Was fine . . . then suddenly a problem

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lcummings
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Was fine . . . then suddenly a problem

Post by lcummings » Thu Sep 30, 2004 10:39 am

XP Pro SP-2 . . . install and setup seemed to go fine, and for a couple of days no problems. Suddenly, every check results in:

Access violation at 7C80979D in module 'kernel32.dll'. Write of address 006D6F6B.

Anyone? I have a very well functioning OS, with a gig of memory and no other problems.

. . .

I should add here that I use this for hotmail accounts only, with the plugin. I have also discovered since I first posted this that of the five accounts, all of which worked fine for 3 days, one continues to work fine, while the other four now generate the error. The same one always works, the other don't, and nothing has been changed of course.

Interestingly, I tried installing Hotmail Popper just to see how that would work the The Bat! More interestingly, after I set up the five hotmail accounts in TB, only the same account that continues to work with PopTray works with the TB/Hotmail Popper combination.

This leads me to think that MS is possibly changing something in its login procedures, and simply hasn't gotten around to all the accounts yet. I can't come up with anything else, but there you have it all.

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Post by Rdsok » Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:10 pm

If your system had worked for a 'few' days with the updates from MS, then they aren't the problem. If they had caused the trouble, you would have seen trouble from the time they were installed not a delayed problem.

Since you can cross the update off the list, you'll need to think of any other programs you (or others) may have installed, changes to the system settings etc. Undo any of these that you can think of.

You mention that is only happens with some of your Hotmail accounts. While I haven't seen this error reported before there is a possibility that a new form of corrupt email could be the cause. Remove all email from the Inbox's of the affected accounts, if a malformed email (ie corrupt) is the cause the trouble will go away, if it is caused by something else, more testing is required. ( You may want to just test with one account, if the trouble goes away with the single account proceed to the others.)

After that I'd suggest checking the drive for errors. At a command prompt type the command "chkdsk /f" , the computer will tell you that the disk can't be unmounted (since you are using it) and will ask you to schedule the check for the next time your computer starts. Tell it yes and then restart your computer. This won't take long and when it is finished you can test to see if the problem was taken care of.

If you still are having trouble it is time to verify that a virus, spyware or other parasitic software hasn't gotten past your defenses. DO NOT assume that just because you have software that is suppose to protect you from some of this stuff that something hasn't gotten past it no matter how much you trust the software. I suggest using at least 3 or 4 different programs to look for possible problems because what one will miss another can find. You wouldn't believe the numbers of computers that I fix that have supposedly top of the line software protection and still have gotten this stuff.

If you aren't sure of the procedures to check for this check out the link in my sig about spyware and parasitic software. The info is becoming a little dated now, but still covers the methods I use to find this stuff.

If this didn't turn up anything, I'd suggest rethinking the 2nd part, did you (or others) install something else or make other changes to the system. I've had a number of customers that swear that nothing else had happened and when I find the cause say "Oh yeah, but I forgot or didn't think..." or something like that. Assume nothing about any change that may have happened on the system.

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Re: Was fine . . . then suddenly a problem

Post by GaryGo » Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:26 am

lcummings wrote:Access violation at 7C80979D in module 'kernel32.dll'. Write of address 006D6F6B.
I am seeing the exact same problem under Win 98 with PopTray 3.0.3, and only with my hotmail account. I also check several POP3 accounts, and they work OK. How do I tell which Hotmail plugin I have? The size of Hotmail.dll is 122880 bytes.

I rebooted and cleared out the Hotmail account, and PopTray reports the error even when the mailbox is empty. This just started on Sep 27 or 28. I had been using this setup for months with no trouble. I have not installed anything new or made any changes to the system at all in at least a few weeks.

I think something changed at the Hotmail side that is breaking the plugin.

Gary

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Post by Rdsok » Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:28 am

lcummings and GaryGo,

It is certainly recommended to use the latest version of the Hotmail plugin as well as all others. Most of the plugins are in the beta stage and still have work needed to fix some of the problems being seen. I'm currently using the latest and I'm not having a problem, but I also only have one account. I would suggest to check back often to ensure you have the latest of any plugin you may use.

GaryGo,

I can't say which version you are using, but it is an older version. The latest is 135,168 bytes. So I'd suggest getting the latest version from the Sourceforge - PopTray website. (The main Poptray website links to the Sourceforge site so you don't have to search much.)

lcummings,

I'd suggest, before you go through the previously mentioned troubleshooting proceedures, make certain you are also using the latest version. That may save you considerable work.

