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cenoxo

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We currently run Kerio MailServer 6.3.1* under Windows Server 2003 R2 on a Dell PowerEdge 2970 mail server (with 15000 rpm RAID hard drives). We use Kerio Outlook Connector 6.3.3474* with Outlook 2003 SP3 on about 50 Windows XP SP2 client PCs and laptops, and have Trend Micro enterprise antivirus. Our mail server and client PCs are more than adequate to handle things, and Kerio is working fine for the great majority of our users.

(*We realize our Kerio versions need to be upgraded, but that's not going to happen soon for various reasons.)

However, we have an executive user who has had nothing but problems with his Kerio account for a few months. He has tried three different laptops (a 2 year old Fujitsu and two new Acers) with 1.6 GHz processors and 1 to 2 GB of RAM. These had fresh installs of Windows XP SP2, Outlook 2003 SP3 and KOC 6.3, and have been set up in the same basic way as our other client machines.

He has a hardwired connection to our 100 mbps LAN, and has even been patched directly to a GB switch reserved for our servers. We've checked his laptops' LAN adapters for proper configuration, and all usual network operations -- accessing shares, opening files, downloading files, uploading files, etc. -- work at normal speeds in MS Office 2003 and other programs.

The problem appears to be Kerio-Outlook 2003. When he launches Outlook and begins working, it usually slows down, hesitates, freezes, and eventually locks up. This may happen upon opening his first message. Standard email operations simply crawl. It may take a very long time (1-5 minutes or more, and sometimes never) to:

- Open a message.
- Open an attachment in its native application.
- Flag a message.
- Move a message into another folder with Outlook.
- Send replies.
- Send new messages.
- Send Excel, Powerpoint, Word documents as email from within their native applications.
- Send /receive Calendar meeting invitations, reminders, etc.

This slowness also occurs when he uses Kerio Web Mail, either when he connects to it from within our LAN or from home and other outside locations.

When new messages arrive, he may see multiple message notifications (envelope icons down in the System tray). When he clicks on a notification envelope, the message may open up in a postage-stamp-sized message window and Outlook will lock up.

He has about 5000 items total in his Kerio Mail store, and it occupies about 1.2 GB. We have about 20 other users with bigger item counts (up to 20,000) and larger stores (up to 7 GB) who do not experience the same problems.

His Inbox usually has less than 200 messages, but he keeps about 2000 messages each in Sent Items and Deleted Items. His preview pane is off in all folders. He also keeps several locally archived PST files open: some of these are older PST files created under Outlook 2000.

We have reinstalled KOC numerous times, repaired Outlook 2003 SP3, checked for incompatible Outlook add-ins, etc., etc., etc. Since his problems happen on different laptops and over different LAN and Internet connections, the common denominator would seem to be his Kerio account and/or his Kerio mail store.

On the Kerio MailServer, we've not seen any show-stopping errors for him in the logs. We've rebuilt the index.fld files in all of his mail store folders (more than once). We've also created a new Kerio user account, copied all of his existing .EML files into their respective folders in the new account, rebuilt the folders' index.fld and properties.fld files, then renamed the new account's main folder to his current user name.

All without any success -- he still experiences the same problems, and Outlook 2003 continues to slow to a crawl, hang, and crash.

Any suggestions?
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sedell

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Do you have extremely high CPU usage from Outlook during this time? Does he use the Calendar a lot? I ran into a similar issue with speed for one of our users some time back. He used KSP for a while, and for some reason was duplicating attendees in older calendar items. After a while the attendee list was several thousand long on some of the events. It would cause all sorts of problems when the calendar events were parsed. It was most noticeable in Outlook, which would eventually completely lock up and/or crash.

