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User cannot login to mailbox

Document ID: 2553HQ


When users attempt to login to their mailboxes, a number of conditions can cause their login to fail even if they specify the correct login data.


Most mail clients report the reason for a login failure to the end user. Typically the error message will report that the mailbox is locked, but other issues that block a user from accessing the mail server system may also occur.

Mailbox Locked

Mailboxes in WorldMail 3 can be considered locked if one of the following occur:

1. Another email client is logged into the mailbox

2. The client aborted the previous connection due to reboot or program crash

3. The server was shutdown abnormally while a POP3 session was in progress

In the case of #1 above, the user will need to wait until the other mail client program closes the mailbox and removes the lock.

In the case of #2, WorldMail 3 will release the lock automatically after a timeout period has been reached (10 minutes by default).

In the case of #3, administrator intervention may be necessary. A file named $lockfile is created in a user's mailbox during a client session, and if the server unexpectedly shuts down during a session, this file may be left behind after the server is restarted. In this case, the administrator will need to manually remove the $lockfile from the user's mailbox.

Client DNS Settings

If a user cannot log in but his/her mailbox is not locked, then the problem may be the inability to connect to the mail server system. This typically occurs because the client system's DNS settings are incorrect.

To determine whether the client system is configured correctly, instruct the end user to execute this command from the Windows Command (MS-DOS) Prompt:

ping (your mail server hostname)

If the PING command returns an error indicating that the IP address of the mail server system could not be resolved, then instruct the end user to check his/her DNS settings.

System Blocked

If the PING command reports that the IP address of the server could be resolved but that the mail server is unreachable, then the problem may be that the end user's system is being blocked on the network by a firewall, router, or proxy server. To check network connectivity, instruct the user to execute the following from the Windows Command Prompt:

tracert (you mail server host name)

This command will return a TCP/IP path through which the user connects to your mail server. If the connection is blocked at any point along this path the command output will pinpoint the problem.

POP/IMAP Access Disallowed

If the end user has no problems connecting to the mail server system but is still unable to authenticate, the user's mailbox may be configured to disallow POP or IMAP connections. Use the WorldMail 3 Management Center to view the user's mailbox (permissions are set on the Security tab).

Login Data Incorrect

Finally, it may be that the user is providing incorrect login data. Verify that the user is providing the correct password.


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