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Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

Attila_The_Pun
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Registered: 30-11-2016

Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

About the last week of September 2017, on both my computer and my wife’s simultaneously, Outlook in Office 365 (i.e. Outlook 2016) on Windows 10 (both up to date on both machines) started to ask for a sign-on to each POP3 email account each and every time Outlook tries to read emails from the respective email servers.  This continues to date, and across different email servers (different email service providers)

This happens on scheduled periodic send/receive cycles and also on individual explicit receive requests. The problem has also followed me to a brand new machine recently purchased on which I put a fresh installation of Office 365.

 

All three machines are at the same up-to-date software levels of both Windows 10 Home and Outlook 2016 (Office 305)

 

A secondary effect is that if the sign-on requests are ignored (e.g. because the user is doing something else like composing an email or browsing the Web or making the tea), then 0x8004210A errors occur every cycle against all POP3 email accounts, and no emails can then be received at all until Outlook has been shut down and restarted.

 

To avoid the second problem, we have set the “Disable Scheduled Send/Receive” option in Outlook, and we request a send/receive cycle explicitly when we want to see our incoming emails (which is a pain because it is easy to forget it and close down without ever seeing latest emails).

 

I have already raised this with Microsoft Support (along with several other problems experienced in Outlook 2016), and it is currently sitting with their level 3 support, without any visible progress in the last 6 weeks or so. It is also on MS Community forum, waiting on ideas from others there (none so far).

 

There have been a number of reports in the MS community forums about this type of problem over several years, but apparently with different causes.

 

All three of our machines are connected to the same broadband service (PlusNet), so I am placing this question here in case the matter can be explained by any PlusNet broadband factors that may have changed. Level 1 support at Microsoft did mutter some things about packet size on the router and so on. Did anything change in late September in PlusNet that could be causing our email server sessions to be dropped?

 

[Please note that this is not to do with PlusNet email service, as the problem arises also with non-PlusNet email accounts (e.g. OneTel). It affects all of them. Most of our emails do come to PlusNet email accounts, but we also get emails via OneTel, and we are getting repeated sign-on requests for those accounts too. I am therefore trying to find if it is related to our PlusNet broadband service, across which all our mail accounts are accessed, using Outlook client.]

 

My irritation and frustration are compounded by also finding my received emails being throttled to a ridiculously slow rate coming into Outlook since a few days ago, but I have raised a ticket and also a separate thread here about that.

 

Any ideas, folks?

30 REPLIES
Gel
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

Moderator
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

Moderator Note by Dick (Strat)

Topic moved to a more appropriate board.

Customer and Forum Moderator.

Community Gaffer
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

Hi, 

 

Which router and service do you have? (Copper or Fibre?)

Kelly Dorset
Broadband Service Manager
Attila_The_Pun
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

Kelly,

This is copper. Broadband unlimited service.

 

I did not place this on the Email topic, because I thought that related only to PlusNet-hosted email accounts.  As mentioned earlier, this problem is arising against all our POP3 accounts, including some non-PlusNet, so I am asking if it relates somehow to PlusNet broadband itself.  Is it possible our email traffic has been throttled in some way, while leaving the rest of our usage unchanged?  We are currently getting 18 Mbps download speed in a speed test.  When I switch to mobile tethering instead of the PlusNet broadband, the problem disappears.

Superuser
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

Attila_The_Pun
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

I am correcting my previous post because I conflated two different problems.  It should say:

Kelly,

This is copper. Broadband unlimited service. 

I did not place this on the Email topic, because I thought that that related only to PlusNet-hosted email accounts.  As mentioned earlier, this problem is arising against all our POP3 accounts, including some non-PlusNet, so I am asking if it relates somehow to PlusNet broadband itself.  Is it possible our email server sessions are being cut off because of a broadband problem, and that is why we have to keep signing on?  It seems unlikely, given that we complete a download of one or two emails (on either of our machines) and request another read immediately, it still asks the user to sign on again to the email accounts.

 

It would also be useful to know if PlusNet and OneTel email servers and broadband are in any way connected.  I do know for example that PlusNet hosts various other people's services (e.g.John Lewis's).  I may otherwise be reading too much into the fact that my problems here (and also those covered in my "throttling" thread separately raised) are experienced across both PlusNet and OneTel email accounts.

Windows feature Update is now waiting to be installed, so bye for now.

Attila_The_Pun
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)


Townman wrote:
Which router and OS?


Townman,

We have a Technicolor T6582n wireless router from PlusNet and we both use Wi-Fi, not cable, to the router.

Windows 10 -see thread https://community.plus.net/t5/Broadband/POP3-emails-throttled-on-PlusNet-broadband-affects-both-PN-...for more detailed info - messages 19 and 22.

Regards, AtP

 

 

Superuser
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

The TG582n can suffer from IP address spoofing issues which results in unroutable IP addresses being returned in URL resolution.  See https://community.plus.net/t5/Broadband/198-18-1-x-address-problems/m-p/1171169/jump-to/first-unread... - long thread - might be another red herring.

