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The ‘accidental email loop’, caused by a bug in a 2003 version of Microsoft Windows, saw hundreds of copies of a single message sent repeatedly to flood inboxes across the country.

The problem began on Friday December 10 when Georgina Brumell, advertising editor at the ATG, sent a well-meaning message to many ATG clients. Over the next week, the email message replicated itself thousands of times as the message became trapped in an accidental email loop.

The phenomenon, that has been reported both in the national press and on the Internet, occurs when one or more of the recipients on the original emailing list is running a problematic version of Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003.

This program contains a bug that, in Microsoft’s own words, can cause “many unexpected email messages to appear in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 SMTP queues waiting to be sent to external recipients…and may incorrectly resend certain messages.”

The problem can be solved by downloading a ‘patch’ from Microsoft’s web site, where you will find instructions, at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=835734

At the ATG we have worked with our IT team and service providers to rectify the situation. If you have been affected and would like advice on how to work around the problem visit www.antiquestradegazette.com/emailhelp