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The Missing Post Mystery
A post I made to a Vista newsgroup was missing from the Outlook newsreader
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The Missing Post Mystery Revisited
It happened again! A post I made to a Vista newsgroup was missing from the Vista Mail newsreader
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The Missing Post Mystery Revisited
I Think Microsoft Just Deleted My Post! Again?
Or Once Just Isn't Enough

Welcome to the Pecos Buffet! Grab a plate and help yourself.

A Little Bit of This
The Missing Post Mystery

A Little Bit of That
The Mystery Solved?
The Solution

The Buffet Dessert and More from Your Gracious Waiter
Editorial Privilege

The Missing Post Mystery

I was participating in the mobo for vista suggestions? thread in the newsgroup and replied using Microsoft Mail in Vista RC1 build 5600. My trial version of XP x64 was about to expire and I had decided to format the partition it was on and switch over to Vista full-time. This is my second stroll down the "where did my post go to" lane. See The Missing Post Mystery for a discussion of my original missing post mystery using Outlook in XP Professional x64.

I made my first follow-up post on the evening of the 24th. I waited for it to appear on the server, but it never did. I changed the settings in Mail to view 'All Posts', but still it was missing. I immediately went to XNews to see if it showed up there. It wasn't there either. I decided to wait until the next morning before resending the post. It can look really embarrassing to see multiple copies of your post so I was trying to make sure that it had really been lost before reposting it. :-)

I wanted to reboot the computer, the usual first fix that comes to mind when using any Windows OS, but I was in the middle of a large 691 MB download and I didn't want to interrupt it. I decided that the first post really was lost so I resent it again on the morning of the 25th after removing several links to other websites. I wanted to eliminate the possibility that the post was being deleted automatically on the server side because of the websites I had linked to in the original post. I modified the post again and resent it several hours later on the morning of the 25th when the second post went missing. The third post ever showed up in the newsgroup either. At this point I was resigned to the fact that something really was amiss and I decided to wait and try one final repost after my large download had completed and I could reboot the computer.

My opportunity to reboot the computer came on the evening of the 25th. I sent my fourth post and it finally showed up on the server a few minutes later.

Then on March 27th sometime between 3:00 and 4:00 EST the unthinkable started happening. One by one the missing posts were appearing in the appropriate thread! Did I feel like a complete idiot? You betcha! And it wasn't just my missing posts that were finally coming out from their hiding places. There were more than 100 other posts that were suddenly showing up with their old dates and times intact. Now the question once again was 'What caused this and how can I keep it from happening again?'

It was Deja Vu all over again wondering if perhaps the original post was deleted. I can usually catch those by refreshing my headers every five minutes until the header shows in the newsgroup. When I tried to read the post, the header changed to a crossed out set of characters with a message noting the post as deleted. But the header didn't appear in the first 30 minutes at all. It was as if my post had gone to some ethereal bit bucket in the sky somewhere. For a second time I wondered if I was completely missing something here which is entirely possible, but just where did my post go?

Waiter! I want to look at my buffet choices again.

The Mystery Solved?

It is interesting to note that the first three times I sent the post, I was required to login to Microsoft Communities. I have a login ID for Microsoft Passport that works with MS Communities, so I saw no reason not to login. Sometimes I got the login screen and sometimes I didn't. At the time I thought it best to just login.

After rebooting the computer, my fourth attempt at posting that succeeded did not require a login to MS Communities.

A post by Gary VanderMolen might just be the answer. In a thread titled 'MS Mail - what the hell?' he noted that Microsoft Communities was buggy and it's best to just turn it off.

The Solution

So how can you avoid this irritating problem in Microsoft Mail? The solution may be to go to MS Mail Tools ==> Options and uncheck the 'Use newsgroup message rating features'. If you make a post using Mail and a box pops up on your screen asking you to login to Microsoft Communities, my advice is 'Just Say No!'

You can also avoid this by using XNews. I discuss XNews here.

Waiter! I want to look at my buffet choices again.

Editorial Privilege

So once again I have been bitten by a Microsoft Mail product. On the surface, this one appears to be a bug. But it is interesting to note that the posts appear in my Sent folder. If they were truly sent and not waiting for some later inopportune time to magically send themselves, the problem would have to be on the server side and not the client side.

Am I seeing a pattern here - a different Microsoft mail/news program but more problems posting my messages. Microsoft Mail is a good product, but there may be better mail programs out there. I haven't really looked. MS Mail does the basics well enough. But I know for a fact that there are better newsreaders out there. XNews is just one. It is far superior and it is free.

Now Microsoft might say that the newsreader portion of MS Mail is just an afterthought and MS Mail is primarily a mail program. That's fine but it should do the basics without confusing the user like it does with the 300 default headers at a time download behavior. And I should be able to post a simple message without it going to some Microsoft bit bucket where it sits for a day or two before my message finally decides to join the fray. To be fair, I am using Vista RC1 Build 5600 and the second issue may be fixed in the final release version of Vista.

What was that large download? It was the Ubuntu version of Linux. I figured that if I have to experience the growing pains of bugs in a new OS I would rather not have to pay for that privilege.

Waiter! I want to look at my buffet choices again.

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