To confirm it's something in the mail store, you could try creating another mail profile on his machine when logged in as him, and set it up for someone else's mail. If Outlook then works fine, you can confirm it's in his mail store, and not specific to his install or profile on the machine(s). If that's the case, try connecting him via IMAP, but don't import any non-mail items. That way, you'll have access to only mail, and can to some degree rule out or confirm mail or non-mail items as the problem. That's not foolproof since IMAP works differently than KOC, but if the mail is somehow corrupt, hopefully it would show problems for IMAP too.

Scott
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RHarmsen.nl

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You might want to consider contacting Kerio for support.

But as you stated you have some reasons for still being on 6.3.1, I guess you don't have rights to support, nor a new version.

Another thing, for me 6.5.1 with KOFF instead of KOC is much faster and has better stability.

You might want to really look into upgrading the mailserver, and ask Kerio for support on this.
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cenoxo

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RHarmsen.nl said: "...guess you don't have rights to support, nor a new version..."

We're fully licensed -- we can upgrade, and we have contacted Kerio Support -- but for various internal reasons we can't upgrade at the moment.

We're hoping to diagnose and solve this one user's problems without upgrading several dozen other users at the same time, plus there's no guarantee his problems will go away with an upgrade.
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RHarmsen.nl

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Perhaps if you have a spare machine or some room on another machine for a Virtual Machine you could try to setup a very small Kerio Mailserver to test if an upgrade would fix this problem.

just setup the same version first, copy the user + mailbox to this test server and upgrade.

Also in the mean time see if the problem resolves, if so, something on the main mailserver is wrong.

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scottwilkins

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cenoxo wrote on Mon, 14 July 2008 17:25

.... plus there's no guarantee his problems will go away with an upgrade.


Upgrading software is one of the very first steps in determining the fix for a problem.
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cenoxo

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scottwilkins: "Upgrading software is one of the very first steps in determining the fix for a problem."

Not if things were previously working OK for this user under our current KMS/KOC versions, and if our other users (with similar hardware and software) are not having similar problems.

Upgrades of any type usually come with their own set of issues.
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scottwilkins

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Cenoxo, good point. Fortuantely you have a slew of help with that here in the forums. There are a lot of great folks here that usually take the first bullet for you, and install almost instantly any new updates (along with a few that were helping beta test those updates.) Most issues are known before you will need to install, and will most definately be posted here if problems are expected. So, go right ahead and update to the latest 6.5.2 and see if that helps or not. Then, you'll be more ready for any next steps that have to be taken.
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cenoxo

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Scottwilkins -- Believe me, when and if we upgrade to KMS 6.5, I'll look for advice in this forum. But until that time, we most immediately need help with our user's problem with 6.3.1.

Let's forget Outlook and KOC for the moment. Our user is on a business trip today and called to say that he is again experiencing major slowdowns and hangs while accessing his Kerio Webmail account via Internet Explorer 7.

Assuming that he has a working Internet connection, and considering Kerio Webmail by itself, what should we be checking to try and diagnose the problem?

I set up this user's laptop myself. Are there any known IE7 plugins -- Java, Quicktime, Flash, etc. -- that might conflict with KWM? Are there any Internet Options in IE7 that should/shouldn't be set?

Are there any known Windows XP SP2 updates that might cause problems?

Is there a particular Webmail error or result that I should look for in our KMS logs?
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sedell

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Since it happens for both webmail and Outlook, I would guess something in the message store. Try this when nobody is logged on, or only very few people because these logs get very big very fast. In the debug log, enable all of the Message Store options. Log in with the problem account, perform a few operations, log out, turn off the Message Store debugging, and check out the logs. They might show errors, or indicate certain messages aren't being processed properly or have become corrupt.

Edit: I just had another thought - keep an eye on the CPU usage on the server as well. See if it spikes once you log in with that account.

[Updated on: Tue, 15 July 2008 22:23]


Scott
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cenoxo

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Sedell said: "Do you have extremely high CPU usage from Outlook during this time? Does he use the Calendar a lot?...

