cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Email time travel

home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Email time travel

Evening,
A strange thing happened this evening - after firing up my email client, (Mozilla Thunderbird), I was astonished to see 8 emails in my inbox dating back from 08, eg 27/10/ 08, 3/11/08 and 23/09/08, freshly downloaded in front of my eyes.
These were emails which I had received before, as I recognize a couple, and they were downloaded by thunderbird the same time I downloaded emails sent today.  Any ideas anyone?
(Also, and this may not be related in any way shape or form, I had to reactivate windows as it said my hardware configuration had changed, - it hadn't!)
Dave
14 REPLIES
ramidoodle
Grafter
Posts: 265
Registered: 28-09-2008

Re: Email time travel

Very strange!
The best way to determine if they have been genuinely delayed is to check the headers here, this will give you a nicely formatted version of the headers Cheesy
TBH, Email Retry Timeout interval can't be more than 7 days, cause traditional post will be faster  Wink
so this is more like PC restoration to a previous date.
home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Email time travel

Hi,
I have tried unsuccessfully to analyze my headers despite following the instructions on the web page (Mozilla does not allow you to right click and copy all of the header information to analyze - however it does state in the headers that it was received by me on Mon, 27 Oct 2008 02:05:49 PDT.
I received all of the original emails at the time stated within the headers - these appear to be duplicates.  No restoration has been carried out on this PC for at least 12 months. 
Huh
Edit to say I have managed to analyze the headers and it does say it was received by me on the date above.
Dave
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,101
Thanks: 895
Fixes: 74
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Email time travel

@home99, highlight the message and press CTRL+U - That will open the message source that you should be able to copy and paste from. Are you downloading these messages using POP3? If so this is very likely to be something local to your PC as the emails won't be on the server therefore you won't have been able to download them again.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Products Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Email time travel

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the handy shortcut - all headers report being delivered on the original date - so yes it looks like a local PC problem (I am using POP3), perhaps the windows activation request is another side effect of whatever the issue is.
Dave
home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Email time travel

Double post  Angry
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 685
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Email time travel

Quote from: Bob
emails won't be on the server therefore you won't have been able to download them again.

They might be, if 'Leave messages on server' is ticked.
I've had something similar happen with Thunderbird & a very old Freeserve (Orange) email account that I still have. It gets heavily spammed & can have over 5000 messages in it. Some of the mailboxes within it get periodically downloaded to different PCs, so most of the time it is set to leave messages on the server.
I'd put it down to the POP3 mailbox getting overloaded & confused at the server end, because none of my other accounts have ever had the same problem, despite similar settings & being collected by the same copy of Thunderbird.
If it's happening on a Plusnet account too, then maybe I was wrong to blame the server.   Tongue  Roll eyes
home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Email time travel

@ Simon,
I have never used the 'Leave messages on Server' option (although I did double check when you mentioned it) and the mail account is my free domain name given to me by PlusNet when all the spamming occurred.
I will put it down to Gremlins I think!
Dave
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Email time travel

Deleted most of what I'd just written in view of you last post, I keep getting interupted. Don't know if you can log into the webmail of the account just to check they aren't still on the server?
Otherwise, would the original emails in question have been deleted from your system or kept in your inbox or another folder? The ones that got  "downloaded", were they intact and readable, ie not corrupted in anyway? If the file that controls the downloading gets corrupted (Pop3uidl.dbx in Outlook Express, don't know what it is in Thunderbird) then all sorts of strange things could happen. From your initial post looks as though there might have been some corruption somewhere. I'd be inclined to give your system a check over, ie back up anything important, run then scandisk and defrag. HTH.
home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Email time travel

@ Anotherone,
I checked on the webmail at PlusNet and the messages definitely aren't there.  The original emails were deleted and then permanently deleted from the 'Trash'.  All of the downloaded emails were intact and exact duplicates - they were showing as unread too. 
I agree about giving my PC the once over and will start PM tomorrow, luckily I have a good backup plan in place so I am not worried about losing data.  I am very interested in the cause of this though and have been reviewing any new installs - the only software I have installed over the past 7 days is Daemon Tools Lite and I cant see how that would affect anything.
Dave
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,100
Thanks: 437
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Email time travel

This is strange, it might be worth bearing in mind that very often when you delete things, they aren't actually deleted, it's only a pointer to the object that is removed, so if for example you haven't had a huge amount of mail, the location in the file where the messages were stored may not have been overwritten. I'm feeling my way in the dark a bit here, I'm assuming that the space allocated for Thunderbird's folders/files is not over written by anything else.
Chris.
prichardson
Grafter
Posts: 1,503
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Email time travel

I have come accross this issue once beforw with Thunderbird, but that was many eyars ago. Over three to be exact, as it was before I worked here.
I seems to have corruption of some sort after a mass of archiving, deleteing, moving and general faffing about. All the messages I had moved from the inbox all reappeared in the inbox again, but as unread. It didn't do anything to those that didn't receive any changes.
Never found an explanation myself, nor has it happened since.
Did you do any mass management recently?
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Email time travel

Although I use Thunderbird, I am not sure how it stores, but it definitely does, when I open it the previous mail headers are on show - that were on the server but now down loaded by Outlook Esxpress. - they disapear however when I go to that box.
Outlook express has an Index files thats stores all the details of deleted e-mails untill you compact the mailbox..  I personally did manage to recover some deleted e-mails from this Index in the past - I did it on purpose as I wanted them., try opening index.dat with notebook  Cool
The originator of this thread did have a hiccup with his sysytem, it must have rolled back to a past restore and that could have got the e-mails from his index file
home99
Grafter
Posts: 254
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Email time travel

@ P Richardson - I cannot recall any mass management, perhaps deleting my trash folder a couple of weeks ago which had approximately 30 or 40 emails.  The emails that reappeared dont seem to have a pattern either, a couple of which are 3 - 4 weeks apart and inbetween I would have recieved quite a few more emails, which I assume means that the restore has been random (if indeed it was a restore).
If it was a PC restore then surely I would have noticed other changes, for example software updates would have disapeared; or more obvious would I not have to positively acknowledge a rollback?
Dave
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Email time travel

Well you had something happen as you had to reactivate Windows