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Post by lcummings » Fri Oct 01, 2004 4:54 am

Some of what has been posted are logical assumptions, however I am not a typical "naive user". I built my box (last in a long and successful series of builds), I know exactly what is on it, and that it is clean. Nothing has been installed or uninstalled since PopTray went in. I'm behind a stealthed NAT router with a third party firewall that has a robust set of inbound and outbound rules.

Changes indeed are coming to Hotmail, however. This morning, I tried to add an identity to OE to access one of the Hotmail accounts I can no longer access via PopTray. I got:

Could not connect to Hotmail as (deleted)@hotmail.com.

Hotmail no longer allows email access via Outlook Express for free email accounts.

Please visit http://www.hotmail.com/oe to learn more.

Account: 'Hotmail', Server: 'http://services.msn.com/svcs/hotmail/httpmail.asp', Protocol: HTTPMail, Server Response: 'Access to Hotmail via Outlook and Outlook Express now requires a subscription. Please sign up at http://upgrade.msn.com', Port: 0, Secure(SSL): No, Error Number: 0x800CCCF6

{Edited addition} My OE was set to poll one particular Hotmail account previously, and interestingly *that* account continues to work in OE, but no other added identity does. That account is also separate from all five of the accounts that I was using PopTray to check.

But, and this plus the information below may be key . . . the ONE account that PopTray continues to be able to work with CAN be added as an identity to OE, and it works. {End edited addition}

------

So, it's apparent that MS is trying as much as possible to lock down Hotmail accounts, at least to the extent that such lock downs encourage people to upgrade to some premium account. This may be old news to some; it was a surprise to me. Based on what I wrote above in the edited addition, I suspect this is MS that is responsible, and that we may expect to see problems soon across the board with Hotmail accounts.

I find it very, very interesting that one account continues to work via PopTray, but that four no longer do. How could one think that this is some foreign program install messing things up? First, there was no install, but more importantly, if such an install interfered with one account, it would almost certainly interfer with all of them.

Likewise with the suggestion that the plugin is out of date. How could that be when I just installed the program about 5 days ago? (Well, it could, but not likely.) And again, why would one Hotmail account continue to work under all conditions, and four suddenly stop working under any condition? The plugin either works, or doesn't work. It doesn't work for some Hotmail accounts, but not others, I'm sure. And Hotmail access is the only interest I have in PopTray.

There seem to be a lot of unanswered questions here, and none of the speculation so far makes perfect sense to me.
Last edited by lcummings on Fri Oct 01, 2004 5:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by GaryGo » Fri Oct 01, 2004 5:00 am

I reinstalled Hotmail plugin beta 10. I was already running that version (I mentioned the size of the DLL, I think rdsok was referring to the size of the self-extracting EXE.) I was able to check my empty hotmail account, I haven't tried yet with mail there.

I think it's either a new type of bogus email message, or a change in Hotmail that is breaking the plugin, but we'll see if my reinstall ends the errors.

Gary

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Post by Rdsok » Fri Oct 01, 2004 5:34 am

Actually (and now that I've looked again I see this isn't shown clearly on the Sourceforge site) I wasn't refering to the self extracting file nor were I refering to the Beta_10 version.

LegoBas made some fixes and made them available in the Hotmail.zip file that is listed just below the Beta_10 version and its source files. I had got this version after he mentioned it in a post a little while back.

Since I can't talk for LegoBas, all I can do is assume that this is an update for the Beta10 version. I could be wrong and it may be a complete stand alone dll. I had previously installed the Beta_10 version and then just copied the dll contained in the zip file which has a newer file date and is larger than the one included with Beta_10 release.

GaryGo's statements that the problem is caused by a bad email or other Hotmail server changes may also be a possibility. But what I said about the dll is still correct also. I'm sorry for not looking at Sourceforge first before I mentioned it earlier tonight since I would have specified it better it if I had. :oops:

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Post by Rdsok » Fri Oct 01, 2004 6:38 am

Well, I just scrolled up and saw lcummings had responded also.

I can't get to your link at hotmail about OE and Outlook so I'll restate the hearsay I got from someone other than MS. (Basically this could be wrong, but can't verify right now).

I had heard that old Hotmail accounts would still be able to be accessed by OE and Outlook but the new ones would not. Your other info about your newer accounts seem to fit that but I would feel better if I saw it on MS's own website also since I prefer not to rely on hearsay no matter how reliable the source.

Also, look at my previous post about the Hotmail.zip file listed below the Beta10 self extracting file and give it a try just in case it may help but considering your statements about possible Hotmail server changes, I would suggest not getting your hopes up.

