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James, Sr. Mac Support Expert
Category: Mac
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Experience:  Mac Expert
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If anyone can help me, youll be my hero. I recently changed

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If anyone can help me, you'll be my hero.

I recently changed passwords on earthlink's webmail and now it's thrown my thunderbird (and me and the earthlink crew) for a loop trying to change the password XXXXX the TB program. I've got a mac and the version of TB is 3.0.4

The error message I get is 'could not connect to server; the connection was refused.'

Although the passwords work on the earthlink site, it seems nearly impossible to figure out how to change the passwords for the two accounts I have with earthlink for TB.

Anyone have any idea how to fix this maddening situation I have? thanks!
Hi, the error message is not about passwords, but rather about failure to connect to the server - even before authentication takes place.

Which server do you have in the account, and which port number are you connecting to?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
On outgoing it says Port 587 which the earthlink people when they invaded my computer said was right. ha

Incoming is 110 which again they said was correct. I'm using my old emails which earthlink bought mindspring years ago but have had smooth sailing up until last week when I stupidly changed the darn passwords. ha
Two questions:

1. The problem is sending or receiving mail?
2. What is the incoming mail server address?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Seems like sending works fine because when I send to myself, it ends up on the earthlink webmail site.

Receiving is the problem. I've got it set to POP Mail Server as they instructed and the 'server name' addresses for the two accounts I have is

Quick question James; Would the 'connection security' settings have something to do with the problem? Right now I've got it set to 'none'. As you probably know on TB, they give me the option of STARTTLS or SSL/TLS or 'none'.
It can certainly be an issue.

The server address and port seem to be correct.
Do you know how open a terminal window on your computer?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No I don't.
Okay. Let's try the two security settings, just to check them off the list. Let me know if it works or not, and we'll continue from there.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It also has a box to check for 'use secure authentication'. I tried all three options with and without the checked box for 'use secure authentication'. Same error message.
Okay, let's try to run terminal.
Go to Applications_Utilities folder, and run Terminal.

Let me know if you were able to do that.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yeah, I've been here to and went with TB's instructions to no avail. ha Here's what I've got on the screen [mac-minis-mac-mini-107: --then a 'mustache looking symbol] vanessa% (vanessa was apparently the owner of the mac I bought a few years ago and then all of the stuff was transferred over to this mac mini about 6 months ago.
In that terminal window, please type:

telnet 110

Then hit enter.

If you get the welcome message, type:


Replace USERNAME with your mindspring username, and PASSWORD XXXXX your passsword.

Did the server log you in?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I had a bunch of lines coming up but no prompts to enter passwords.

I'm getting 'telnet: connect to address Connection refused' for example and then a bunch of other numbers similar to above with same error message.

Unbelievable how hard this TB is. ha
Did you remember to put the number 110 at the end of the command?

telnet 110

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes 110 was included with a space between 'com and 110. Then I tried it again with no space between com and 110 and now the message came up 'nodename nor servname provided, or not know'
There should be a space between the two.

Let's try this command:

telnet 110

Spaces between telnet, the IP addressm and 110.

What did you get?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
tried it. 'Connection refused. Telnet: Unable to connect to remote host.'
Okay. So the problem is completely unrelated to thunderbird - your computer cannot make a connection to the mail server, with or without thunderbird. Let's see if we can find out why.

Do you have any firewall turned on?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
oh boy. I don't know that answer. I think I recently downloaded a firewall program for free. This may have been my downfall. Now I can't remember exactly which program does the firewall. Would it be an anti-virus like Clamxav or Avahst (spell) or PeerGuardian? Or none of these and perhaps a way to find a firewall with a search James?
I don't think we can find it with a search. PeerGuardian certainly sounds like a firewall.
Clamxav is just an anti virus. Avast can also be the culprit.
Uninstall each in turn, and try the telnet command again.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I can't tell if I've killed everything as far as firewalls or not. For mac, you don't uninstall do you? Just trash them right? I try to empty trash and it says that they're still in use and can't trash. This is driving me crazy. <br /><br />I'd be happy to pay an extra fee if I can fix this problem once and for all.
In the terminal window, type;

sudo ipfw flush

Then hit enter - it may ask for the admin password.
After that, try the telnet again.

I need to hit the sack, so we'll continue this tomorrow morning if you don't mind :)

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I hear ya man. I did get a password. Problem is, if I have two passwords for each email account with earthlink, how do I do this? I've got things to do in the morning. I do a dog magazine here in LA so I've got a doggy event. How do we hook back up tomorrow? I don't know how to do this with this site. First time I've used it. I promise to shoot some more dough your way tomorrow. You deserve it as you've spent some time with me on this.
Hi, what did you mean about "I did get a password"? Did you get a password XXXXX when you disabled the firewall?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hey James, just getting back to the office. Hope you're having a good day man.

Ok, back to this little puzzle. ha

I got a password XXXXX after I typed in the 'sudo ipfw flush'. I also got a warning saying 'improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss...'

Then it says, 'to proceed, enter your password, or type ctrl-c to abort. Would this be my user password XXXXX this mac or the password XXXXX the earthlink.

Another thing James. I have two accounts with earthlink with two different passwords. Will that be a pain to fix? thanks
The password XXXXX are asked for is the Administrator password XXXXX the mac (root password). It is neither your user nor earthlink - though it might be the same as your user password. You can go ahead and try that.
You can easily change your earthlink mail account passwords by loggin into your account on the earthlink site.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
ok, so I'll plug in the 'sudo' code you gave me and the password. I feel like we might be getting somewhere.

So, still go forward with the above?
Yep. But you need the right password, or we are stuck :)

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
ok, did it and it said, 'flushed all rules'. I'm feeling good about this James. This problem has been driving me crazy for two weeks now. ha
Ok, now let's try the telnet again.

telnet 110

What did you get?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
damn! 'connection refused'. Try the other one you gave me now?
Go ahead, but I don't think it will work. You have some other firewall that is blocking the connection, and we need to find it and shut it down.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yeah, same response. Question. I didn't realize we could hook back up with the emails I got from 'just answer', so I kept the mac on all night and didn't reboot it after my attempt to kill the firewall(s). Will rebooting be a good idea to see if I got rid of the firewall or just trashing it will do the job?

Should I reboot the mac and then how do we hook back up on this site?

You know where I'm coming from, once you lose a tech person, you never get the same person back. ha
Actually, the command I have you is a temporary turn off for the firewall. Rebooting the mac will turn it back on. However, there is another firewall that is running and we need to turn it off as well. I will forward this question to our Mac experts if that's ok with you, as I am not sure how to help you further...
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
really appreciate the attempts to help man. Should I pay you now or wait until all this is settled? I promise to also give you positive feedback as well.
If you click Accept I will get paid, but then the Mac experts might now pick up the question, so you will need to open a new one.
It is up to you - I am forwarding to the mac experts now.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
As mentioned, you've spent some time with me on this little mess so I'd like for you to get paid. But, I don't want to lose the connection with them. How do I make sure you at least get some dough out of this?
I appreciate that very much.
The only way would be to click Accept, open a new question for the Mac experts, and provide the link to this question so they can review it.
The link is:

Thanks again,

James and 5 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No problem man. If I pay you, will they be able to get all the notes that went back and forth with me and you? I'd hate to repeat all this over again and with the notes, they'll be up to speed as to where we're at at this point.
Yes, they will have full access to this question.
Many thanks again!