Question mark '?' in outgoing emails


  1.    05 Oct 2010 #1
    Join Date : Aug 2008
    Posts : 75
    Windows 7 Ultimate (x86, Ita)
    Local Time: 00:01

    Question mark '?' in outgoing emails


    Don't know how and when, but all of a sudden I've seen all my outgoing emails in text format have a '?' at the beginning of the msg. E.g. "?Hello,...".
    Obviously when I compose the msg there is no question mark.
    This happens only if I use text format and with all codepages except UTF-8.

    I've never installed external email clients and I've always been using Windows Mail and now Windows Live Mail 2011. IE7 then IE8 and now IE9beta. I don't use 3rd party firewalls/antivirus/anti-malware etc.

    On the web it's impossible to find a solution and that's the best I've seen: Unwanted Question Mark In Message Body | TheDailyReviewer

    Please, can someone help me?
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  2.    05 Oct 2010 #2
    Join Date : Jan 2008
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    Re: Question mark '?' in outgoing emails


    If you are running an ANSI program, if it doesn't understand a character, it sticks a '?' in place of it. If UTF-8 works I'd stick with that. I've only used English versions of Windows but from programming I know it's a can of worms when you start getting into code pages, unicode and all that jazz. Not everything understands non-ANSI char set. I'd try another mail program.
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  3.    05 Oct 2010 #3
    Join Date : Aug 2008
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    Windows 7 Ultimate (x86, Ita)
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      Thread Starter

    Re: Question mark '?' in outgoing emails


    It's the same with Windows Mail... it looks like a generic problem. Every time I write a mail with virtually any email program it will start with a '?'. Maybe I have to re-regsvr32 some dll?
    I really don't know and there is no answare in the net even if other people experienced this problem...
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  4.    05 Oct 2010 #4
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    Re: Question mark '?' in outgoing emails


    You mentioned code pages, that's what makes me think you've somehow gotten things set to ANSI. If it doesn't recognize a character it uses a '?' as placeholder. I would try MSDN site and look at everything to do with code pages and settings for character sets.
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  5.    05 Oct 2010 #5
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    Re: Question mark '?' in outgoing emails


    The other thing you could try, do you have a Restore Point from before the time the problem started?
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  6.    06 Oct 2010 #6
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      Thread Starter

    Re: Question mark '?' in outgoing emails


    After 1 entire day looking for all system changes since the problem started (hopefully the first email sent with "?" was saved in the Draft folder and had date/hour) using Windows Update (Installed updates section), Event Viewer (Windows libraries/Application), the usual control panel to uninstall programs.... I'VE FOUND THE ORIGIN OF THE PROBLEM!

    It was the IE9 Beta (IE9-WindowsVista-x86-ita.exe, 9.0.7930.16406) the cause! Right after I installed the Feedback Tool!
    Once uninstalled all IE9 updates (in this order: ITA language add-on, IE9 installation) and rolled back to IE8 the problem disappeared!
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  7.    06 Oct 2010 #7
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    Re: Question mark '?' in outgoing emails


    Glad you found it. About the only thing I let update in the background is Chrome. All of a sudden something will stop working. Then after a few days, it will work again. I look at the About Chrome and it will show a newer version number. Most of the time the problems are just annoyances, like favicons stop working for awhile. That type of thing. I try not to let stuff just update willy nilly. Tough to keep a working system that way. And if you image your system how would you ever know which update is on which image? It's a nightmare!
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  8.    06 Oct 2010 #8
    Join Date : Aug 2008
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    Windows 7 Ultimate (x86, Ita)
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      Thread Starter

    Re: Question mark '?' in outgoing emails


    Yes it's a nightmare sometimes to understand what fu***d up the system.
    The recipe is always the same: use Windows Update (Installed updates section), Event Viewer (Windows libraries/Application), the usual control panel to uninstall programs to have a clue for what happened in the system and try to uninstall/verify backward, step by step...
    Obviously the first thing to do is to write down the date/time you experienced the problem the first time.

    Most people when Windows apparently "goes crazy" do a whole format and reinstall the OS! I hate that because sometimes the solution you discover is much simpler... but it takes time to discover, I know!
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  9.    08 Oct 2010 #9
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    Re: Question mark '?' in outgoing emails


    Quote Originally Posted by hexaae View Post
    Yes it's a nightmare sometimes to understand what fu***d up the system.
    The recipe is always the same: use Windows Update (Installed updates section), Event Viewer (Windows libraries/Application), the usual control panel to uninstall programs to have a clue for what happened in the system and try to uninstall/verify backward, step by step...
    Obviously the first thing to do is to write down the date/time you experienced the problem the first time.

    Most people when Windows apparently "goes crazy" do a whole format and reinstall the OS! I hate that because sometimes the solution you discover is much simpler... but it takes time to discover, I know!
    Perhaps the " ------- " system does not deserve the condemnation.
    Perhaps the person who took a chance on a BETA version should shoulder ALL the blames.
    Beta version of any prohram is expected to have " bugs ". That's why they stick the word " beta " on it.
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  10.    08 Oct 2010 #10
    Join Date : Aug 2008
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    Windows 7 Ultimate (x86, Ita)
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      Thread Starter

    Re: Question mark '?' in outgoing emails


    Quote Originally Posted by djch129 View Post
    Perhaps the " ------- " system does not deserve the condemnation.
    Perhaps the person who took a chance on a BETA version should shoulder ALL the blames.
    Beta version of any prohram is expected to have " bugs ". That's why they stick the word " beta " on it.
    I agree and infact, as I said, I don't like those who blame the system and quickly format&reinstall everything...

    However the fact I've installed IE9 beta was not enough to realize it was the cause for two main reasons:
    1. I installed it 7 days before I could face the problem. In the meanwhile there were WUS updates, installed other software etc. etc. so it wasn't that simple...
    2. the bug affected a totally different program (and only that!) in a sub-area (codepages)

    Sometimes it's not so straight to connect bugs<>source-of-the-bug...
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Question mark '?' in outgoing emails

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