How-To: Dealing with error messages and solving problems

Today’s article outlines how to find help when you receive an error or if you are experiencing problems. Before asking on a mailing list, newsgroup or calling support, check the Error Page or the Solve Crashes & Conflicts Page. Searching for answers is often the quickest way to find an answer, plus when you search for answers yourself you often find other bits of useful info along the way. Don’t expect someone else to always provide the answers.

Find Solutions for Errors

You receive the error “The action could not be completed. An unknown error (4362) occurred.” How do you find what this error means and what are you supposed to do? Because this error lists a number, visit the Number errors page. Click on the link at the top for Positive Errors, select 4362. The solution is to rebuild your database. This is one of the common errors received in Entourage. Knowing where to search resulted in receiving an answer in less than a minute.
The Entourage Help Error Page lists many of the errors you might receive. There is no official published list of errors.
The Error Page is divided into sections:

••The Print Error Page was added August 29, 2008.
When you do get an error, take a screen shot or write down the exact error. If it’s a number error, decide if the error is coming from Entourage.

  • All Entourage number generated errors get a descriptive text as well as the error number. It’s important to know if it’s a positive or negative number when searching.
  • If you get an error number without descriptive text, it’s coming either from a mail server, the Operating System or some other application—not from Entourage. Your ISP might be able to help you with these.
  • If the message simply says An error occurred and gives a number, this is an Apple operating system message.

If you don’t find a solution to your error on the Error Page, you can try a Google search. Please notify me if you do find a solution so I can add it.

Solve Crashes and Conflicts

The Find Solutions for Crashes, Conflicts and General Problems Page lists many of the common problems you might encounter. You can search the page using the symptoms you are experiencing. Symptoms are typical words used to describe the problem like “the text is garbled or gibberish.”

For example: If you are having problem opening and using Entourage, this can cover a wide range of solutions as you can see from the list below.

Crashes, Stalls and Quits
a. Switching between Entourage X and 2004 causes crashes when launching
b. Crashes at Startup of Entourage
c. Fails to launch
d. Freezing in Entourage whenever new mail received (tied to Project Center)
e. Crashes of undetermined origin
f. Entourage randomly freezes for a period, takes over system resources, slows down machine, disk churning, hangs, heavy disk activity
g. Stalling, freezing, slow switching between windows
h. Notifications crashed
i. Unexpected Quits
j. Quits when Preferences are opened
k. Entourage crashes when attempting to set a reminder date
l. Launching Entourage bounces in Dock and then quits
m. Multiple applications quit unexpectedly or fail to launch

Don’t over look Help

Help files for each application offer a wealth of info and many users never even look there. The Help menu is available in the Menu bar for every application. New in Office 2008, online Help is available offering extended help topics to the static help pages offered before.

If you still can’t find the answers…..

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20 comments to How-To: Dealing with error messages and solving problems

  • I was having an Entourage error 3529, and could not send any emails. I finally found the answer here:

  • David William Lorch

    every time entourage starts up i get a barrage of sync error messages with no number code. the error report is enormous and is of no comprehensible use to me. Anyone got any ideas how i can solve as the application is currently completely useless. Cheers Microsoft.

  • First we are not an official Microsoft site. We are a volunteer site offering our help. Send MSFT feedback if you want them to know you are unhappy with Sync Services.
    A corrupt item could be the cause. You might want to reset your Sync Services to see if that fixes the issue.
    Reset Sync Services

  • Alexa

    I keep getting this error and cant find out ho to fix it
    While processing message “***SPAM*** Mac” (ID 3226), the mailing list rule “Pam Castrello” could not be successfully executed.
    Help plz.

  • Open the Mailing List Manager under Tools in the Menu bar. Find the rule Pam Castrello and delete it.
    It’s very easy to set up a MLM rule by accident, when you are marking a message as ‘not junk’. The wording of that dialog is ambiguous to say the least. Mailing List Manager rules run before your other rules.

  • Tim

    I have two different Macs giving the -3211 error. Finally, I reformatted the Macbook Pro running Leopard and so far it sends and receives okay. Now the same thing is happening on an iMac running Tiger. Could this have anything to do with upgrading Office 2004 to the latest Office 11.5.6 updates? Also, the -3211 error remedy steps posted here for OS X are not current. There’s no way to delete a DNS server address in Leopard that I can see. And on the iMac (w/Tiger) there is a DNS server address entry box on the TCP/IP dialog, but it’s empty. There’s nothing to delete.

