#734 new

Two separate accounts with a strange link to one another

Reported by Meindert | April 28th, 2014 @ 07:14 AM

I added two accounts to MailMate (call them A and B), both linked to newly created IMAP accounts at Pair.com (the domains' websites are there).

Since one of them (A) was a new domain and the mail account had nothing in it, I used it as a sort of parking space for mail that I was pulling down from lesser used Gmail accounts that I intended to close, and for old mailboxes that I was loading up from closed accounts archived on my hard disk. I eventually drag/copied all these messages out of A into B and into a dummy account (call it C) not linked to any real mailbox or real mail account.

That seemed to go O.K., in that the mail was in B and C, and not in A. But looking at the Account Viewer window I noticed a huge amount activity in A. I thought if I left it alone it would clear up. Maybe mails I moved were still being expunged in the background. But it never stopped. This despite the fact that A had no messages, not in Inbox, not in Archive or Trash or Junk.

Yesterday my Pair account went over quota. Among the larger files was A's IMAP folder, 600 MB.

Today I decided to nuke A and recreate it, since there are no historical mails I want to keep. I removes source from MailMate, and I deleted the mailbox from Pair. I waited a few hours. Then I recreated both the Pair mailbox and the MailMate account. The old mail reappeared in A (maybe it was still somehow at Pair?).

Before doing this, I verified that B was there. After doing this, B disappeared from MailMate. I removed A again and B reappeared. I checked Edit IMAP Account each time to verify that the e-mail addresses were not duplicated or mixed up.

Maybe I have some details wrong here, since I wasn't taking notes, but is anything like this even remotely possible? It seems like my accounts are haunted.

I want to completely, irrevocably sever A from B. I'd prefer not to de-registered domain A, but I'm willing to do anything short of that. I guess my next step is to ask Pair technical support for help in verifying that A's mail folders are well and truly dead dead dead, and then recreate the account there. How do I ensure that on MailMate's side that any traces of A are absolutely, completely wiped off the face of the planet, before recreating the mailbox?

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny April 28th, 2014 @ 07:52 AM

    I became a bit lost in the details, but I think the explanation might be related to the following fact: If you move a message from an online mailbox to an offline mailbox (C) then MailMate won't delete the message from the online mailbox before being able to upload the message to the offline mailbox. This is to make sure that messages are never lost. If insisting on having an offline mailbox then the only workaround is to copy the message (⌥-drag) and then delete the original message.

    The above does not quite seem to explain what you describe. If you remove an account from MailMate and then re-add it then you should only see the messages that are really in the account (refetched from the server).

    On disk it might take some time before the messages of an account have been deleted in practice (database indexes and on disk). I don't think this is a problem unless you do a database rebuild (I'll think about this special case). If MailMate is still in the process of deleting messages then you'll be able to see Deleted*.ids files here:

    ~/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Database.noindex/Sets/

    If such files do not exist then you can see all messages MailMate has in its cache here:

    ~/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Messages/IMAP/

    I hope this helps a bit. To fix any bugs I'll probably need a simpler example to be able to reproduce it.

  • Meindert

    Meindert May 2nd, 2014 @ 04:53 PM

    The troublesome account literally disappeared from MailMail, from Sources, Inbox, and File > Edit IMAP Account. I re-added it, and it's downloading mail again. Is this possible? Maybe I accidentally deleted it? No, I am not trolling you.

    Trying to simplify:

    I have account@troublesome.com into which I originally imported the old mailboxes from old accounts, and it is linked to an online IMAP account at Pair.com.

    I have the fake acount that I moved the mail to; this only exists in MailMate, and is offline.

    Per your advice of not trying to use fake accouts, I want to create a mailbox on a domain I own but which is not in use, and use that for my archives of old, dead e-mail accounts. This will be linked to a real account at Pair.com

    So I want to get the mail that is in fake and in troublesome (as deleted mail that keeps reappearing), into this new account on Pair. How to do this? Drag from fake and troublesome? (Then delete duplicates.) Will that work, or will fake keep causing problems because it has no online account?

    Another option: Editing fake to have the address and servers of the new, real account, but I imagine that will screw things up even more?

  • Meindert

    Meindert May 9th, 2014 @ 02:59 AM

    Restating the basic facts:

    -- Imported old mailboxes to MM account 1, which is connected to online Pair account.

    -- Selected and dragged all this e-mail to account 2, which is not connected to anything online, but was simply set up for archiving.

