As Strange As It May Appear…
Our Lotus Notes & Domino servers provide email access for other systems via POP3 and IMAP. Now, in itself, that’s not anything “strange” per say. No, the strange part is that I [very] rarely get requests for help in regards to those system accessing emails via POP3 or IMAP.
Now, I know that some of the gurus in the Yellowverse are running servers that provide service via POP3 and IMAP for very large user communities and that they do run into problems from time-to-time (my opinion of this is entirely based on a handful of posts on planetlotus.org that I’ve seen over the past few years).
Alas, some of our servers provide about 20 to 30 machines email access via POP3 and IMAP so the “help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” calls are few and far between for me.
Today however, Mike Miedona, one of our Lotus Notes Developer (and Siebel Administrator extraordinaire as well), reported that Siebel could not get emails anymore from the server. The exact error he saw in the Siebel logs were all like those below:
POP3SMTP[02/28/2012 10:09:17]:ERROR:POP3 PASS error: -ERR The system was unable to log email@example.com in. Maildrop opened for exclusive access by another user.
Mike even went further: he tried to Telnet from the Siebel server into the Notes server to “get” the emails via the same port as the POP3 port (110) and couldn’t either.
So, I did the usual checks: the server was up and running and the POP3 task was running as well. My next test however didn’t work: I started Mozilla Thunderbird and tried to connect to an account via POP3… I had the same error.
A quick Google search later resulted in the solution…
It’s actually quite simple… if you Google the error “Maildrop opened for exclusive access by another user”, you’ll eventually stumble upon Technote #1247587. That particular Technote is titled “Unable to obtain exclusive access to maildrop when POP3 client is constantly polling the server” and here is a link to it if you need it.
Now, even if the Technote says it applies to OS/400 and i5/OS… the solution contain within it did the trick for us with our Windows 2003 based server:
Once this occurs, the server will need to be restarted…
So a quick reboot … and everything started to work again.
Well, this one was a bit strange… We are not sure why this happened but the solution was quick and easy. If it happens again within the next few days/weeks, I’ll open a PMR with Lotus Support to get some air support.
In the meantime, I hope this helps someone, somewhere…
Thanks for reading!