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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: There is a problem when trying to open an html document in the browser unless the browser has already been started. The same problem occurs when using the Explore URL from a message. These two problems occur even when you have your browser with path listed in the PMMail -> Settings -> General and in the PMMail -> Settings -> Mime Associations for html.

A1: Make sure that your browser is running before taking the action to open in a browser.

A2: Add the program path (e.g. c:\programs\firefox) to both the LIBPATH and SET PATH lines in your config.sys. This simple change will allow both Explore URL and Open Message in Browser to function properly even if your browser is not started. The browser will start and display the requested message or URL.

A3: (prefered) Configure Run! for your browser, and use the run! program for the program path (e.g. c:\programs\firefox\firefox!.exe)

Q: I got errors while migrating from an earlier version of PMMail. What do I do?

A: So far the only cause has been some error in the file system that affects the old PMMail mailstore. The fix has been to run CHKDSK /F from a standalone boot on the drive that contains the old PMMail.

Note: the CHKDSK that may run at boot time does not always fix these errors, especially on JFS volumes.

Q: Can I install the new PMMail over top of the old PMMail?

A: You can install PMMail 3.0 over top of PMMail that has been installed using WarpIn. You should NOT install over top of a PMMail that has not been installed by WarpIn.

Q: I was using the PMMBogoFilter package with the old PMMail. After migration I have what appears to be a left over folder, Bogo Spam, in each account. Can I delete that?

A: Yes. It is not automatically deleted to be sure that no messages are lost in migration. The new Classifier (BogoFilter), uses other folders as defined when you configure it.

Q: Can I use a path with spaces in the name?

A: Yes, but this is not well tested, and it can introduce complications for those who use REXX exits, or filters with user hooks based on REXX scripts. REXX does not acknowledge the special purpose of quoted arguments. Your REXX script must do that itself.

The basic problem is that REXX ignores arguments with quotes around them; in fact REXX considers the quotes as part of the arguments. So you need to be careful when parsing the arguments. What seems to work is to take the complete argument line which contains all of the parameters that are passed. Then parse that variable to extract the message's filename. REXX functions do not require quotes around file names with spaces in them.

If you call an external program that is a binary executable (a text editor, for instance), you must add the quotes.

Q: For some reason my wordlist.db file is over 3 MB. What do I do to reduce the size to something more manageable?

A: First, make sure that the file maintenance is being run. PMMail-> Settings-> Advanced, and set Run classifier maintenance every XX program exits spin button to something between 1 and 5. Then open and close PMMail enough times that the maintenance will run at least once.

Q: How can I prevent the wordlist.db file from growing?

A: It depends on why it is growing. If you get a lot of SPAM (100 per day), a 3 MB file is probably pretty normal. If you only get a dozen or so per day, normal would be about half that. Of course, the type of SPAM also makes a difference. If it is all pretty much the same thing, the word file will be smaller.

Q: What file system is best for PMMail?

A: It is advisable to run PMMail on a JFS or HPFS386 volume, if possible. It will work on a HPFS volume but the classifier slows down drastically after the word file gets big enough so that it no longer fits in the disk cache (max 2 MB on HPFS).

Q: How do I get Firefox, or SeaMonkey, to open PMMail when I click on a Mailto: link?

NOTE: A1: does not work with Firefox 3.x (and later, I would presume). I suspect that SeaMonkey 2.x also has the same problem. A2: does work properly.

A1: Add or edit the profile's preference entries. In the URL bar enter about:config. In the Filter field enter mailto. Set the values for these two preferences:

applications.mailto => "full/path/to/PMMail.EXE"

Typically: E:\PROGRAMS\PMMail\BIN\PMMail.EXE

applications.mailto.parameters => {the required parameters}

Typically: -cwd "E:\PROGRAMS\PMMail\Accounts" -s ACCT00.ACT

You may use the account's name itself instead of the directory name. Be sure to place it in double quotes if it has spaces in the name.