Attila_The_Pun
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

Thanks, Kevin/Townman,

I did actually read all that, and will now get to bed at 2am!  It was quite an eye-opener, especially to learn just how much my router does for me and also that I may have a faulty one that has escaped remote patching. I understood around 50% of it, but I was in IT for 27 years, albeit finishing 17 years ago.

 

Could you perhaps elucidate as to how this spoofing done by the DNS (returning a substitute IP address) could account for our having to keep signing on to all our mail accounts (affects both computers).  And could it also account for the throttled email traffic (affects just my computer) about which I have another thread going on?  I see (from thanks on a post) that you have been there...

AtP (Tony)

Superuser
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

could account for our having to keep signing on to all our mail accounts (affects both computers)

Hi Tony,

You must have started your "IT" career working on valve computers!  Possibly the Ferranti or Leo stuff?

In answer to your question, any cause of not being able to connect to the IMAP server is more than likely to present to the user as an authentication failure and a request to supply credentials.

My guess is that email clients leap straight into performing authentication with the server - any failure within that process, for wherever reason is treated as the authentication having failed verification.

Is it possible that the system event log might give more clues, for example the exact Outlook failure code.

The resolution of the server URL to a spoofed IP address is going to ensure non-connectivity.  Win 8/8.1/10 do DNS resolution caching different to the OS versions preceding them, exactly what those difference are I do not understand.  What causes the TG582n to start delivering spoofed addresses is not clear; by implication there is a hint of a DNS hiccup.

What I have seen with the TG582n (prior to inhibiting spoofing) is a Win 8 / 8.1 / 10 PC fail to connect to the internet (looks like the internet is down) whilst a Win7 PC on the same network sees no issues.  At the same time, I have seen one browser session fail and the other function on the same Win10 PC concurrently.  Figure that it you can.  I'm still using the TG582n with no apparent issues.

As for IMAP being slow (as opposed to it being deliberately slowed [throttled]) there are some known issues being investigated but are they are resisting diagnosis.  One possible explanation for the difference you see on each of your PCs (and possibly when you are tethered) is that they could be picking up different IP addresses / routing for the IMAP server.  All Plusnet services have at least two virtual IP addresses, behind which there are arrays of real servers, each with their own IP address.  There can be no assurance that two (or more devices) making a connection to a known URL are in fact connecting to the same server over the same bit of virtual network.

HTH.

Attila_The_Pun
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

Oh Kevin, Kevin…

There isn’t a button for “This didn’t fix my problem but it fixed my other one”, so the green button here will go unclicked for now.

Deep joy!: your post no. 9 led me to a solution for my ‘throttled email’ problem https://community.plus.net/t5/Broadband/POP3-emails-throttled-on-PlusNet-broadband-affects-both-PN-a... – POP3, not IMAP, incidentally - you must watch these points Grin) and my emails now scream through at a rate I’ve never seen before.

 

I temporarily changed my preferred DNS server to the Google one (that hurt!) at 8.8.8.8 / 8.8.8.4, and on re-test, it did nothing for the problem which is the subject of the this thread but fixed the email throttling. I will write this up on the other thread as briefly as my ingrained prolixity will permit, and then perhaps you or some other helpful soul will explain how I can properly fix the router firmware and allow me to get off the Google DNS server, as I really don’t want a giant corporation logging and potentially profiling my Web accesses for advertising purposes. I would also like to know how to check first if my router does or does not have the fix that PlusNet allegedly sent out.

 

I also wonder what system change suddenly caused this problem to manifest itself some 10 days ago.

 

I will obviously tell PN Support about this finding.

 

All after dinner and not a few drinks. Goodness, I almost feel normal again.

 

Thanks a heap. How many years have I been suffering unknown effects of this router error, I wonder.

 

AtP (Tony Ball)

PS Yes, my first program while a teenager (written on a short outside course at Elliot (Elliott?) Computers) was on valves, I think. At 23, wen I started proper work, I had colleagues who worked on LEO326, but, I went straight into COBOL and Assembler on ICL System 4 and IBM360. Almost leading edge, mate

 

Superuser
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

Hi Tony,

ICL System 4 - arguably at the time one of the most advanced computer systems available!  Slightly ahead of my time, which saw system 10, then 25 before the really big stuff came a long.  Personally I worked on the company's really small stuff before the term PC and mini computer had been invented ... Singer 1500 (later called ICL 1500) and Data Key to Disk 8900 systems.

Attila_The_Pun
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

To get back to the original reason I raised this particular discussion, the repeated sign-on requests (for all POP3 accounts) are still being popped up every Receive cycle,  It still happens on both computers, all POP3 mail accounts (not just PlusNet ones) and also when I use mobile broadband instead of the PlusNet broadband.  This does therefore rather look like a Microsoft matter. I have already raised it with Microsoft, but I leave this here in case someone has any good ideas.  I will update it if and when there is something to report.

Superuser
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Re: Repeated requests to sign on to POP3 email accounts (Outlook client)

Daft question - is the ‘remember password’ box ticked?