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Mail crashes with large attachements

Discussion in 'E-mail Discussions' started by SimplyIT, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. SimplyIT

    SimplyIT Member

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    Hi,

    I'm getting a problem with cPanel 10.2.0-R82 when people receive large attachments.

    If the attachement is over around 5mb in size, when trying to download through PoP3 to something like Outlook, it hangs for a while and says their password is invalid.

    No amount of resetting passwords etc clears this, and when trying to log on to webmail, Squirrel mail comes up with an IMAP connection dropped error, Horde doesnt come up with anything, just a bar along the top of the screen, and Neo Mail will just time-out.

    Every time this happens its a hour long battle of resetting all the mail services, trying to gain access to the inbox to delete the large messages, then having to run a fix on the mailboxes and restarting all the mail services again before they can continue.

    Setting a large attachement limit is not an option as my major client is a design company who rely on sending attachments from 1mb up to around 30mb each. Also using IMAP is not practical as they will very quickly blow out their quotas.

    I hope someone can help with this, as it's burning my brain out, and not making my client very happy either!

    Thanks
     
  2. chirpy

    chirpy Well-Known Member

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    How large is the actual inbox when it has these attachments in it? If they have several emails with large attachments you could easily run out of memory on the server trying to read them. People do seem to forget that email is not the right medium for this, especially since the binary attachments have to be converted to ASCII using BASE64 which will bloat the size of attachements greatly.
     
  3. SimplyIT

    SimplyIT Member

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    Hi Chirpy,

    Thanks for the reply. I havent noticed the actual size of the inbox file when this error occurs. Each user has a 100mb quota for their inbox and all use POP3 for delievery, so not much is ever left sitting around in the server, but as you say, the actual inbox file could be maxing out their quota.

    It seems to be more of a time-out problem, as if you try to access their inbox with something like SquirrelMail, it sits for a huge amount of time and then just says IMAP dropped the connection, and shows the query it was running. If you then restart all mail services (POP, IMAP & Exim) then you get one shot at accessing SquirrelMail successfully, before it all crashes again. When you actually CAN access Squirrel, it's lightening fast and you can delete the humungous files.

    Do you think it's a quota problem? I'm wondering that if I bloat their quotas to something like 1GB to take account of the file conversion, it may work?
     
  4. screege

    screege Well-Known Member

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    resolved?

    Did you resolved the problem? I get the same error with attachments over 5 mb.

    Thanks
     
  5. Cash

    Cash Well-Known Member

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    i am using redhat enterprise awitl release version cpanel.

    I got problem when sending ver 4MB attachemnt by ms outlook n urlook express.
    do u?
     
  6. SimplyIT

    SimplyIT Member

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    Hi,

    As yet, i'm not sure if the problem has been fixed. After experiencing this problem for so long, and going by what Chirpy mentioned about running out of memory, I upgraded our server from a 1.8Ghz with 512mb RAM to an Intel 3Ghz HT with 1GB ram, and I've had no problems with mail since. Having said that, I'm not aware of how many, if any at all, large attachments have been sent.

    When I changed the server, I also changed from cPanel release version to stable version. If i've had no reports of errors over the next week or so, i'll assume it's been resolved by the hardware upgrade and report back to let you know.

    What spec machines are you running on? Just as a comparison to see whether you have similar to our old server, and whether that truely could have been the problem.
     
  7. Cash

    Cash Well-Known Member

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    I am using Dual Xen 2.4 HT with 1GB RAM, nly hsted 20 domains hosting.
    But I have no problem in Webmail. Just problem in Ms utlok and Oultook Epress.
    Does is a server network issue?


     
  8. SimplyIT

    SimplyIT Member

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    Hi,

    Well, I've discovered what the problem is. When people are receiving these large attachements, their mail client is timing out, dumping the server in mid-download. The server will eventually kick back in of its own accord. I've told my client to upgrade their broadband connection, or get some software that prevents time-outs when downloading mail, such as Norton Anti-Virus/Personal Firewall.

    I tested sending attachements of up to 30mb to myself without difficulty, which is how we managed to discover it was purely their connection speed to the internet.
     
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