  • Open System Preferences from the Dock or the Apple menu. Open Network Preferences, then click the TCP/IP tab. Then clear the DNS Servers field, click “Apply Now”, and close.

  • Mark

    I have same problem… the DNS server address box is empty. When I hit send/receive error -3211 pops up… Explanation: Mail could not be received.
    any suggestions please.

  • 1. If you can receive but not send then you have a bad SMTP configuration
    2. If you can send but not receive you have a bad POP or IMAP configuration
    Have you checked your messages using your web browser to be sure you don’t have a corrupt message that will not download?
    Go to OpenDNS and set up a free account. They provide excellent instructions on changing your DNS settings. They include instructions for Windows, Mac and Unix/Linux.

  • Ling

    I keep getting -3211 error.
    I cannot send or receive (though my hotmail and mobilme accounts are both working directly via websites.
    I have followed set up configuration as set out in:
    Like Tim I cannot see how you delete the DNS server address.
    My steps have been as follows:
    1. Open Network preferences
    2. I select “Airport” connection and click on “Advanced …)
    3. There is a TCP/IP tab which does not make any reference to a DNS Server
    4. I select the DNS tab which shows a DNSserver but it is greyed out so I cannot delete it.
    Not sure what else to do! Any further suggestions would be appreciated

  • Check for a lock at the bottom left corner of the Network window. Unlock! You’ll need your password to unlock. This should allow you to change your settings.
    Troubleshooting Basics for Send & Receive:
    1. If you can receive but not send then you have a bad SMTP configuration
    2. If you can send but not receive you have a bad POP or IMAP configuration
    You can try re-entering info.
    You can delete account and create a new one.
    Using copy/paste can result in an extra space being added. Type carefully.
    Check your Keychain for corruption.
    Testing in a new User will quickly tell you if the problem is system wide or
    if it’s your User’s folder that contains the problem. Go to System Preferences –> Create a New User in Accounts. Switch to the New User by logging out/in or use Fast User Switching. Open Entourage and try creating your accounts in this clean environment.
    If the problem goes away in the new User, then go back to your regular User’s account and drag your Main Identity to Shared folder. Next, switch back to the test User account. Drag from Shared (it actually copies) to the Microsoft User Data folder > Office 2008 Identities folder. Use Switch Identity to see if you can get the Identity working.
    Once you know if it’s your Identity, problems in your User’s account or if the problem exists in a clean environment, you can start finding a solution.
    Let me know what you find.

  • J Smith

    My problem is that I can’t print a message from Entourage. It appears that a print job isn’t created – there is not print job in printer status and no error message pops. Any ideas?

  • You haven’t given enough info to give you any suggestions. Usually, print problems like this is a system error not Entourage. Can you print in other applications?

  • Ratana

    I’m encountering an error that I can’t find a solution for. I’m getting “error -19760 Could not synchronize record: Title of Email to exchange server: Mailbox
    Anyone have a clue as to where to start troubleshooting?

  • In Entourage does it copy to folders “On My Computer”?
    Try moving the message in OWA to a different folder or delete then copy back from folders “On My Computer”.

  • Ratana

    I’ve deleted the message a while back in hopes that it will solve the error but no luck. Entourage isn’t copying to the “On My Computer” folder. I get multiple copies of the same error and if I don’t constantly delete them, it will keep duplicating itself.
    The message seems to be a Read Receipt. Not sure if this tidbit helps. Thanks!

  • Tina

    We are also receiving the -19760 error with two of our users. Any luck finding a fix?

  • Sorry, no further info. You could try using tcpflow to see if it shows the problem.
    How to use TCPflow to test Send & Receive

  • jp

    my problem is like j smith. no print job from entourage BUT i can print from other applications (word, internet, etc). any ideas?thanks, jp
    J Smith said:
    My problem is that I can’t print a message from Entourage. It appears that a print job isn’t created – there is not print job in printer status and no error message pops. Any ideas?
    March 22, 2010 7:49 AM
    Diane Ross said:
    You haven’t given enough info to give you any suggestions. Usually, print problems like this is a system error not Entourage. Can you print in other applications?

  • Let’s eliminate your Entourage database…
    Drag the example you are trying to print to the desktop.
    1) Create a new Identity under Entourage in the Menu bar
    2) Cancel out of the setup.
    3) Drag the example into Entourage.
    4) Try printing
    If it prints, this indicates your database has problems. How to rebuild