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Find Solutions for Crashes, Conflicts and General Problems
- Be sure to read Basics everyone should know about using Entourage and Outlook
- For help isolating the source of the problem, see Troubleshooting Basics
- Read User Experiences for the unusual solutions
Outlook for Mac Help
- Bugs, conflicts and general problems
- Crashes, Stalls and Quits
- Database and Identity
- Exchange Users
- IMAP Accounts
- Install or Import
- Leopard conflicts
- Messages or Mail
- Performance Issues/memory management
- Send & Receive
- Sync Services
- Text or Font
- Time, Daylight Saving Time Update
- Bugs, conflicts and general problems:
- Time zone bug
- Sounds stop working
- Entourage automatically launches
- Yellow envelope on dock icon does not go away
- Unable to open Word or Excel attchments
- Hotmail accounts for Entourage X users are now inaccessible
- Dates all wrong after import or IMAP account cache was empted (shows as time imported)
- Date is in some other language and not English
- Collapse triangle doesn't always work (2004)
- Hundreds of windows open
- Fails to launch
- Crashes, Stalls and Quits
- Switching between Entourage X and 2004 causes crashes when launching
- Crashes at Startup of Entourage
- Fails to launch
- Freezing in Entourage whenever new mail received (tied to Project Center)
- Crashes of undetermined origin
- Entourage randomly freezes for a period, takes over system resources, slows down machine, disk churning, hangs, heavy disk activity
- Stalling, freezing, slow switching between windows
- Notifications crashed
- Unexpected Quits
- Quits when Preferences are opened
- Entourage crashes when attempting to set a reminder date
- Launching Entourage bounces in Dock and then quits
- Multiple applications quit unexpectedly or fail to launch
- Word, Excel & PowerPoint crash at startup
- Database and Identity
- Visit the Error page for more text and numbered errors
- Visit the Install/Update Error page for help
- Receive the error "unable to find download.microsoft.com... when you try to download security updates for Office
- Framework error
- Database Daemon Fatal Error
- Messages with an attachment creates Error -5000
- 'Not enough memory'
- Receive error "End of File"
- Mail to Comcast is rejected and is returned with an error message containing the code BL001.
- Could not open that feature
- Exchange Users: see Exchange FAQs and Troubleshooting
- Fonts: see Text
- IMAP Accounts
- Install or Import click here to troubleshoot
- Startup fails (particularly after a system or security update); solving (MacFixIt Tutorial)
- HOW INSTALLING APPLE'S UPDATES CAN RENDER YOUR MAC UNBOOTABLE AND HOW YOU CAN PREVENT IT (article on Unsanity's site)
- Unable to install update
- Also see Updates
- Messages or Mail
- Performance Issues/memory managment
- Slow - options to improve
- Problems from Insufficient RAM and Free Hard Disk Space
- Problems for Classic Users
- FAQs for performance
- Project Center projects cause slowdowns and freezing when downloading messages
- Long startup times for Office applications to open
- Office 2008 slow to start up
- Slow switching to the Calendar Entourage 2008
- Exchange accounts - read this article Optimize Entourage to better work
- Entourage quits in Rebuild screen before I can choose an option
- Receive I/O error when I try to rebuild
- Rules click here to troubleshoot
- Send & Receive click here to troubleshoot
- Sync Services click here to troubleshoot
- Text or Font
- Text is gibberish or garbled
- Problems with email fonts
- Smiley faces show as "J"
- Troubleshooting fonts
- Crash if click font color button (Leopard users)
- Office 2008 fonts cause slowdowns
- Office 2008 Font Basics (installing both 2008 & 2004)
- Calendar font in Entourage 2008 not readable
- Use Spin Control to monitor for font problems
- Time, Daylight Saving Time Update
- Entourage fails to launch on Intel-based Macs
- Intel-based Mac: Microsoft Office doesn't launch
- Office crashes on Intel-based Mac
- Mail notification not working on some Intel Macs
Solutions for general Entourage Users
Check for a bad message:
- A malformed spam message was sent to many people causing the Junk Mail Filter in Entourage to fail. This is now fixed. Download updates.
- One new trick starting with Entourage 2004 is that you can start it up from default settings - i.e. with Send & Receive All schedule OFF (Manual only) - by holding down the Shift key at startup - like "Extensions Off" when starting up your Mac. This allows Entourage to launch without crashing in situations like this. You could then turn off Preview Pane and check the server looking for the suspect message.
