Thunder on the upgrade
February 10, 2004 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Help with Mozilla Thunderbird: I, somewhat foolishly, decided to upgrade my copy of Thunderbird yesterday at the same time as I was getting the new Fire[fox|bird]. I went from 0.3 to 0.5 and now I can't send mail from any of my accounts. [MI]

When I try to send a message from any of my four accounts (3 POP, one IMAP), I immediately get an "Unable to connect to outgoing mail server, it may be down or not accepting SMTP connections" message. (Exact error text here.) I've already tried deleting and re-adding all the SMTP servers under Account Settings. Incoming mail still works fine.

In a move of surprising unhelpfulness, there is no help documentation included with the program. Clicking on the Help menu sends me to the Thunderbird Help site, but that domain has been knocked offline in the flood since the Firefox release.

Anyone have any advice or personal experience to offer?
posted by Aaorn to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
They're pretty adament about not installing new versions of ThunderBird over existing ones. Try unzipping the program into a new directory and running it from there to see if that works.

Also, [MI] sucks.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:20 AM on February 10, 2004

Coda Coyote's caveat about upgrading. Remember that all your personal info (account settings, mailboxes, other prefs) are stored in your profile folder, which is in your home (er, "Documents and Settings") directory and not in the program directory. Thunderbird, while thoroughly graceless when it comes to in-place upgrading of the app, works hard to preserve your existing profile and upgrade it when necessary.

So, you can safely blow away c:\progra~1\thunderbird and install a fresh copy without losing anything important. (This procedure Works For Me™.)
posted by dsandl at 7:58 AM on February 10, 2004

Response by poster: Installed (well, unzipped) to a fresh directory, same error =|
posted by Aaorn at 8:34 AM on February 10, 2004

That's not the error message I get in 0.3 for a bad password, but is it possible your login info is not getting passed? It's a pain in the ass (at least in 0.3) to find, but if you blow away the stored password(s), you should get a prompt asking you to login to the server. That might get you back in.
posted by yerfatma at 8:39 AM on February 10, 2004

Response by poster: Still no dice after flushing the stored passwords -- it doesn't seem like it's getting far enough to check a username/password, the "Unable to connect" message is literally instantaneous.
posted by Aaorn at 9:06 AM on February 10, 2004

Response by poster: Okay, a new data point:

The server I'm testing with uses TLS authentication for outgoing mail. If I set Thunderbird to not use a secure connection, then it connects to the mail server (an improvement?) and gives me a message from the server, saying "We now require TLS, please see our web page for further instructions."

But when I turn on TLS, I can no longer connect to any mail server, secure or not. So it seems that's where the problem lies.
posted by Aaorn at 9:17 AM on February 10, 2004

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