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A fix for an Entourage -5000 error Apps
For some inexplicable reason, I started getting an error message when trying to access one of my POP accounts with Entourage. Of three accounts, two worked fine, but my main account kept giving me an error when trying to download the messages. It read: "Error. An unknown error (-5000) occurred. Explanation. Could not retrieve mail. Account name: 'my pop address'"

I tried rebuilding the database and even made a new database by renaming the database in the Main Identity folder in the Microsoft User Data folder, all to no avail. I tried setting up a new account after trashing the Entourage preferences in my User Folder/Library/Preferences. Entourage let me set up a new account with the same settings as the old main account, and even when I ran Verify my Settings, the results were promising: Entourage stated that my "settings were verified" ... except it still would not download my messages and kept giving the -5000 error.

Microsoft's web site has nothing to say on -5000 errors and the Entourage Help Page had nothing to report, either. Then I trashed old identities and other folders in the Microsoft User Folder one by one until Entourage refused to load. The culprit turned out to be the Entourage Temp folder. When this was removed, I got the following message: "You do not have write access to the Entourage application folder. To run Entourage, you must have the administrative user remove the Identities folder from the application folder. For more information, see the Entourage Read Me file."

I looked at the Entourage Read Me file, but it did not tell me anything that would seem to resolve the error. However, when I looked at the permissions of the Entourage Temp folder with Get Info, they were clearly not correct. So I set the Owner to me with Read and Write access, I set the Group to Admin with Read and Write access, and left the others at Read Only.

After this, Entourage worked as normal, and I was finally able to retrieve my mail.
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A fix for an Entourage -5000 error
Authored by: genericuser on Apr 21, '05 08:16:05PM

and you could avoid this by repairing permissions regularly.

Bugmenot public account

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A fix for an Entourage -5000 error
Authored by: Flugor on Apr 26, '05 07:49:33AM

Your way may make the problem "unvisible", but it still exists:

Entourage stores user-data within the systems "Application folder" which is not the way to do this.

User-data needs to be stored within the user-account (home-folder)

Microsoft recommends: "To run Entourage, you must have the administrative user remove the Identities folder from the application folder."

This means, that an old version of entourage used this _wrong_ place for storage and that you now "feel" the results of this fault.

If the "data at the wrong place" has been removed and the "application folder" has been set to not having write access for the "current" user, entourage should use the right place (somewhere within the users home-folder) for storage.

While the misuse of /Applications (or the "root-folder" of your hard-disk) for storage of user-data or temporary-data is quite common, it is still not the "legal" way under MacOSX.

Doing it this _wrong_ way is one of the reasons why the "Windows-world" suffers from so much worms and other malware.


"repairing permission" doesn't work in this case, because the disk-utility only uses the information of certain files within the /Library/Receipts hierarchy


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A fix for an Entourage -5000 error
Authored by: tegman on Jun 23, '05 12:50:27AM

thanks so much for this one.. this was driving me nuts too!!
your fix worked for me in this little situation.. i recently swaped a hard drive in each of two 500 Mhz slot loading imacs.. (G3's for the big brain from comment 2! hmmm...repairing permissions.. in os X.. very helpful!) and used retrospect to duplicate the original drives.. all worked fine EXCEPT.. this terminal error on both machines.. running completely different email accounts on two different versions of office AND Panther no less... somehow the permissions on the Temp folder were reset in the backup process.. and this little fix worked... thank you for the tip.. but then i read comment 3...and went looking for the violating file in the app folder.. and i can't seem to find anything that breaches the home folder... is there anything else that i could be?

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