- If you have POP accounts, you'd do it by using your Webmail account or use Allow Online Access in the Options window of the account settings. Next, select the server icon now appearing in the Folders List and turn off Preview Pane.
- If IMAP, Exchange or Hotmail just check your Inbox and folders affected with Preview Pane turned off.
Delete the message (which actually marks it for Deletion from the server), connect to the server (Send & Receive All).
4. Turn off 'Truncate long recipients list'. More info
You should have only one Microsoft Database daemon in your "Startup items". If you have more than one, delete all and let Entourage create a new one when it launches.
Intel-based Mac: Microsoft Office doesn't launch If you install Motion 2.1, part of Final Cut Studio 5.1, or other applications that use "split segment" non-system libraries on an Intel-based Mac, then Microsoft Office applications may fail to launch.
7. Entourage automatically launches: Check for some third-party applications that schedule events. MenuCalendarClock can launch Entourage every time it checks for events (whether or not you have set are any events for Entourage). Other possible culprits: EntourageABMenu, Quicksilver, LaunchBar, iKey, Keyboard Maestro.
The "Verify database" has been known to give false reports. One option that can cause these false reports is a corrupted preference. Try deleting this preference file in your User's --> Library Preferences:
To see if the background verify option is giving a false report, try running the Database Utility and having it do a verify operation. If it gives you a clean bill of health, you know you are safe in turning off the background checking.
Some users have had to uncheck this preference to stop the constant warnings. If you are not experiencing any problems turn off the "Verify database". I do recommend that you run regular backups of your database. Use Tasks to set up a reminder.
Other options to check:
- Bad RAM.
- Being low on disk space. To check your disk space, use the Activity Monitor. Click on Disk Usage in the bottom menu bar and select the volume where you have Office installed. You can also use Disk Utility to see detailed information about a disk or volume. To learn more, open Disk Utility in the /Applications/Utilities folder and refer to Disk Utility Help.
There could be a conflict with another application. Try restarted with Shift key down to quit remaining processes. Now try to Rebuild Entourage.
"An error occurred while attempting to compact [or rebuild] your database. An I/O error occurred."
I/O error almost always means disk damage.
Hold Shift key down when launching. This will clear the Office Font Cache (12) fileBack to Top
- Check for third party conflicts: Haxies can cause problems. Notifications crashes have stopped after disabling WindowShade or FruitMenu. iListen is known to cause problems with menus and shortcuts. Disable any haxies you might have installed and see if the problems go away.
- Check for a corrupt preference.
- Check for dual languages: Check the "Text Encoding" (similar name translated into your language) folder within the System Folder, you may have duplicated items there (one set in English and another one in your own language). If so, keep the set in your OS language and trash the other one. Doing so solves many problems with Entourage, Explorer and Outlook.
- Check for a corrupt font
14. Time Zone Bug: There is a bug that appeared around the time of the switch to DST (Daylight Saving Time). The problem manifests itself as a yellow banner across the top of an event in Entourage that states that the event is scheduled in a different time zone to your computer's time zone. It appears to be a conflict between 'PST' & 'PDT' timezones. The correction has occurred, and events are displayed in the right time slot, but the banner is displayed when it shouldn't be.
This bug is fixed with update Office 2004 11.3.3. For Office X and 2001 users see this article "Is your Mac Ready for Daylight Saving Time?"
15. Identity has disappeared from hard drive: Entourage opens with new blank Identity. This is normally a user error (see below), but if the Identity has disappeared, a possible culprit is your anti-virus application. Some versions identify a virus within the database and puts your database into quarantine. You will need to read the directions on how to release.
Check any AV products you are running and, if necessary, exclude the Microsoft User Data folder from their scans.
ClamXav has an option to move infected files to trash . Be sure to uncheck this.
Also see this solution in User Experiences where the database is in an invisible folder "lost & found".
Most likely you have accidentally moved your data. Hopefully, you have not deleted the file. If you have deleted the trash, it's gone. Sorry!
Select Switch Identity and see if your old identity is still listed.
Entourage expects the folder to be in your Documents folder. For OS X users, that's the Documents folder in your User's folder.
To find your old database, search for "Microsoft User Data" (without the quotes).
If you have not used a new identity in Entourage, then copy the entire Microsoft User Data folder to the correct location.
Fix if you have more than one Microsoft User Data Folder...