    -- Account 1 is constantly undergoing various IMAP activity, and online mailbox at Pair is huge, despite only having a few mails that are really only for account 1.

    My plan is to replace accoiunt 2 with a new account that has a real e-mail address and is connected to a real account online at Runbox or Pair.


    Should I just edit account 2 to the new account information (IMAP server, e-mail address, etc.)? Or will this exacerbate the mess?

    The other option is to create an account 3 in MM connected to Runbox or Pair, and copying e-mails from account 2 to it. Would this satisfy account 1's desire to see the e-mails copied from it ending up somewhere online? Will account 1 know that account 3 is uploading the e-mails, despite having account 2 in between?

  • benny

    benny May 9th, 2014 @ 12:09 PM

    Dragging message out of the “fake” account should be fine. If I understand correctly, you first did this move:

    A (online) -> B (offline)

    Now you want to add:

    A (online) -> B (offline) -> C (online)

    This should be fine since MailMate would reduce it to:

    A (online) -> C (online)

    When messages have been successfully uploaded to C then they'll be deleted from A.

    So I think the answer to your final questions are yes.

  • Meindert

    Meindert May 22nd, 2014 @ 10:34 AM

    It doesn't seem to be working. I'm sure I screwed up somewhere.

    I really want this to end. Is there any more drastic way of just simply moving messages to another mailbox. Can IMAP be "turned off" momentarily and stuff just surgically excised from a mailbox? I don't see an Export command, only Import. I'd like to just get the messages from A and C out of those accounts and into C and be done with it. Can I somehow export them and then reimport them?

  • Meindert

    Meindert May 22nd, 2014 @ 10:34 AM

    • no changes were found...
  • benny

    benny May 23rd, 2014 @ 12:59 PM

    You can take an IMAP account offline (right-click and “Take Offline”). You can then drag messages to one or more folders in the Finder to copy the messages (after that you can compare counts if you like). I'm not sure how the performance of this is if you do it with thousands of messages, but it should eventually complete even if hanging during the process.

    Then you can rename/move the following folder to start over completely:

    ~/Library/Application Support/MailMate

    Launch MailMate and setup your primary IMAP account. Then use “File ▸ Import Messages ▸ ...” to get the emails into IMAP folder(s) within that account.

    Does that make sense to you?

  • Meindert

    Meindert May 24th, 2014 @ 04:49 AM

    I solved this, but I don't know how, since I don't follow a scientific, change-one-thing-at-a-time process. I had account B down to about 5,000 red-colored (deleted but not confirmed?) messages. I just Removed Source on that, since the messages seems to also be elsewhere when spot checked. Then I copied (for the umpteenth time) messages from account A to other accounts, and they seemed to move, and eventually reached zero (not counting legitimate messages in A).

    The only remaining problem: about a couple of hundred nested folders that were created in A when I originally imported the archived e-mail mailboxes. I Delete Mailboxed them, but they just turned red. I went onto Pair's webmail interface, and if I delete a mailbox there it does carry over to MailMate and delete, but it cannot handle deletion of mailboxes that contain other mailboxes, even if there are no e-mail messages anywhere in there, so I have to delete from the bottom of the tree and work up. It takes 10 or 15 seconds per delete and there are a lot of them.

  • benny

    benny May 26th, 2014 @ 09:31 AM

    The red color is an intermediate state. This means MailMate has scheduled them for deletion and they won't disappear until they have been deleted on the server.

    If you still have this problem then I'd appreciate some more data since apparently MailMate fails to delete them. Is the account still online, did it fail for all deleted mailboxes, did you get any error messages?

  • Meindert

    Meindert May 27th, 2014 @ 12:06 AM

    I'm afraid I removed the entire source for that account (B), so there's no data to send.

    I also had a huge tree of nested folders created on the import account (A) that the data imported seemed to create, and most of them turned red when I tried to delete them and wouldn't go away. So I have no data to send. I discovered I could delete them one by one on the webmail site, but there were hundreds. I finally ssh'd in and deleted them in the .imap folder on the server (holding my breath because directly deleting stuff on the server via command line seemed risky), but everything worked out O.K., and all the constant ghost updating by the empty A account has stopped.

  • benny

    benny May 29th, 2014 @ 08:26 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “closed”

    Yes, deleting in the .imap folder seems risky depending on the IMAP server. I'll close this ticket, but I'll keep in mind that there might be a problem with deleting a large number (or hierarchy) of mailboxes.

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