troubleshooting your mac

Troubleshooting Claris Emailer

Dan Knight - April 1999

Emailer starts just fine, but then locks up. I have to restart the computer to get things going again - and Emailer locks up again when I launch it.

I've seen this one enough times to put it at the top of the list. The culprit is almost always one or more files in the Temp Incoming folder within the Claris Emailer Files folder. Move all those files somewhere else temporarily and Emailer should run just fine. Then quit Emailer, put one file back in the Temp Incoming folder, and launch Emailer again. When the problem returns, you've found the problem file - Trash it.

Note that you may have more than one damaged file in the Temp Incoming folder, so don't just assume that trashing one will solve your problem. The Temp Incoming folder should be empty except when Emailer is downloading and extracting incoming messages.

I've also seen this problem once when the Emailer preferences file (in the Claris folder within the System Folder) was corrupt. Delete it, reset your preferences when you launch Emailer, and you'll be back on your way.

I'm getting italic listings for "deleted" files.

That's a sure sign that it's time to rebuild you database. (Emailer keeps all messages in a single database, using a separate index file to track what's in it.) To rebuild the mail database and index, launch Emailer and immediately hold down the Option key until it asks if you want to rebuild the databases.

Choose the typical rebuild. If that doesn't work, then try the advanced rebuild. If that doesn't work, you'll need a recent backup - because the files are toast. Although you can get into the damaged mail database using BBEdit Lite to search for things, the file is a real mess to search through in a text editor. (I've only had this happen once, but it took down 40 MB worth of archived email.)

Tip: Speeding up Emailer

One way to really speed up Emailer is to eliminate the need for your computer to check with a domain name server (DNS) when connecting. If your mail server has a fixed IP address, you can put that address in the SMTP server area of Account Setup. But if you get mail from one of several servers, as you might from America Online, this won't work.

Another way to accomplish this is to create a hosts file, place it in your System Folder, and link to it from TCP/IP. To do this, you must be in Advanced user mode, then click on the Select Hosts File... button, and choose your hosts file. A hosts file will look like this and can be created in SimpleText:

mydomain.com       A  123.45.67.89  <-- use tabs between fields
www.mydomain.com   A  123.45.67.89
mail.mydomain.com  A  123.45.67.89

Simply save the file as "hosts" within your System Folder, then link. This will not only speed up Emailer, but also your browser or any other application using TCP/IP and accessing mydomain.com. Note that this only works for static addresses.

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