Some errors are just plain stupid. I wonder how the system generates an error which is presented to the user. Perhaps someone out there has the answer. Today I had a request from a fellow colleague whose application failing to connect to exchange using IMAP Protocol. In an effort to help out, I requested the colleague to test by configuring outlook to retrieve the emails using IMAP. This seemed to be simplest test to determine if IMAP was really having problems...

My colleague succeeded on connecting using outlook. However he was not convinced because Microsoft Outlook is a Microsoft Product hence suspected that it could easily work as expected when other non-Microsoft could fail to work. I sought another way to prove that IMAP was working, however I could not find a 3rd party or freeware email application that supports IMAP to aid in testing. Not even Google could help me locate such an application, I guess my search skills let me down. An idea popped up in mind, test it manually using command and simulate what usually happens behind the scene. I turned back to Google for the command to use in the test. Google proved to be good friend this time providing with instant accurate result.

The I figured out that Microsoft IMAP on my server required me to type the following

Telnet MyIMAPServer 143


Connected to

Escape character is '^]'.

. login myusername mypassword

. list

It is important to note that every command after telnetting to the IMAP Server must be preceded by a full stop and space then the command itself. And the test worked. Of course my colleagues application was not doing this. In the end my colleague changed the protocol to POP3 and he was happy.

A different variation of the Microsoft error "Bad Command 12" , is another one that says "Bad Command State". If you are getting this error "Bad Command State", then you need to check the authentication setting specified on your Exchange POP3 or IMAP connector. If authentication is set to secure authentication, then you need to make sure secure authentication is disabled. Disabling secure authentication setting for the POP or IMAP connector and restarting the respective service will put you back in business.