new” if it had trouble downloading it, or missed some pieces the last go round right?

Like I said, this method normally works well for me, all of a sudden it does not. That’s acceptable when it’s an hour or two of duplicates every 6 months but a solid week of constant dupes is maddening.


Is the message-id the same on all the messages?

yessir, exactly the same. I checked 13 that were here this AM, all same as their dupes

slightly different error message this morning:


So are you using IMAP everywhere now?

no sir, I am not, don’t plan on it either, at least not in the foreseeable future.

so… what up? Any earthly?


Well we already told you the likely reason this is happening.

If you use both POP3 and IMAP, you’ll almost definitely have some weird issues with things getting out of sync.

…and I told you that I’ve been doing it this way since you started offering IMAP with only the occassional hiccup of this sort (that is, duplicates). But now it’s happening constantly for over a week without any change in config to my mail client.

While I’ve not changed a thing in my mail client, I was made aware that you guys have been having a spot of mail server trouble that might be contributing to this problem of mine.

I just don’t want this glossed over and for you to assume that it’s my end. I’m not being contentious or prickly I hope, just trying to get this problem solved. If it’s not solved, then I have to lose production time trying to figure out a new way to do email for my office and (and God forbid not) a bunch of my clients.


Do you have both email clients checking the mailbox simultaneously?

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Honcho

rarely if ever.


well, for what it’s worth, today was the last straw day and spent and hour messing with crap again.

Finally I just wiped all my mail out of that box and haven’t had any trouble since.

The “### octects follow” error messages gone and everything.

Any clue what that was all about and how to prevent it or troubleshoot it or or or?! Week and a half of suckiness.

Thanks for the help anyhow, though I wondered if ya’ll weren’t takin the piss at one point with all the questions, I do appreciate the attention, sorta :stuck_out_tongue:


Removing the ~/Maildir/courierimapuiddb and ~/Maildir/courierpop3dsizelist (or something like that) files would be one thing to try.

thanks will, I’ll try it out if it happens again