Move the entire identity folder you want to use to the Office Identities folder that Entourage is recognizing. Your identity is named "Main" by default. Be sure to rename one so you do not overwrite. Your identity folder can contain more than one identity. Switch Identities to view your old mail. If you have not used the new identity, delete it. If you have used it and want to combine the new mail with your original database, drag each folder to the desktop from one identity. This creates an MBOX file. Switch identities. Drag the MBOX files into the folder window of Entourage.
You can delete the old folder after you are satisfied with the transfer.
Sometimes linking can cause slowdowns. For example in the Address Book: Once it opens, click on the name column to re-sort your contacts. That should cause Entourage to re-sort the list and speed things up.Back to Top
Quit Entourage. Delete these files in Users/[YourUserName]/Library/Caches. Restart Entourage.
If the above does not work, check for corrupt font caches. These can easily be cleared from the system with Font Finagler. Download and run the application. First click the "Inspect Font Cache Files" button, then the "Clean Font Cache Files" button. You must then restart your Mac. Other utilities that can clear your font caches are Cocktail, FontNuke and OnyX.
More info: Font Management in OS X Tiger and Panther
If Comcast is the ISP provider they are having a problem with the DNS servers. The fix is to go to the TCP/IP and enter 184.108.40.206 then on the next line type 220.127.116.11. Click apply and go back to the Microsoft Mactopia download page and get the update.
Try disabling font Curlz MT
Use Font Book. You can find it in your Applications folder. Open the application, scroll down to Curlz MT, then choose Edit>Disable "Curlz MT" family. Restart your computer to force it to rebuild its font caches, and see if the problem has gone.
Attachments are stored in the Entourage Temp folder inside the Microsoft User Data folder. This is where Entourage is trying to save the file before it opens. Check the permissions on this folder.
- Owner Access: Read Write
- Group Access: Read only
- Others: Read only
You can delete the Entourage Temp folder, and Entourage will create a new one when launched.
Delete the "com.microsoft.browserfont.cache" file in ~/Library/Caches. More help with fonts.
also see garbled fonts...text is gibberish
First check Entourage --> Preferences "Notification". Make sure that the appropriate sounds are checked. Click the speaker icon next to them to test your sound setup .If you can hear sounds from other applications, but not the Entourage sounds have a look at this Apple Knowledge Base article.
An application may have set your audio output settings too high. If that fails and you have GarageBand, try opening and closing it.
Entourage 2008 installed 12.0.0 version has a bug with sounds. Update to 12.0.1 or higher to fix.
Launch Entourage holding down the Shift key. In Entourage 2004, this disables schedules from launching at startup. This will let you enter Entourage and delete the message.
It is most likely a Mailing List Manager entry that has accidentally been created.
These entries are all to easy to make by mistake when marking an item as 'Not Junk' because of some ambiguous wording in that dialog.
Check that there are no entries that shouldn't be there in the "Mailing List Manager" under the 'Tools' menu. Check destination folder in all of your Mailing List Manager and Custom rules.
Unfortunately, Entourage seems to have some issues keeping its message list in sync with the actual mail store on IMAP accounts. Force a message list synchronization (Command-Option-L) and the message returns.
- Try repairing Disk Permissions: Open Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities), select your hard disk volume in the left pane, click the First Aid tab, then click Repair Disk Permissions.
- Simply updating to a newer version of Mac OS X may resolve issues with unexpected quits. Re-applying the latest combo updater from Apple can also overwrite potentially problem causing files.
- Re-install Office from original media then updating can resolve issues with unexpected quits. Use "Remove Office" first. Be sure to see on this link the files that are not removed using Remove Office in Office 2008 and will need to removed manually.
- Delete .plist files: Unexpected quits -- especially those that occur after a major Mac OS X update -- can be solved by deleting corrupt .plist files. Preferences can be found in your User's Library/Preferences folder:
- Microsoft folder
- Caches: In some cases, unexpected quits an other issues can be resolved by deleting specific system caches.
- Try deleting files that start with "com.apple.LaunchServices" from the /Library/Caches folder.
- A corrupted font cache may be causing Unexpected Quits. The font caches are located in User>Library>Preferences>Microsoft>Office Font Cache.
- Control-Click (Right-Click) causes unexpected quit, Crashes upon right-click are usually associated with 3rd-party contextual menu items.
This is a rare problem. One user found that re-install of Office fixed the problem.
1) Try changing the time zone in the event (under the options menu on the toolbar). All older recurring events lost the time zone after DST. When set to the proper time zone, they should appear correctly in the calendar.