Since you seemed to indicate that it was a 'new' install (unless you just meant the SP2 install), I had assumed you had the latest hotmail.dll but didn't take into consideration that the latest dll is listed in a confusing manner below the beta10 version. This is the obvious place to start making changes.

As for the reasons for the other suggestions...

The next statement I made about a bad (malformed) email was because of this has been the cause of many different access violation errors. As to the speculation, remember this is the first time this exact error you mentioned had been reported so as I mentioned this was just a possibility for now. AV's have actually been reported enough that I almost jump to that conclusion ( ie bad emails) when I first hear about an new AV but I realize really that isn't alway the cause.

The rest of my suggestions were simply based on standard common causes of computer errors that I have encountered over the years and what you may call speculation is really just following a logical chain of things to check to help diagnose a problem when a cause hasn't been determined previously. I've been diagnosing and repairing computers for over 15 years and corrupt files and parasitic software (viruses/spyware/etc) are the most common causes of a variety of computer problems. These can happen no matter how good your equipment is or how much a person may or may not know. The next most common cause is probably software conflicts followed by faulty hardware (which I didn't even mention). If hardware is the cause, usually there is a variety of problems, not just one thing as you mentioned.

I'm not always correct, but what I list as possible causes are drawn from my experience and aren't (usually :wink: ) contrived. In the event that a cause hasn't been identified yet, I'll try to list possible solutions from the most likely to the least. That doesn't always mean I will get the cause listed, but it can help identify it later. (hopefully anyway)

--------- added comment -----

P.S. I'm not offended by your comments so please don't take it that way, I was just explaining why I made the suggestions I made so you could understand my thought process here some. ( But... If you understand it completely, may I suggest psychological help... :lol: )

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Post by lcummings » Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:49 am

Don't worry about me . . . (in case you were) ^_^

I don't take anything personally.

I'm bloody confused about this Hotmail dll biz however . . . and by what is a "new" Hotmail account versus an "old" one. All my Hotmail accounts are about 3 years old, or older. Nothing I would call "new". But, via OE, I can now access only 2 of 6 I guess (in the past, I only accessed 1 that way). One of the 2 is the default identity for OE, and it gets accessed frequently via OE. The others, less so, and by MSIE, just often enough to keep them alive. Maybe MS has decided "active but not active enough" means no OE access, particularly if it was not accessed that way in the past. Who knows what those people think? Here Gmail and Yahoo are offering huge storage space for nothing, and MS is making it harder to use Hotmail. Go figure.

Relatively "new" install (PopTray). Ran fine on all accounts for about 3 days, now barfs on 4 of 5, always the same 4.

It's not malformed e-mail, at least not in this case.

I installed the latest Hotmail plugin with the program last week. Is there some hard-to-find location for an even newer dll that I don't know about? (I forgot the secret handshake.) ^_-
Rdsok wrote:Well, I just scrolled up and saw lcummings had responded also.

Since you seemed to indicate that it was a 'new' install (unless you just meant the SP2 install), I had assumed you had the latest hotmail.dll but didn't take into consideration that the latest dll is listed in a confusing manner below the beta10 version. This is the obvious place to start making changes.

P.S. I'm not offended by your comments so please don't take it that way, I was just explaining why I made the suggestions I made so you could understand my thought process here some. ( But... If you understand it completely, may I suggest psychological help... :lol: )

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Post by GaryGo » Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:01 pm

Rdsok wrote:Actually (and now that I've looked again I see this isn't shown clearly on the Sourceforge site) I wasn't refering to the self extracting file nor were I refering to the Beta_10 version.

LegoBas made some fixes and made them available in the Hotmail.zip file that is listed just below the Beta_10 version and its source files.
I retrieved this and it seems to make a difference. I shouldn't complain since all this stuff is freeware, but I wish this could have been released as beta 11. I never would have downloaded this on my own.

Gary

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Post by lcummings » Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:51 pm

GaryGo wrote:
Rdsok wrote:Actually (and now that I've looked again I see this isn't shown clearly on the Sourceforge site) I wasn't refering to the self extracting file nor were I refering to the Beta_10 version.

LegoBas made some fixes and made them available in the Hotmail.zip file that is listed just below the Beta_10 version and its source files.
I retrieved this and it seems to make a difference. I shouldn't complain since all this stuff is freeware, but I wish this could have been released as beta 11. I never would have downloaded this on my own.

Gary
Okay, I found it and installed it . . .

It broke the one Hotmail account that was still working <lol>.

Now, the error messages (across the board) are: External exception E06D736.

