PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

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Captain Don
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PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by Captain Don » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:30 am

The following is the basic SRT
Your board's URL: http://www.michiganoutdoorsman.com/Forum
Version of phpBB3: 3.0.1
Was this a fresh install or a(n) update/upgrade/conversion (please be specific)? Upgrade from phpBB2
Was this an install through your host? no
MODs you have installed: Coppermine Intregation
When the problem started: Friday April 25, 2008 around 8:05pm

Additionally, you may wish to provide the following (where applicable)
Template(s) used: eTech DarkGreen *
Language(s) used: English
Version of PHP used: 5
Database and version used:MySql

Don't know where the right place is to post this so if this isn't the place feel free to move it...

I have quite a few members that keep getting non-stop e-mail notifications regarding the mass pm I sent to all of my 466 members last night. Some got 20 so far and others around 5-10....

Has anyone else ever incountered this and how do I correct it?

I already lost one member because of this....

Just upgraged to phpbb 3.0.1 last week....

The script seems to be sending email notifications of the Private Message I sent to all members over and over.

I changed the whole Board e-mail to a different address and they still were getting received 2 hours later.

Now I went and deleted the "Webmaster@michiganoutdoorsman.com" e-mail totally so it no longer exsists.

I am hoping that stops the Pm notification e-mails. Also I saw in another thread that at least 2 other phpbb3.0.1 boards have this problem too. Script Error???

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karlsemple
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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by karlsemple » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:36 am

Have you tried a clean install without the coppermine integration?
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Captain Don
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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by Captain Don » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:53 am

That would be a major thing for me it took me days to get it right.

Regular PM's work fine this only happend when I sent the mass PM to all members

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karlsemple
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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by karlsemple » Mon Apr 28, 2008 6:57 am

Captain Don wrote:That would be a major thing for me it took me days to get it right.
That is the problem, you are assuming you have it right it might be the cause of the issue as it is the only board modification. It was just a suggestion as I am yet to come across anyone with this issue in a default install. In theory you could just backup all the files and then replace all files with fresh phpBB files (except config.php) and then test, of course if that turns out not to be the issue you can simply re-add the backed up modified files after.
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Ruler2112
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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by Ruler2112 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:09 am

Hi everybody

I'm a member of Don's board. I've also written several semi-major computer programs over the years - some for companies while employed by them, some for companies while employed by others, some to help others while employed by nobody, and some for myself. I've used a variety of languages - Visual Pascal, Visual Basic, Perl, shell scripting, Thoroughbred BASIC, C/C++, Java, JavaScript, etc, etc, etc. (It's such that I don't really worry about what language a program is in because picking up new languages isn't that difficult anymore; just takes a couple days of using it to get used to the syntax and commands specific to that particular language.) PHP is not, unfortunately, one of the ones I have experience with, though I can pretty much figure out what's going on by looking at it. I'd like to relate what information and insight I've been able to get into this problem.

First, there is another thread about this same topic here - it was opened on April 3 and at least two other boards are having the same problem. At least one of them upgraded from phpBB 2.x as Don did; it would be interesting to know if the third did as well. (Maybe a pattern emerging???) I posted a question in that thread asking the OP if this is indeed the case for his board. Hopefully he'll respond and we can get some idea of whether this is an upgrade issue or a general one.


Basically, the whole situation is this:

1. The forums running phpBB 2.x got hacked.
2. Don (the man running the site) updated the phpBB software to 3.0.1.
3. After Don was done with the upgrade, he sent one private message to every registered user on the site.
4. Some users, such as myself, received one e-mail notification of this private message. Other users have received (and are continuing to receive) many e-mails. Some users report a pattern of how long between e-mails, others are simply getting POed because they do not understand how an automated e-mail program functions and think that Don is intentionally spamming them. There is a thread at this location that has a bunch of guys used to fishing talking about getting multiple e-mails.


I've downloaded and looked through the code for phpBB 3.0.1. Not knowing PHP, it wasn't a pretty process, but it appears that the pm_notification() routine is only called from one place. I started tracing the function calls, but quickly got lost.