2) A good old fashioned reboot has cleared up similar issues.
3) All events must have a start time. For all day events, the start time is 00:00am.
4) The following was posted on the Entourage Talk List by Jeremy Reichman Senior Desktop Systems Engineer, Information and Technology Services, Rochester Institute of Technology.
Hopefully, the following will answer some of the questions involving problems with the DST patches.
In our experience (and we did quite a bit of testing at my site), whenever you used a unpatched Windows/Outlook system or a pre-11.3.3 version Entourage to create an event (at least for Exchange calendaring), you will need to fix those events' data _after_ patching.
The DST patches for Exchange clients, in our testing, did not fix data saved prior to patching. However, reading how clients save to Exchange calendars, this did not surprise us.
The patches did, however, fix _new_ events saved to Exchange calendars after patching the client.
5) If your events are on an Exchange server then that means your Exchange Server admins have not yet patched their Exchange Servers.
Part of the patching process will be to run a utility that will essentially alter all calendar events in every account by one hour. Any meeting invitations you have received and accepted will be resent to you and you'll need to reaccept them.
If the above describes your situation then do not alter your events' times. They'll be wrong after the server patching.
6) Check list. (please report back with your setup on the newsgroup if you continue to have problems)
- Version info (DST fix requires update to Microsoft Office to 11.3.3 or higher.)
- What version of OS X?
- What's the OS X time zone?
- What's the time zone and dst rule in the problematic event(s) (drag to desktop and look at the DST and timezone info in the iCal part)
- What's the default time zone in Entourage.
- Are these events in an Exchange mailbox that is accessed by Outlook also?
- Do you have any events between March 11 and April 1, 2007, that show this problem?
- Do you have any events between October 28 and November 4, 2007, that show this problem?
Are they being sent by Office 2007 on a windows machine? If so, they may be in the new 'docx' (.xlsx) format which isn't (yet) readable by Office:mac (although it can be read by openoffice) [as of Office v 11.3.4 conversion has not been added, MS has not released date for a compatibility pack for Office Mac]
Microsoft introduced the open XML file format with Office 2007. For more info see Microsoft KB 924074 and Brian Jones: Open XML Formats Blog for more help with the new format. As a result, Office files have new extensions:
Word: .docx (instead of .doc)
Excel: .xlsx (instead of .xlsx)
PowerPoint: .pptx (instead of .ppt)
33) Entourage won't open PDF in Acrobat. We have setup our Open With preferences in the Mac OS to open all PDFs with Acrobat and this works fine if we double-click on a PDF file on our computer or servers. However, we are having problems with some PDFs attached to emails in Entourage showing a generic icon and they will not open in Acrobat, Preview is launched instead.
Trash com.apple.launchservices.plist. It is located in the User’s folder/Preferences. Reset the Open with settings for PDFs to open in Acrobat.
Check to see if you partially downloaded message. Some attachments are corrupted during transfer. Try to get another copy.
Hotmail accounts are inaccessible for Entourage X users after a recent server update on April 1, 2007. This also affects users on IE in Mac OS 9 and older versions of Outlook for PC users. The only option is to upgrade to Entourage 2004 or use your web access. Sorry!
It will be a character encoding issue. Outlook is not very good at properly defining which character set is used in creating a message.
Simply go to the format menu and under character set select "Western European (Windows)" and things should display correctly.
If this is a recurring problem, set up a mail rule to change the character set of every message received from this sender as it is received.
See these rules for examples: Dealing with mail from PC Users.
You can select "Sent" rather than "Received" to show the time, or get Barry Wainwright's script called "Correct the Date" available here:
This will reset the 'time sent' of a received message to the time of the first 'received' header (which should be within a few seconds of when the message was actually sent).
Entourage uses the date format specified in the System Preferences (International prefpane > Formats). You should make sure that all formats in there are according to what you want (short date, medium and long dates...).
In most cases, when installation of an update fails part-way through, with the installer either quitting unexpectedly in the accompaniment of an error message or exhibiting an indefinite hang necessitating a force-quit, the result is all or some of the Microsoft Office applications are completely missing.
The only remedy is to re-install Office from your CD and update. I suggest stuffing the Office folder prior to updating in case the update fails again. If the update fails a second time, update to 11.3.3. I was unable to find the 11.3.4 updater. MS removes previous updaters when they post a combo updater like 11.3.5.