Well, it was broke, but after I "fixed" it, it was broker. <g>

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Post by Rdsok » Fri Oct 01, 2004 5:35 pm

I've requested additional info for the Hotmail plugin from the programmer just to get it correct. LegoBas is the programmer and only visits the forum from time to time so don't hold your breath for a quick answer concerning the info. I am hoping the info I get will explain why he placed this version under the Beta10 area but we will have to wait and see.

For some info on this 'newer' plugin. It allows use to select from 2 different libraries to gain access to Hotmail. One method uses the older IE based Wininit API and the second is a third party method that was hoped to be more stable. In addition this plugin also supports error logging as did the Beta10 version. To access these options, right click on the plugin and select Plugin/Options.

lcummings, I'm not certain if this will help with your new errors or not but one problem (bug) that all of the plugins seem to have. If you check out or change the options for a plugin, you need to close and restart PopTray. I think it is believed that these errors are caused by the older Indy libraries that are currently being used. There are plans to update to a newer version of the libraries but that will require that the author (Renier) rewrite or at least reverify most of the code (again, he just did this for the 3.1 beta versions).

As to whatever changes MS may have done to the Hotmail servers, I'm going to remain silent. I haven't seen much consistancy in any of their decisions in the past and anything we may say here is only going to be conjecture at best. I do wish they would explain their changes more thoroughly so those of us that could understand wouldn't have to always guess. :?

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Post by GaryGo » Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:24 am

lcummings wrote:Now, the error messages (across the board) are: External exception E06D736.
Yes, when I got home from work, I found this error waiting. I clicked around in the hotmail account and saw no more errors. But my protected hotmail messages are not marked in green.

I turned off the "html as text" option, just to try something different than the default. The other checkbox about the API was gray and I couldn't chenge it, might be a limitation of Win 98.

But I think there is still a problem that didn't exist a few days ago.

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Post by Rdsok » Sat Oct 02, 2004 3:49 am

Some facts, some conjecture and a little rant...

I don't have much to add other that to report what I've verified about the changes that MS is doing with Hotmail accounts.

The facts.
MS has started making changes to the Hotmail servers. New free accounts won't be able to be accessed with Outlook Express, Outlook or other programs. Older accounts will loose access about next spring. Microsoft said these changes are needed to help combat spam. They claim that spammers have been creating and using the free Hotmail accounts to send spam usually with third party programs but to combat this problem Outlook and OE users will also be affected. Their position is that if the spammer has to pay for this service that they will find the price prohibitive to continually open new accounts after the previously abused account gets closed.

Some conjecture.
I suspect the trouble you are seeing now are probably caused by the changes being made to the Hotmail servers. I suspect the reason this hasn't been reported much yet is because they are making the changes in stages. I suspect we will start seeing these types of errors being reported more and more.

A bit of a rant.
You would think that a company such as Microsoft would understand the need for a stable unchanging (or at least backwards compatible) standard for the protocols they develope. The majority of the problems that I've seen with the Hotmail plugins were actually caused by Microsoft constant changes to the very standards they created. I know not all of the problems can be blamed on MS, but I can remember at least 3 major changes that they were the cause of. I suspect if other OS's such as Linux ever become easy enough for newbies to use and enough productive software is available we will see people leaving MS in droves unless they start changing their ways.

Well I'll quit bitchin' about MS, hopefully things will straighten out for you but with what MS is saying, accessing the free hotmail accounts appears to be going away eventually so I'm not sure if making the plugins better or at least more stable will help many people in the long run. I know I won't be paying for their services myself. I can't trust them to not continue to make changes to their existing accounts.

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Post by lcummings » Sun Oct 03, 2004 6:30 am

Rdsok-

I pretty much agree with everything you have said. I actually found a KBase article on this, dated September 27, 2004, which was precisely the first day I started having problems with the plugin. (The link to the KBase article can be found on the error/informational message when trying to access a new, or never-before-via-OE-accessed Hotmail account.) The KBase clearly states that although one can continue to access older Hotmail accounts that have previously been accessed at least once via OE, this is going to end completely at some future date. So, changes have been made, and even more are on the way.

I suspect the reasoning for MS action is several fold, but they *have* to know that they are carrying numerous (like 6-digits or even higher) "throw away" Hotmail accounts on their servers. These are eating drive space and server resources that MS probably would rather not give away. Allowing Hotmail access via any kind of non MSIE interface makes logging into the accounts (which keeps them active) too easy for all but those who are steadfastly determined to keep their "throw away" accounts active. MS wants to dump as many of these accounts as possible, and if they can get revenue from them, so much the better. I will keep mine active, as I often use them to pinpoint the origin of SPAM, giving Hotmail addresses where addresses are required, and seeing what SPAM ends up in the account as a result.

