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Frustrating mystery Trash deletion...

Discussion in 'E-mail Discussions' started by Whit Gurley, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. Whit Gurley

    Whit Gurley Registered

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    Hi folks,

    Longtime cPanel user/fan, first time "caller." I've been battling a mystery Trash folder deletion behavior for the better part of a year and am at my wit's end with it.

    The problem is that the email that I've sent to my main email account's Trash folder (which I essentially use for storage of old conversations) has been randomly getting deleted. Usually this is in the form of "everything older than X days" (X varies), but today it was literally every message in the folder.

    I don't want to waste anyone's time here, so I'm going to start with the most important question: is there any way to log activity such as viewing a particular email folder, and/or performing actions on messages? I gather that none of the default logs offer that - they're restricted to just logging account access. So it seems like the former would have to come either from a not-usually-turned-on feature or a third-party add-on.

    And before anyone suggests it, yes, I have quadruple-checked the settings on all of my email-capable devices, they (all of them are Apple devices using Mail) are all set to "Never" expunge deleted email (nor do I have any Rules or cPanel filters that could cause it). I have also inquired with my web host, GreenGeeks - they claim that no mechanism on the server could be causing this problem. That's why I'm interested in the above logging, since it might offer a clue as to the source of the deletion actions.

    Thanks!
     
  2. mtindor

    mtindor Well-Known Member

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    If the server admin is running Dovecot for the IMAP/POP3 service, they have a setting available to Auto-Expunge items in the Trash folders globally after __# of days. They probably have that enabled.

    The solution to your problem is to not put items you want to keep in the Trash folder. The Trash folder is named "Trash" for a reason.

    Mike
     
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  3. Whit Gurley

    Whit Gurley Registered

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    I appreciate the suggestion, Mike, but I'm afraid that an auto-expunge setting is not the culprit, for a few reasons:

    1. Such a setting would assumedly produce a consistent result - all email older than X days would always be deleted, and no more. My situation varies widely, and will go weeks without deleting anything.
    2. Today's deletion behavior was all of the messages in the Trash folder, while the last deletion was only all messages older than about 2 days. I've also had it delete everything older than about 10 days.
    3. I created a test account and put a few messages in the Trash about ten days ago. No messages have been deleted, suggesting that the issue is limited to my specific email account.

    I appreciate your opinion about how the Trash folder should be used, but I don't share it. My feeling is that if I'm paying for the hosting service, especially a reseller account, then I should be the one to decide how my resources are being used. In any case, it's a moot point, since this most recent deletion of everything in the folder is absurdly aggressive. No system-wide filter is going to do that.

    Again, my primary goal in this thread is the answer to this question: is there any way to log activity such as viewing a particular email folder, and/or performing actions on messages?
     
  4. Whit Gurley

    Whit Gurley Registered

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    I would have to assume from the silence that what I’m seeking isn’t possible, but I would love to hear an authoritative answer to the above question. Seems a bit surprising that it’s not possible to see when a given IP issues a particular mail-related action.
     
  5. Infopro

    Infopro cPanel Sr. Product Evangelist
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    Indeed. You might check with your Hosting Provider about this. I do recall several threads on these forums and at least one Feature Request concerning, Email Retention, asking for ways to auto clear email accounts. Does your Hosting provider do something like this right now? No way of knowing without asking him.

    No, I don't think there is any logging taking place for an action like emptying your Trash Folder.
     
  6. mtindor

    mtindor Well-Known Member

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    Sure it's possible. Courier and Dovecot are both going to log to /var/log/maillog. Depending on the loglevel enabled for Courier / Dovecoton the server, it may or may not be possible to see who/what/when. And if you aren't the admin and you want your admin to look into it, you should expect the admin to charge you for their time considering they probably have to enable additional logging as well as spend a likely significant amount of time searching / tailing logfiles. And then, one never knows when your issue is going to occur. And no admin would want to to run with a very verbose logging level for a long period of time just to collect data, as that increased logging can impact the performance of Courier / Dovecot.

    mike
     
  7. Whit Gurley

    Whit Gurley Registered

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    Thanks for the feedback, guys, that's helpful. Reading the logs would assumedly not be a huge deal since I would be able to isolate the time span within ~8 hours and there should be little to no activity while my devices are off (and in all likelihood I would do the searching myself - they would just place a copy of the log for me somewhere). But since I have no way of knowing when the "Trash bandit" is going to strike again, that probably renders the latter point moot due to the performance issue. :/
     
  8. cPanelMichael

    cPanelMichael Forums Analyst
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    Hello :)

    Unfortunately, there's not much you can troubleshoot without root access to the server. I'd push your web hosting provider to take a deeper look and review bash history and cPanel access logs to determine how the messages are removed.

    Thank you.
     
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