The blog of Windows Wally, a Windows Support Technician helping common people solve frustrating computer problems.

Troubleshooting MIME Text and content

Reader Question:
“Hi Wally, I am using Lotus notes, I need some advice on dealing with the MIME format.” – Jared B., Canada

Before addressing any computer issue, I always recommend scanning and repairing any underlying problems affecting your PC health and performance:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (WinThruster for Win7, XP, Vista – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

Setting up weekly (or daily) automatic scans will help prevent system problems and keep your PC running fast and trouble-free.

Wally’s Answer: MIME was used primarily for email and later extended to defining content type. It is also used in Lotus Notes to describe message functionality for messages. Here are some troubleshooting tips and basic info about MIME.

What is MIME?

MIME stands for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. It is an internet standard for email that makes email more versatile. It adds support for additional character sets, attachments, and header information. Although MIME started out with email, it later extended to describing content type for websites. Most email is transmitted in SMTP using MIME formatting.

Troubleshooting MIME Text

Is the content Notes Rich Text or MIME?

The first thing we need to do is to see if the message is in rich text formatting of Lotus Notes or in MIME formatting. This can be done by looking under the Document Properties‘s fields panel for the Body field. The Body field is Rich Text if it is in rich text format. Alternatively, if the body field is of type MIME Part, and there is a field named $NotesHasNativeMIME with value 1, then the message is of MIME type.

Also, the $MIMETrack field shows conversion history. If it is is not there, then it means that either the message was converted by a SMTP MTA, or it was made using Notes rich text.

The MIME Header

Information contained in the MIME header defines the content of the message. This can only be done by trapping the message at the server.

Types of Content

It is easy to determine the type of content. Content type has a name parameter. When that name parameter’s value is equal to filename, lotus notes separately places (encapsulates) the MIME text and MIME content part in an attachment file with that filename. Then, lotus notes attaches that it to the message as a $File Field. So, an encoded image file is attached to its corresponding section, and a text or HTML file is attached to its respective section.

Content characteristics

Messages encoded in this way do not actually contain images, rather they contain references and links to the images stored elsewhere. References are made through various tags. Since these tags are HTML tags, these tags force the client to act as a web browser, and retrieve images and other content from the internet.

Hopefully this information helps to better understand the MIME text and MIME content format and how to troubleshoot problems pertaining to it.

Is Your PC Healthy?

I always recommend to my readers to regularly use a trusted registry cleaner and optimizer such as WinThruster or CCleaner. Many problems that you encounter can be attributed to a corrupt and bloated registry.

Happy Computing! :)

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About the Author

Windows Wally is a helpful guy. It’s just in his nature. It’s why he started a blog in the first place. He heard over and over how hard it was to find simple, plain-English solutions to Windows troubleshooting problems on the Internet. Enter: Windows Wally. Ask away, and he will answer.