If MS is determined to force Hotmail access via MSIE, I suspect they can change the rules of the game to defeat anything a plugin writer can do, unless the plugin writer can write something that can always imitate MSIE perfectly. Sounds like a lot of trouble to me, endlessly playing catch up.

So, what I have done is simply say, "Okay, MS, I can beat you at your own game." Namely, I have the ability to write a batch file with an automation program that, quite automatically, opens MSIE, goes to Hotmail and logs in, pauses the routine with a popup dialog box while I observe the status of the mail, then closes MSIE when I answer the dialog, opens another instance, and logs in to Hotmail as a completely different user, ad infinitum. I can cycle through all my Hotmail accounts quite easily this way, almost as easily as with PopTray actually, because I can set triggers based on time or hotkey or some other event. Or I can leave it manual and run it when I want. I need do nothing but hit "enter" to answer the dialogs, and I could even set a version up so I do not have a dialog to answer; it would just login, pause for a few seconds, and close, then continue.

Moreover, I've already made a second version of the batch file. One pauses (via a dialog box), and if I focus on Hotmail while the popup dialog is open instead of answering the dialog immediately, it resumes by leaving that instance of Hotmail open, and opens another instance of MSIE and logs into the next account in the routine (what I'd want to do if I saw new mail I wanted to read in an account -- I could go back to that instance and deal with it after the automation routine finished). The other batch routine refocuses on the single running instance of Hotmail after answering the dialog, and closes it before proceeding to the next account (what I'd want to do if I was just logging into all Hotmail accounts to make sure they stay active, not caring to examine any mail at that time).

I should probably have my head examined for not getting around to automating this little task some time ago. :o

Thanks for all the work you've put into this. I'll keep it on the box, and check in from time to time to see how the Hotmail aspect of it is going, if it's even going to continue at all. But my basic need for this program was regarding how it handled Hotmail, and I've come up with something that basically does the same thing on my own. So, unless . . . I probably won't use PopTray much, if at all.
Rdsok wrote:Some facts, some conjecture and a little rant...

I don't have much to add other that to report what I've verified about the changes that MS is doing with Hotmail accounts.

The facts.
MS has started making changes to the Hotmail servers. New free accounts won't be able to be accessed with Outlook Express, Outlook or other programs. Older accounts will loose access about next spring. Microsoft said these changes are needed to help combat spam. They claim that spammers have been creating and using the free Hotmail accounts to send spam usually with third party programs but to combat this problem Outlook and OE users will also be affected. Their position is that if the spammer has to pay for this service that they will find the price prohibitive to continually open new accounts after the previously abused account gets closed.

Some conjecture.
I suspect the trouble you are seeing now are probably caused by the changes being made to the Hotmail servers. I suspect the reason this hasn't been reported much yet is because they are making the changes in stages. I suspect we will start seeing these types of errors being reported more and more.

A bit of a rant.
You would think that a company such as Microsoft would understand the need for a stable unchanging (or at least backwards compatible) standard for the protocols they develope. The majority of the problems that I've seen with the Hotmail plugins were actually caused by Microsoft constant changes to the very standards they created. I know not all of the problems can be blamed on MS, but I can remember at least 3 major changes that they were the cause of. I suspect if other OS's such as Linux ever become easy enough for newbies to use and enough productive software is available we will see people leaving MS in droves unless they start changing their ways.

Well I'll quit bitchin' about MS, hopefully things will straighten out for you but with what MS is saying, accessing the free hotmail accounts appears to be going away eventually so I'm not sure if making the plugins better or at least more stable will help many people in the long run. I know I won't be paying for their services myself. I can't trust them to not continue to make changes to their existing accounts.

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Post by Rdsok » Sun Oct 03, 2004 9:20 am

lcummings,

I'm glad you mentioned the direction you are going to use to access Hotmail accounts in the future. You also have pointed out a possible good alternate method of accessing a Hotmail (or any possibly and browser accessible mail account) through a http based method instead of something more proprietary such as the current (old ?) Hotmail protocols.

I personally don't care for the http based solutions but feel they certainly have their place. To be able to gain access to them anywhere you can browse the internet is certainly a great advantage. I currently prefer a POP3 email server, I find they are more efficient and using a program such as PopTray to check for email is a great benefit for me. When Poptray added the capability of the rules it became much more than just an email notifier.

I'm sorry to hear that you didn't find Poptray's other uses helpful, but I guess that is why there are so many different types of software out there. Either way always feel free to ask any questions you have.

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