Since the user's currently out of town, I can't check his present laptop. However, I checked the laptop he originally used (one that experienced the same problem) while logged in as him, and found no excessive CPU or memory usage while using Outlook. CPU may hit 03 or 04 when a new message is opened, but it's normally at 00-01. Memory stays at about 36-38mb with Outlook opened to his Inbox, Sent Items, or Deleted Items folder, and it increases about 4 to 6mb every time a message is opened. Wih 10 messages opened, CPU usage is about 01% and memory is about 74 mb (this particular laptop has 2 gb of memory).

I also created a new, empty "testuser" mail account that only has the default folders and four simple test messages in its Inbox and Sent Items folders. After opening the testuser account on the user's original laptop, OUTLOOK.EXE used 1% or less of the CPU and about 36-38 MB of memory.

I'm not sure about the frequency of his Calendar usage, but he has not used Kerio Synchronization Plugin at all on any laptop we've tried.

To confirm it's something in the mail store, you could try creating another mail profile on his machine when logged in as him, and set it up for someone else's mail. If Outlook then works fine, you can confirm it's in his mail store and not specific to his install or profile on the machine(s).

I'll try this with the testuser account mentioned above.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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cenoxo

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sedell said: Try this when nobody is logged on, or only very few people because these logs get very big very fast. In the debug log, enable all of the Message Store options. Log in with the problem account, perform a few operations, log out, turn off the Message Store debugging, and check out the logs. They might show errors, or indicate certain messages aren't being processed properly or have become corrupt.

Tried that early this AM, and the typical result in the Debug log is shown below (there was nothing else in any of other logs.)

I logged in to Kerio Webmail as the user, opened their Sent Items folder (which contains the most messages). On preview, I see that the forum post editor has replaced the "at" symbol in the address, but is there anything unusual here?

The 9th log item states "expensive=yes", and other folder logs also had "expensive=no". What does this refer to?

- - - - -
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:47][2840] {folder} Opened folder '~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items'
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:47][2840] {folder} Closing folder ~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items, refcount=1
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:47][320] {folder} Opened folder '~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items'
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:47][320] {quota} Loading quota and statistics for user johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:47][320] {quota} Quota statistics for user johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com already loaded, refcount=2
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:47][320] {folder} Started reading folder index file ~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:47][320] {folder} Finished reading folder index file ~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items, 2127 messages
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:47][320] {search} Sorting messages in folder ~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:47][320] {search} Loading sort info for mail folder ~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items, expensive=yes
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:48][320] {search} Loaded sort info for mail folder ~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items in 0.08 s, 0 messages not cached
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:48][320] {search} Performing the array sort in folder ~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:48][320] {search} Finishing sort in folder ~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:48][320] {search} Sorting messages in folder ~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items finished
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:48][320] {folder} Parsing MIME structure of message 00002f5d in folder ~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items, time 0.06 s
[16/Jul/2008 07:10:48][320] {folder} Closing folder ~johnsmith<_a.t_>acme.com/Sent Items, refcount=1
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cenoxo

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...I also opened a message in their Sent Items folder, and opened its 7mb PDF file attachment (that would be the next-to-last entry in the Sent Items log shown above.)
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sedell

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It's hard to say from a small snippet, plus I'm no expert on the message store logs. I know there are subtle things to look for, but on the occasions we've had really slow loading or no loading issues with an account where I had to enable those logs, the issues were relatively obvious. There were either fairly blatant errors, messages that appeared to be looping when processed, or messages/folders that took an unusual amount of time to process.

Scott
Nixs

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Just ideas to try;

You have real time anti virus on the server? You have the Kerio mail store excluded from real time scanning?

Google search for site:microsoft.com contig download this to the server and from a command prompt traverse into this users folders, run contig.exe *.* -s This will defrag just his folders. Perhaps somehow one of his indexes has become heavily fragmented? We defrag our entire mail store over the weekend to solve that issue.

With the aid of support, perhaps rebuild his index.fld files? I'd mention how to do it here, but that seems to generate flack.





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