Northwest Nexus 
Frequently Asked Questions

How to deal with a clogged or corrupt email box

Lots of people like to send files via email. Unfortunately, this often clogs up the recipients mailbox and results in the mail program checking for a long period of time for messages, then "timing out" or "can't locate server" error messages. Here are some helpful steps to try:

  • Let the computer sit for a long period of time, checking mail.
    Sometimes, just a little patience helps, and it will download all the email.

  • Telnet into and run a mail program on our server.

    We'll focus on the latter part. First, you must know how to Telnet. If not, click here first. Windows95 machines have Telnet installed with Win95. Win3.1 users should download a telnet client (ie from, and Mac users should have NCSA Telnet on their systems, or can download it from The next step will be to run Pine. Pine is a mail program that runs right on our server. It does not download the email to your computer. It lets you handle your mail box remotely. For information on using Pine, click here. Pine lets you delete any message you want, split file attachments off to your home directory, and even send and receive mail.

    If Pine doesn't do the trick, you can try using just Unix Mail. At the shell prompt: king_1> , type "mail". Give it a moment or so and it will sort your email out. Type "d #" where # equals the message you want to delete. To close this program, type Ctrl-D.

    Also, to completely delete your spool of mail, just type "rm /usr/spool/mail/username" where username equals your login/username (typically the first half of your email address before the @ symbol). This is the last and final solution. Typically, if you have 50MB or more of email, this is the only solution to the problem.

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