Typically: -cwd E:\PROGRAMS\PMMail\Accounts -s "My Excellent Mail"

In addition, if you are using SeaMonkey, you will also need the line:

user_pref("network.protocol-handler.external.mailto", true);

to get it to use PMMail, rather than it's own, built in, mail client.

A2: Use Chuck McKinnis' Internet Application Integration program to set the correct entries into the OS2.INI file (WPURLDEFAULTSETTINGS).

Unfortunately, some browsers don't seem to set the working directory correctly so PMMail ends up looking for its accounts in the root of the boot drive, and that causes an error. To work around that, you can add the -cwd "full/path/to/the/accounts" parameter to the Parameters entry.


If you do not include the -s ACCT00.ACT part, PMMail will use the default account, if set, or the first account found, if default is not set. You can also use -s accountname (put it in quotes, if it contains spaces), if you prefer.

In addition, if you are using SeaMonkey, you will also need the line (which is default in Firefox):

user_pref("network.protocol-handler.external.mailto", true);

to get it to use PMMail, rather than it's own, built in, mail client.

If this STILL doesn't work, you likely need to go into MIMETYPES.RDF (found in your Profile directory), find the:

 <RDF:Description RDF:about="urn:scheme:handler:mailto"

section, and change it to:

 <RDF:Description RDF:about="urn:scheme:handler:mailto"
   <NC:possibleApplication RDF:resource="urn:handler:web:"/>
   <NC:possibleApplication RDF:resource="urn:handler:web:"/>

Which is the default if nothing else has set it.

Q: My registration won't work.

A: Only the official, or GA versions can be registered. To reset the timer for an alpha or beta version, install a GA version and enter your registration information. There are actually four ways to do it:

  1. Open the mail, with the code in it, and follow the directions, and it should automatically register itself.
  2. Create a file with the registration information in it. Just copy and paste the registration text into a file called pmm-regn.key and put that into the Accounts directory. Include everything between and including:

    At startup a GA version of PMMail finds it and registers itself (this is the preferred method since you can save the file somewhere safe and restore it later, if necessary).

    An alternative is to copy the registration file to the Accounts directory and rename the file to pmm-regn.key

  3. You can create a file, as above, go to Help, and select the Register item (that selection disappears after registration, and in some other cases too, so it may not be there). Then, you can type:

    in the Registration name field, and import the file.

  4. You can open the Registration input - Help-> Register - (not the same as the Registration display - Help-> About-> Registration), and type the whole thing in (definitely NOT recommended). This option is not available, after the program has been registered.

Q: Is PMInews still compatible with PMMail?

A: No. PMInews will work, as it has always worked, but is now completely separate from PMMail.

Q: My groups are not working correctly. Why?

A: Unfortunately, there is an error in the migration tool, that was shipped with PMMail 3.0 GA, which leaves out a slash in the entries in the GROUP.DB file. The slash should go just before the Accounts directory. We apologize for this problem. Also, watch which file you edit. It seems that the old GROUP.DB file retains it's name, in the WPS display, but is correct in the directory. This is an anomaly in the WPS. It will not affect the operation of the program. This problem has been fixed in PMMail 3.01, and later.

Q: PMMail complains that it can't find TCPIP32.DLL

Q: PMMail opens, and closes immediately, with no errors

A: PMMail 3.01 has been fixed, to work with warp 4, and the old 16 bit TCP/IP stack. However, if you need/wish to run STunnel, you will have to upgrade to the 32 bit TCP/IP stack. BogoFilter still needs the trick described below, to run with the 16 bit stack.