An interesting thing is that the original e-mail address that was set up in the configuration is webmaster - AT - MichiganOutdoorsman.com. Don changed this to admin, but people are still getting multiple e-mails notifying them of this PM that show up as coming from webmaster significantly after this change. Further, some of the addresses are hosted on the same machine as the forums and the headers confirm that the e-mail never left the machine hosting the board, so we know that it's not a delay in the message traversing the internet. Don has since completely deleted the webmaster account, though I personally do not believe that this will do anything to solve the problem. While I was typing this, another user replied and said that he just got one from michiga3 - AT - host39.hostmonster.com; hostmonster is the hosting company and this user is where headers indicate the notification e-mails are originating from. Still having a continual stream of notification e-mails going out over one PM sent to everybody.

I would like to be able to get into a shell account and poke around in the mysql console to see what I can see there, but the host does not allow shell access. I suggested that perhaps there is database corruption, somehow preventing the system from remembering that it sent notification of this PM already, but it appears that everything is done on the fly and that the fact that the user was e-mailed a notification isn't saved anywhere.

I don't mind providing technical assistance as I can, but quite honestly don't know how much help I can be - I didn't write phpBB, don't know PHP hardly at all, haven't had the bug appear on either of my user accounts on Don's board, and don't have shell access to the server. Anything that you think of that I can do to assist in isolating where the bug causing this problem is I'll try to do.

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Ruler2112
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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by Ruler2112 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:17 am

karlsemple wrote:In theory you could just backup all the files and then replace all files with fresh phpBB files (except config.php) and then test, of course if that turns out not to be the issue you can simply re-add the backed up modified files after.
What files would need to be backed up? Also, would there be any problems with the data in the sql database with doing this? (I'd create a backup of the entire directory and all databases before doing anything regardless - just wondering if anything would need to be changed to get things running properly afterwards.)

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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by karlsemple » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:23 am

Ruler2112 wrote:
karlsemple wrote:In theory you could just backup all the files and then replace all files with fresh phpBB files (except config.php) and then test, of course if that turns out not to be the issue you can simply re-add the backed up modified files after.
What files would need to be backed up? Also, would there be any problems with the data in the sql database with doing this? (I'd create a backup of the entire directory and all databases before doing anything regardless - just wondering if anything would need to be changed to get things running properly afterwards.)

No, idea. I have never integrated coppermine into a board. How ever if it has vastly modified the phpBB3 code then you will need to try with a default phpBB3 to rule it out as the cause of the problem. I was speculating the best way of doing this would be to backup the current modified phpBB3 files and replace them with fresh copies keeping the config.php and then see if the problem persists on a plain file set. Of course the other option is to undo all modifications manually and then re-add them after, however I got the impression the original poster did not want to do this because of the time it took to install in the first place.
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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by Ruler2112 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:49 am

Coppermine is a different piece of software then? What does it provide? (Sorry for the stupid questions - this is my first experience with phpBB other than using it.)

And I believe you're correct in your assumption. Don is a hell of a nice guy and can out fish me on most days, but I go circles around him when it comes to computer stuff. (Then again, I've been into computers heavy for ~15 years now, back before it was 'cool' to be a nerd, and work with them all day every day.) This entire process has been very stressful for him and I think he's just frustrated over working so hard to get the upgrade done and now not knowing how to fix the problem.




Unrelated to anything in this thread - why are the smilies on this board elongated? If they had bigger eyes, they'd look like aliens! :lol: I've never seen smilies like this before...

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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by karlsemple » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:52 am

Coppermine is a photo gallery software and totally unrelated to phpBB, although I believe it can be integrated/bridged with phpBB....again though I have never looked at how this is done as I have never had use for the software. I have no idea what changes it makes to phpBB but if that is the only modification to the board it is always going to be the first suspect which needs ruling out as the cause of the boards issues.


