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GMail Horror Story!

Bob [PersonRank 0]

Wednesday, March 8, 2006
10 years ago

I'm a regular reader of Google Blogoscoped, and yesterday, I experienced a huge shock with regards to my GMail account.

I was able to check my GMail account and emails fine at work.

However just an hour later, when I reached home and attempted to access gmail.com, I was greeted by a "Server Error" as follows:

<blockquote>Server Error

We're sorry, but Gmail is temporarily unavailable. We're currently working to fix the problem – please try logging in to your account in a few minutes.</blockquote>

Fine, I thought – just a small hiccup which the Google folks are working on. Over the next couple of hours I attempted to login every 15 minutes or so but to no avail. By then it was past midnight and I needed to catch up on some sleep, so I decided to head to bed and hoped that things would be resolved by the next morning (i.e. today).

I woke up earlier today, and unfortunately my expectations were dashed. By then I sensed that something was terribly wrong, as the Google folks rarely took > 12 hours to fix such a problem. I accessed the Google Accounts page (google.com/accounts/), and saw the following message:

<blockquote> The account you attempted to access has been deleted. You may click here to sign up for a new account.</blockquote>

A nightmare come true?! I tried logging into my Google Account via www.google.com/accounts/Login but was presented with an invalid username/password error.

I tried to reset my password, and my suspicions were confirmed when I saw the following:

<blockquote> There are no accounts in our system with the E-mail address usermame[put at-character here]gmail.com which you entered.</blockquote>

Has my Google account really been deleted? I use it religiously and it is my primary email account. I have over 300mb of CRUCIAL data in my email, none of which I have backups for.

I tried to send an email to my GMail account from another email account, but the email bounced.

Any ideas as to what I should do? This is an emergency for me. :/

anonymoustache [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

[put at-character here] ChanKaiShi

Hmmm, that image you linked to is a worry. Can't imagine why you're getting that "forwarding disabled" message. All of my forwarding is still working. As for pop, I hope you've tried clicking the "Forwarding and POP" button, that's where you setup POP...

Cougar [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Forwarding is disabled on my account as well. The 'forwarding and pop' tab is empty and each of my filters have a red 'forwarding is disabled' message.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Attempts to contact Stephanie Hannon and Keith Coleman (both of which are Gmail product managers at least according to the Google Blog) have failed.

Cougar [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

It seems to be working again now.

anonymoustache [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Crud. I just logged in to one of my other gmail accounts to check that all the forwarding I'd setup was still there, and it is, but I noticed some emails in there that hadn't actually been forwarded. Not good.

Eric Wilson [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

I hate to 1. Doubt it. It is possible this guy is lying. We can't discount that completely.
2. One in a million accounts failed isn't too bad. Hopefully Google will be able to eventually restore it.

3. After reading posts, I need to find out who invited me just in case. I got my invite like June or July 04 from one of those online request sites. Spent hours requesting.

Eric Wilson

Bob [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Eric Wilson: I have absolutely NO reason to lie.

Like I said, I invite any Google representative to investigate my case and validate my claims.

high sage [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

I think gmail's recently had *quite* a bit of downed service! My wife in california's account was unavailabe with the same error you originally got, and mine was as well today, for well over 2 hours, too.
I have 3 google accounts, that forward all emails to the other two, so I have built in 'redundancy' and archiving in this way.
I use gmail for one reason.... I don't have to delete things, and i don't have to store a gazillion messages on my local box. I'm 4x more efficient in both respects.

Joe L [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

"it seems to be only downloading 390 emails and there are actually 3723 (1475mb) in my account."

Just keep hitting "Get Mail". They seem to send it in batches of a few hundred.

anonymoustache [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Thanks Joe L, that's what I did and it does seem to be working.

The other thing that concerns me is that a lot of the important stuff in my gmail account is actually in the sent mail rather than the inbox. I don't suppose anybody knows of a way to synchronise with sent mail or even just all mail do they?

I realise this isn't the right spot to be asking these questions but I'm sure there are a lot of gmail nerds looking at this page right now...

Joe L [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

when I download my POP mail, it get's all the Sent folder mail too, but it just dumps it in the inbox. This works good if you use Mail or Thunderbird or whatever in Conversation or Thread view.
But if you want it all seperated, you can just make a client filter/rule – "anything from myaddress[put at-character here]gmail.com, move to Sent folder"

Google Helpdesk [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Good morning Bob,

Any news yet? :-)

Bob [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

None as yet. I'm in contact with yet another Googler, but at this point of time, I haven't received any news with regards to my account. Needless to say, I am still unable to login.

