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  1. #1

    Please help - emails not being received intermittently

    This is one of those annoying intermittent problems with no obvious pattern. A client is sometimes not receiving email (ie. they are informed by phone that one was sent a day or two earlier but they didn't receive it). When this happens the sender doesn't get any error message back. I had the server logs checked out for an email I sent the client that he didn't receive and the server did receive it. I logged on to the webmail and it wasn't there, but client says it's not in his inbox. I asked them to check all spam or other folders in his email software but to no avail. The problem can happen with emails that have attachments and those without. It's not happening for any particular sender either. My client cannot see any pattern to it.

    Does anyone know what might be the cause? If the server is receiving the lost messages then how can they be disappearing? Any help gratefully received.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    You should always note the OS you are running, the mail server software + version, and any other components which make up your mail system (i.e. anti-spam, anti virus, pop/imap daemons, other processes related to mail if used like policy daemons or greylisting, etc).

    Generally the process is to follow the logs; if they truly are not delivering any useful information, perhaps a process - your spam or some other related process - is failing intermittently and/or not logging properly.

    I would at the command line look at:

    - the mail queue (postfix/sendmail: mailq) - is it stuck in there?
    - if not in the mail queue, manually peruse the file system particularly the mail directory(ies) for the destination user as well as their domain. Maybe it is misdelivered / classified as junk and moved somewhere by a delivery agent like sieve or ? Use ``grep`` to search for the mail you sent.

    Get your client to notify you immediately next time they note an incident hopefully after first having learned from the sender of the missing mail something that can be used for searching logs and file systems (content of missing email, time sent). Have that client forward to you a copy of the missing message if possible to get that detail.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    well long story short

    /var/log/{your mta}/*log*

    anything about the user?

    maybe its a DNS problem?
    have you checked the MX records of the recipient? - Managed Hosting Solutions 2004 - 2016

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