A: PMMail was meant to be compatible with Warp 4, which has the old 16 bit TCP/IP stack. Somewhere along the line, that compatibility was broken for PMMail 3.0 (it is fixed in PMMail 3.01). If you need warp4 compatibility, before installing the next release, please e-mail the support address, and you will be able to get it. NOTE: that warp4 does not support the STunnel, security feature, unless you update to the 32 bit stack (the WR08610 update). The no error symptom is the result, if a user has attempted a work around for the missing TCPIP32.DLL, by copying TCPIPDLL.DLL to that name. That trick will work, as long as the program does not need the actual TCP/IP support, but STunnel, obviously, does require the TCP/IP support. To use BogoFilter, with the 16 bit TCP/IP stack, you will need to either update to the 32 bit stack, or copy TCPIPDLL.DLL to TCPIP32.DLL. Just don't forget, that you did that trick.

Q: I am getting an error, while trying to send a message.

A: If your local hostname is invalid, PMMail cannot send a message. Hostnames can be defined in CONFIG.SYS, or even in your DSL modem, or router. They must not contain spaces, or any special characters, other than dots. A typical name would be something like <>, while <MyName OS/2> would be invalid.

Q: When sending a message I get a warning about an unsecured channel. What does this mean in laymans terms and what should I do?

A: The warning lets you know that there is no secure way to log on to the server. Many servers still persist with plaintext log on. The server is queried for its capabilities and if none of the secure logon options are available, you get a warning that your name and password are sent in the clear. The warning can be disabled. Don't confuse secure logon, with using a secure channel (STunnel).

Q: I use warp4. Should I pursue conversion to the 32bit stack?

A: That is up to you. If you experience no problems with other programs probably not. Stunnel, however, does require the 32bit TCPIP stack. If you wish to have a secure connection with your mail server, you will need to upgrade the stack.

Q: I would like to change the order of the address books, when they are displayed.

A: The address books are sorted alphabetically. If you would like to retain the name, but sort them in a specific order, right mouse click on the address books, one at a time, select the settings, and change the description. You can add a number at the beginning, to change the sort order. Note, that the sort is alphabetic, so "10" will come between "1" and "2". To compensate for that, use two digits, like "01", "02"..."10","11" etc.

Q: I would like to filter my messages, before the Classifier results are tested.

A: PMMail 3.01 (and later) offers new filter settings, to better control when filters run.

A: In the Classifier settings, set the actions to be taken, as No action. Then, you can make two normal filters (which can be anywhere in the filter chain), to sort on

Header = X-Bogosity: Spam
  move to Is Spam folder
Header = X-Bogosity: Unsure
  move to Is Dubious folder

Good e-mail will fall through to the next filter, or, be put into the inbox, if there are no more filters.

Q: Word wrapping can be turned off, but that has a side effect that lines continue past the window, and it is difficult to use. How can I make that easier to use?

A: In Account-> Account settings-> Send-> page 2, you can set the word wrap, Reflow at send, to a large number (1000), and the lines will stay within the open window, while, effectively, not doing a wrap (wrap enabled). Of course, if your paragraph is longer than 1000 characters, it will wrap, when it gets to the wrap point.

Q: I am getting a send error, similar to:

Thu, 31 Jul 2008 22:41:19 ==> 501 <> SIZE=1072:
malformed address: SIZE=1072 may not follow <> : 
This is an error that resulted from MAIL FROM command

A: This is the result, when a server claims to support the "size" option, but does not actually support it. Go to the Account Settings Send page, disable the Message Size ESMTP option.

Q: I would like to use an alternate code page with PMMail. How do I do that?

A: WARNING: changing code pages can cause files with unusual names, to become inaccessible while using other code pages. Use the following with caution.

In <config.sys>:


for example. PMMail itself is started using a CMD script. Just before invoking PMMail is the command to change the code page:

chcp 1004
start "pmmail" p:\ath\to\pmmail.exe

A2: An alternate but manual method is to use CPPal (Code Page Pal). Select 1004 and drag it onto the Message window.

A3: If you use DragText, DragText adds an option in the PMMail program icon-> Properties-> Language, to select the code page to use with the program.

Q: With PMMail v2, I could share the mailstore with the Windows version of PMMail. Can I still do that with PMMail v3?

A: No. There are some major changes to some of the control files, which makes them incompatible. PMMail, for windows, and PMMail, for OS/2, are now two, completely, separate products, and are no longer compatible.