[Fake Larry Page] [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

I and Sergey are watching with keen interest. Some of those b*itches on Digg buried the story there, but many of us are still watching to be sure that GSupport comes through and does the right thing.

cherub325 [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Seriously concerned...... Good Luk Bob!

James [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Good day again Bob. Sorry to hear that you still have not had you issue resolved. If you read earlyer, I too had a scare. But all is well about 30 minutes later it was working again.
Well I hope that you do get this resolved. If there is any thing you would like me, or any of us here that care, to do to help out, let us know.
When I wake up, I will check in and see if this has been resolved. I hope it is. If not though I will talk to some of my people and see if we can find out any more information. Good night and good luck.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Thank you for your words of support and offer of assistance James. Where do you work at, by the way?

Keffer [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Gmail is in beta ... not a final version. Don't blame them ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

> Phillipp: I strongly urge you to review your facts. As pointed
> out by /pd, emails sent to invalid GMail accounts DO
> BOUNCE. /pd even pasted the exact error you get, which
> is similar to the one I received.
>
> In addition, I invite you to attempt to recover the
> password of an invalid username. You will be presented
> with an error just like I described above.

Bob, sorry, I could now validate both cases – the bounce and the error message. Like I said before, I couldn't falsify or validate the info yet, but now I did. You are completely right in your descriptions.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Philipp Lenssen: Thanks for confirming my case.

I have yet to hear anything – it's been over 48 hours.

Still harbouring some hopes though.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

I just received a reply from Google, and their response was extremely unhelpful:

=============

From : <mail-support[put at-character here]google.com>
Sent : Thursday, March 9, 2006 9:06 PM
To : <snip>
Subject : Re: [#49645415] Account Status

Hello,

Thank you for your report.

We have investigated this issue, but because the results were inconclusive, we're not able to provide further assistance.

Gmail takes the privacy and security of our users very seriously. For this reason, we can't reveal any further information about this account.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

The Google Team

=================

Surely I deserve a better response than that?

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Oh, what a shame, Google! I think Phillip should add this to the front page.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

That's bad.

Mikosia [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Bob, same thing happened to me and several other people I know (12 hours ago) and right now everything's ok!

A friend of mine told me that many Gmail servers just go down yesterday but they are up and running today.

Perhaps, you should try to login once more and tell us what happened.

Bob [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Mikosia: Nope, no change. I've been trying to login all day in hope of a miracle.

Mikosia [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Ok, something more: Have you recently used or installed Gmail notifier?

Bob [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Mikosia: Nope, I've never installed or used any kind of notifier.

Jeff [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Bob,

Really sorry to read the reply from The Google Team.

The Gmail Information Minister [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Your email is fine. The infidels are saying that it is gone and you need to back it up. Believe me, you need not backup your data. Yahoo! mail forces are comitting suicide at our login screen. Everything is fine, there are no email deletions going on at all. We investigated an email deletion but the results were inconclusive. Trust me!

John Cowan [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

I can't believe how many posters here are jumping up and down about "It's beta, of course Google is not responsible!" or "It's free, of course Google is not responsible!"

The fact is, every product or service that has anything whatever to do with computers comes, in my 30-year experience of the field, with a fearsomely comprehensive legal disclaimer that boils down to "We are not responsible for anything we do, you are responsible for everything you do." Beta or gold, $0 or $1000 or $100,000 – it matters not. I do the selfsame thing for the open source software I write and release.

That being so, we have to fall back on the oldest measure of trust: reputation. And that's something that isn't measured by the presence or absence of magic keywords like "beta" and "free".

/pd [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Attn Forum users : Please post comments on this thread
blogoscoped.com/forum/22775.ht ...

Phillipp, it would be good to lock out the comments here!!

tia

/pd

Christoph Wagner [PersonRank 1]

10 years ago #

Wow, just read this, I'm really sorry for you bob!
And I really, really hope you get you account including all the mail back.
ATM I'm just backing up all my Mails over pop, just to be sure.

Michael [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Here's a quick tutorial on how to backup your Gmail account using Outlook, just in case anyone needs it. Best of luck to you, Bob.

betapundit.blogspot.com/2006/0 ...

Talou [PersonRank 0]

10 years ago #

Google is beta, yes, but!
Unless they want to gain an awful perception from users and in particular their favorite public (geeks), they will do anything not to generate such bad buzz : strengh of blogs and diggs is too important...

They have to fix this, or it'll make noise!

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

10 years ago #

Thread is continued here:
blogoscoped.com/forum/22775.ht ...

This thread is locked – no further replies are possible. 

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