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Can't Access Your Email? How to correct this problem?
by Dr. Raj Mehta

Recently there has been lot of mail to The Guide from the users that they are unable to get the email from their mail box.

Important: If you send The Guide, some message for help, then we are at loss as to how to get message to you as you can't pick up the mail. The Guide suggest that you get a free web based email account at either Hotmail or Yahoomail and use these address to communicate with The Guide.

Before we get into the the reasons and cure for this problem. One very important thing to remember that since your mailbox is locked up or you can't pick up mail from it-- even if you send a mail unless you give us an address where you can receive mail from us.

Causes are many why this happens?

Let us enumerate the reasons which can cause this to happen.

  1. You have not been deleting the mail from your mailbox and it has reached it 2 MB. limit and mail is bouncing off. Also, this may cause it lock up, denying you access to the mail.
  2. Some one sent you a very large mail e.g. a large attached file -- may be a graphic file or some program. That will cause the mail box to freeze.
  3. Some unforseen glitch has occurred at the server where your mail box is causing the mailbox to be inaccessible.

So what can you do to get your mail?

  1. The first thing to try is to logon to the shell account by using telnet to your shell account and using the email option from the main menu on the second screen and delete messages. For the procedure to telnet to your shell account click here. Specifically, any one message which has a large attachment which can be discerned from the size of the mail indicated in the Inbox. This in most cases will solve the problem.

    In case when you log on to shell account and you don't see any messages in the inbox and it gives an error message in pine: 'inbox (file /var/mail/userid) is not in valid mailbox format'. Then you can't correct this problem. In this case go to the following approach to get the problem resolved.

  2. If you get the messages quoted in the previous paragraph or a following message in from your email software e.g. Eudora, Netscape Messenger or Outlook Express: "Unable to Process (envelopes), change recognition mode". The the problem is one which cannot be corrected by the user.

    In this event you have to contact the VSNL internet helpdesk over the phone and report to them the problem and request them to reset your mail box. This can be done while you are on the phone. You can get some of the phone numbers of helpdesk in different cities. The ones that are not here you will have to find it out for yourself.

A good habit to get into is to keep your mail box empty. Read about this by clicking here.

Be sure you have an email address where we can communicate with you.



Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998 Dr. Raj Mehta. All rights reserved.