Vista Mail, Auto Send and Recieve

Something changed in my Mail settings. After connecting to the internet,
upon opening my Mail program, it would automatically check for Receiving and
Sending. A bar would appear above the Task bar, which would show if Mail was
actively receiving, and the amount of messages received when finished. This
bar no longer appears. And the Auto Send and Recieve does not appear to be
working. I can manually click "Send and Recieve" which checks much more
quickly now, but I am not sure if it is really working. Some messages seem
to be sending and receiving. Was this an update to Mail? What must I do to
change it back to the former settings?