Fix Fundamental Flaws First: Stop, Backup, & Start

I’ve been using eM Client for about two years now, and find it maddingly frustrating. That is, it’s a very nice prdouct – and I’ve tried other email programs – and yet it has problems that continue to drive me crazy. And so I continue to try other email programs.

There are fundamental flaws, and you need to address them NOW. Much as a single problem bothers a single user, the problems I’m talking about affect almost all of your users. And so if I were in charge, I’d put aside your work on small-scale issues, especially any cosmetic ones, and take care of these:


I normally leave my PC running all the time, especially considering that I pay for a cloud-backup service. However, I still need to restart my system (Vista) after Windows patches, when a new version of my anti-virus program is released, and at other times. When doing so, eM Client is the ONLY program that I have to manually close before I restart my PC. I shut down eM Client, count to ten – to hope that all of its processes have left the building – and then click OK in whatever program wants to restart the PC.

This must be fixed. I don’t care if the program’s inability to respond to a “Please Leave” request is Microsoft’s fault, or is the result of the basic architecture of eM Client – it simply must be fixed.

It’s a nuisance, and there are already enough nuisances in life in general, and in computing in particular, that I don’t need another.

But not only that, eM Client’s inability to shut down when nicely asked by the O/S also impacts two other major flaws.


As a retired programmer and DBA, I can tell you that the most function of my job was to make sure that the data was backed up. Tuning a database for query and update speed is another function, as are various security-related functions. But these other functions are meaningless if you have no data. And hard drives will crash, and you will lose power, and who knows what other disasters will befall you.

So it’s good that eM Client has a backup function.

But its implementation is terrible.

While you don’t provide enough scheduling options, I’m not talking about setting a schedule, per se. The user can at least go into Adminstrative Tools and set the days and time.

What I’m talking about is that your backup program, DbBackup.exe, can’t shut down the main program.

And why can’t it? Well, I’m guessing that it has something to do with the problem I spoke of first here.

And why must DbBackup.exe be able to shut down eM Client? If you leave eM Client running, and when your backup schedule kicks in, what happens? Typically, you might want this to happen in the middle of the night, when you’re not present. If so, you’ll see an error in the morning, i.e., the backup could not be made because the program was still running. See threads such as this one: .

If you fix the shut-down problem, you could address this backup problem.

And what you’d then need to add to the backup setting would be an option for “silent” or something like that, i.e., when the backup starts to run, have it shut down eM Client, no questions asked (as opposed to having backup asking you to shut down eM Client, as it does now, if unchecked). And perhaps another option that asks whether or not you’d like eM Client restarted after a backup completes.

I tried dispensing with DbBackup.exe altogether for a long time, i.e., not having backup enabled. I would let my cloud backup software (“CrashPlan” for a few years now, and Mozy Home for a few years before that) backup the actual files. But that seems to have resulted in eM Client’s frequently crashing (see this thread, , for example). Using the official, i.e., built-in, backup method seems to have resolved this, as I now have my backup software skipping the actual (open) eM Client files, and backing up the official eM Client backup files.

But what does that mean now, in terms of convenience? It means that I have to remember which days of the week I’ve scheduled DbBackup.exe to run, and make sure that I shut down eM Client myself before going to bed on those days. But only on those days. Talk about ridiculous.


I’ve had eM Client crash a fair number of times. Maybe this was of my own making, e.g., trying to back up open files (although I’d assert that if the program were coded better, it might be willing to share open files). At other times, who knows why eM Client crashed. And of course other programs now and again can manage to crash an entire operating system.

When this happens, when starting up eM Client I can go have a cup of coffee. Or brew a fresh pot. That check of the database that it goes through takes ten or fifteen minutes for my data. I don’t know whether there’s code in place for this, but I’ve never seen a notice that says eM Client found anything wrong.

My point here is that I wonder whether this process could be performed in parallel with actually using the program, or maybe a better method could be found for determining whether a given file is actually corrupted (before apparently rigorously checking for corruption).

In short, I’d like to eliminate this wait, more often than is the case now.


You folks have a really nice email client. I wish it worked much better, however, in some very basic ways.

Especially as you have a proprietary structure for storing email messages, you should make certain that it is as foolproof as possible for your users to back up that data.

I urge you folks to concentrate your efforts on addressing these fundamental flaws, perhaps to the exclusion of all other problems. Certainly to the exclusion of any and all planned enhancements. You should not even be thinking of adding bells and whistles to something that cannot easily be backed up, for instance, or that is the only program I have installed that does not play nicely with Windows Update.

If you don’t follow through on these problems, well, that’s your business, there’s nothing more I can do about it after writing this. I’ll be forced to give up on a product that has an interface and features that I really like, and find a product with fewer features but one that doesn’t drive me crazy, one that doesn’t frustrate me as much, one that can be started, stopped, and backed up properly.