FWIW, this is not a MS specific problem. It can happen with any update process.
40) Unable to install Updates
There is no one solution for this problem. See Update Errors and fixes specific fixes for updating and installing Office 2008.
- One user reported he discovered his hard drive was having significant problems. Running a disk repair fixed those problems and now allows for the install of update 11.3.6.
- You might need to download the latest combo updater from Apple and run it again rather than using Software Update. Doing so overwrites potentially problem-causing files. Several users have reported this fixed some odd problems they were having. Combo updaters will install on the same version as they’re applying—no need to roll back or do a clean install.
- Another option is to use “Remove Office”, then install from the CD and update.
- Other users have found that an “Archive & Install” of the OS was required.
As evidenced by the above options, this indicates underlying problems with your files that are causing the update to fail.
This is a known issue in Entourage 2004.There is a bug that keeps the disclosure triangles in groups from working if the first column in the View > Columns menu is disabled. In mail views, the first column is Links, so that column has to be turned on for the triangles to work. In newsgroup views, the first column in the list is "Online Status," so that column needs to enabled for the triangles to work.
Adobe Acrobat 6 PDF toolbars have created problems in Office v.X and 2004. Problems range from long (e.g., 5 minute) startup times, to crashes. These toolbars are installed by default by Acrobat using add-ins.
For the fix see JE McGimpsey's Preventing conflicts with the PDF toolbar
One user reports problems with time zone support syncing on a Unix server.
In Entourage, there are two files that create a problem when using a case-sensitive filesystem:
- timezones.xml is called as Timezones.xml
- utc is called UTC
To fix this,
- cd /Applications/Microsoft Office 2004/Office (or the appropriately situated place on your machine)
- ln -s timezones.xml Timezones.xml
- ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/UTC /usr/share/zoneinfo/utc
1) Crash if click font color button
Remove this font cache file:
~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office Font Cache (11)Back to Top
Delete the preference file, manually close each window then rebuild the database.
Entourage 2008 now allows users to Option-click on the red close buttonBack to Top
Fonts seem to be a common culprit. I suggest first testing in your User's folder and marking the time. Then Go to System Preferences --> Create a New User in Accounts. Switch to the New User by logging out/in or use Fast User Switching. Test Office there. Testing in a clean environment will quickly eliminate problems in your User's folder.
- Disable global auto font activation from within Suitcase. Easy way to test if Suitcase is part of the problem: Simply quit Suitcase and test launch.
- Delete 100% of the Microsoft prefs and the .dotm/Normal file, then restart. Easy way to test this would be to create a new User in System Preferences and test there.
- Disable the "what you see is what you get" font menus. Go to Entourage > Preferences, and then, under "General Preferences", click "General" in the left pane. Uncheck the box for "WYSIWYG font menu". That will disable the preview of what the fonts look like in the Font menu, but it should appear faster as a result. --Mickey Stevens
- If an Office application is "Not Responding" during startup, test using the Activity Monitor., Check to CPU to see if another application is out of control. On user found that disabling FontAgent Pro solved the problem.
Possible culprit: flagged messages (flagged messages are now considered a type of "to-do", by the way.) One user reports, At one point I had about 2000, and would get stuck for 5-6 minutes. I unflagged most of them, but I still have a couple hundred, They now slow me down to about 30 seconds switching to calendar and then flagging messages.Back to Top
Beachballitis happens when you're running with too little memory for what you're doing. Which means that in general the situation you're describing IS happening but not to things you can deal with but with the Virtual Memory system. What you describe can happen when the memory system is constantly having to unload from and load into memory from the disk drive.
Have you run Activity Monitor from the Utilities folder? And have you watched the value for Free when the System Memory tab (at the bottom) is selected. From what I've seen when this number gets below 50MB the system will start to slow down. When it gets down to 20MB or 10MB you get what you call Beachballitis.
They only real cure is to run fewer programs or buy more memory.
Now if you're leaving your system running for days at a time and also not quiting programs you might be running into a situation where one or more of the common programs you use "leaks" memory. This means it doesn't release memory when done with it and over time will consume more and more memory. Which can lead to the shortage noted above. And the only cure is to quit the program and at times restart the computer to get things back to a decent state. posted by David Ross on TidBITS talk.Back to Top
User reports: I have finally resolved this issue. Setting the date to default in the system preferences fixed it. I had a custom setting and it appears that Entourage can't handle custom date settings. The custom setting was very simple dd-mm-yy!