Q: I keep my accounts on a (slow) network drive. Is there a way to speed up PMMail?

A: One thing, that you can do, is move the TEMP directory, that PMMail uses, to a local drive. Go to PMMail-> Settings-> Advanced-> page 2, and change the directory (it must exist).

Be aware, that PMMail assumes that it owns the whole TEMP directory, so be sure to give it it's own. It will remove all files from the TEMP directory, when it is closed, even if the files don't belong to it.

Q: I want to use a secure mail server, but I have no idea what to do.

A: First, find the section "PMMail Secure Transfer", in the help, and follow the directions. If you are not sure what port addresses to use, in the Channel definitions, you should almost always use something like (an example for GMAIL):

For POP:

Channel Name: Gmail POP
Server Name:   (value from gmail documentation)
Server Port: 995    (value from gmail documentation)
Protocol: POP3
Local Port: 110


Channel Name: Gmail SMTP
Server Name:    (value from gmail documentation)
Server Port: 587    (value from gmail documentation, but 465 is more common)
Protocol: SMTP
Local Port: 25

In the PMMail settings, use port 110 for POP, and 25 for SMTP. The only reason to change those, would be if you need to define more than one secure server, then you need to give each channel it's own local port. I recommend leaving one account as the normal ports, and make the others something like 1110, and 1025, and make PMMail match.

Q: I want to start PMMail minimized, but the session settings are grayed out.

A: That is something that OS/2 does, when you try to change the properties of a program. You don't need anything special to be able to start PMMail minimized. You can do that in the icon Properties, but there is a trick required, to get it set:

Open the Properties-> Program tab, and remove the last "E" in the Path and File Name field. Now, go to the Session tab, and you will be able to set Start Minimized (near the bottom). Now, go back to the Program tab, and put the "E" back. Now, PMMail will open minimized, in the manner that you have specified in the program. You need to do the same, to put it back to normal.

Q: PMMail won't open, or crashes on program open

A: Carefully check all of your filters, to be sure that they are valid and/or disable unused filters. If you can isolate the problem to something specific, please report the details to the Mantis Bug Tracker

Q: I use the old PMMStart tool to handle mailto: from Firefox (and other Mozilla derivatives). Can I still use that?

A: NO. It does not do it properly. See above, for methods to handle mailto: properly.

Q: How can I get the latest test versions?

A: First, be aware, that the test versions (known in PMMail, as "Trunk versions"), may contain bugs, and sometimes, those bugs can cause serious problems. Use caution when using a Trunk version, especially if it claims to be an Alpha version. Beta, and RCx versions are somewhat more stable, but may still cause problems.

To download the current Trunk version, follow this link:

When the site opens, it will ask for a password: Enter your e-mail address.

Q: I don't like the supplied WAV file. Where can I get others?

A: One source, of free sound bites, is:

Q: I use Object Desktop and the minimized PMMail will not follow the desktop.

A: Object Desktop has an option to "roll up the window". If you use that feature, rather than the minimized PMMail feature, PMMail will follow the desktop, when set to do so.

Q: I want to move an existing PMMail to another location. How do I do that?

A: If you want to move PMMail, use WarpIn to uninstall it, The accounts, and some other things, will remain behind. Move all of that to where you want it, then install PMMail again. Since it is not installed, WarpIn will allow you to select the location. That should get you back to what was there before, but you will need to check all of your REXX exits, and filters, for hard coded drive letters, and change them if required. If you want to put the accounts in a different location (relative to PMMail.EXE), simply change the Working directory, in the PMMail icon, to point to the new location of the Accounts directory (remember that the accounts directory cannot be in the root of a drive).

Q: When I reply to a message that includes attachments, I wish to attach one, or more, of the attachments in the reply. How do I do that?

A: The easy way is to position the read window, that shows the attachments, and the compose window attachment area, so that you can drag and drop the desired attachments into the new message.

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