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Centos 5.2 + Plesk 10.3 + Imap + Qmail *updated

One of my e-mail accounts contains historical messages dating back to 2006. The account uses a total of about 9GB of space in 40,000 individual messages.

I use Windows Live Mail 2011 and RoundCube as a client. I have double-checked that all prune and cleaning Trash options are disabled.

When moving data from another server, I copied all 9gb of email to the IMAP/Trash folder. Everything was fine at the client, but only for couple of days. After several days, I entered the Trash folder and saw only only about 127 recent emails. The rest of my emails are gone! I even looked at the shell while logged in as root, and the files were deleted.

It just happend for the 3rd time! Good thing I backed up all my trash e-mails before.

Other email accounts seem OK, but they don't have as many messages in the folder. Maybe that is the problem?

What the heck, anyone got any idea?

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closed as off topic by Skyhawk, Ward, RobM, Sven, Scott Pack Oct 25 '11 at 19:47

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Why are you storing messages that you care about in the trash? Make subfolders to file stuff away in that you care about. –  MDMarra Oct 25 '11 at 17:22
    
Definitely sounds like a care of PHB syndrome.. –  Tim Brigham Oct 25 '11 at 17:30
    
Trash storage, yep, some of our users do that, or used to after one or two soul cleansing experiences. They have learned to create archive folders for permanent storage. –  Fiasco Labs Oct 25 '11 at 17:57
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But what possesses people to use something called TRASH for keeping something they want?! I'll never understand this. –  Bart Silverstrim Oct 25 '11 at 18:39
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There's probably a hint when the icon usually resembles a rubbish bin and periodically gets emptied. –  Bart Silverstrim Oct 25 '11 at 18:54

1 Answer 1

You deleted the messages, and now they are gone:

  1. Moving something to a "Trash" folder is analogous to deleting it, only with the (perhaps temporary) opportunity to "undelete" it by restoring it to a normal folder.

  2. Just as you would not store important items in the trash at your home or office, you should not store important items in the trash on your computer.

  3. In the same way that you should not be surprised when the janitor comes under cover of darkness and empties the dustbin under your desk, you should not be surprised at the disappearance of items that have been sitting in a "Trash" or "Deleted Items" folder on your computer.

If you are using IMAP or an Exchange server, disabling trash pruning/cleaning on the client side is not sufficient to ensure that the trash will not be emptied. In an IMAP or Exchange environment, messages that expire from the trash on the server side will also be deleted from the client the next time the client connects to the server.

"Trash" means what it says: it is a dustbin for rubbish that you never want to see again. If you would like to store messages safely in an archive, you need to create a folder called "Archive" and drag messages there instead of to the Trash. Gmail encourages this behavior by default.

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We have two users who think the trash folder is like any other. Unfortunately they are management, and we have to restore their mail folder after they do things like 'empty the trash'. –  RobW Oct 25 '11 at 17:10
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@RobW Ouch! It's hard to tell whether these managers are stupid or obstinate or both (pointy-haired?), but it seems like a poor organization that would prevent its IT department from educating management users in the proper use of their equipment. Time to look for a better job? –  Skyhawk Oct 25 '11 at 17:23
    
Not quite the same as storing stuff in Trash, but we had a VP who liked to read and then delete messages when he was done with them. His secretary preferred to keep things around a lot longer, so we ended up sending a copy of all the VP's mail to another mailbox that the secretary could use. –  Ward Oct 25 '11 at 17:36
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@Ward And then there was the user who complained that his messages were mysteriously turning up in his "Deleted Items" folder. There were no strange mail rules, and we were briefly at a loss until it was revealed that he was deleting his own messages from home, after reviewing them briefly on his Android phone and deciding to deal with them later at the office. He simply was not making the connection that "delete" really means "delete." –  Skyhawk Oct 25 '11 at 17:38
    
Not tmy problem anymore. And these were technical managers, each with masters or better in a hard science. They were plenty user educated in proper use and drawbacks, and understood what i was saying to them, but sometimes folk just want to do things the way they want to do things. Clearly I wasn't at the right spot in the food chain to influence this... –  RobW Oct 26 '11 at 5:28

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