Ref smilies: I believe they are meant to look like they are more human in face shape :shock:
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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by Ruler2112 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:43 pm

OK, I understand where you're coming from. I didn't know that the photo gallery software changed the board scripts. I've asked Don to contact the host and see if they won't give us a shell account, at least on a temporary basis so that we can figure out what's going on. If the photo gallery software changes phpBB, I can see where we'd need to eliminate that as a possible cause.

I posted a message in the thread here that I linked to asking everybody who has this problem to please post and tell whether it's an upgrade and if they have Coppermine installed. Hopefully this will give us some insight into where the problem lay. It appears that this is not an isolated incident as right after I posted in it last night, several more people have responded and are having the same issue. I hope we can find the problem and a solution; phpBB seems like a very nice, full-featured piece of software to run forums on. With such a problem though, I don't think many people will continue using it though regardless of the fact that the problem might lie with a plugin. (Most people don't understand how software is built; if the board software does something unexpected, that's where the problem is.)



If you back up away from your monitor, doesn't this one :| look like an alien? (Maybe it's just me having flashbacks though... ;) :lol: Pointy chin, big temple area, no hair - all he needs is to be colored gray! :shock: :D )

Captain Don
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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by Captain Don » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:36 pm

I really don't think it's the coppermine intregation. I can go take it out and see if it stops but I still don't think that is it. There's a thread here on everything I had to do to intregate it... Coppermine Bridge

If you click that the 1st post tells about it and the changes I had to make. Ruler and anyone else please could you go through the changes and try and make sure I really need to try and undo the Bridging and let me know.

Also there's another thing I have noticed. Some members don't exsist in the forums but yet they are telling me they are getting these e-mails! Looks like we lost some inactive users in the upgrade but somehow still are getting e-mails! I know when I upgraded we had 511 members and after the upgrade 466. Could e-mails going to members somehow that aren't there be bouncing this e-mail notification all over ?

I had quite a few "Inactive" members and just deleted them all to see if that helped...

fornit
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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by fornit » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:18 pm

Hi,

I'm the author of the coppermine bridge.

The only thing it changes in the coding of phpbb3 is that it adds the text "Can administer coppermine gallery" into the language file.

So, from my point of view it seems not really likely that the PM-behaviour is caused by that ...

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fornit

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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by MyLegoBB » Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:38 pm

I can confirm it's not the photo gallery. I've got this problem too, on a default install, no coppermine here.

I downloaded and installed phpbb3 on april 13.

I've also replied to the other thread: http://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtopi ... 5#p5290815

It happens to me with both pm notifications and thread notifications.

Deleting the queue.php file in the cache folder makes the problem go away temporarily. Later when a new message comes in, the problem starts up again with notifying about the latest message.

I know nothing of php, and this is my first forum, so there may be some setting somewhere I've got wrong.

Also, I'm not sure how many people on my board are having this problem. (there's only about 10 members)

Captain Don
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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by Captain Don » Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:56 pm

Ok I have a few ideas...

Some members might not have a valid e-mail address in their profile. The e-mail system may be hitting invalid e-mail address and that might be what's causing the script to send them out to the vaild e-mail addresses non stop! Just an idea...

Also I noticed I had about 25 inactive users. I deleted them all thinking if they used a fake e-mail address that could be messing up the e-mail script too.

One last thing...I also am not getting any e-mail notifications for replys to posts and I have subscriped to every one I posted in. I do however get e-mail notifications of Private Messages and only 1 lol!

So my theroy is if the board sends out the PM's in order of date of registration, then most of the 1st 2 pages are admins and moderators and very active members. Alot of mods and admin's are not getting the multiple e-mail notifications. Then again Stel who registered 19th is getting them. I wonder if someone in the top 18 has an invalid e-mail address...could that be what is causing this?

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Re: PM Problem (notification e-mail repeats over and over)

Post by Captain Don » Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:12 pm

To go along with my above post what should this be set to "Yes" or "No":

Check e-mail domain for valid MX record:
If enabled, the e-mail domain provided on registration and profile changes is checked for a valid MX record.

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