Exchange 03 server, Outlook 03 client cannot connect to exchange server

1810 pts.
Tags:
Exchange 2003
Outlook
Outlook 2003
Outlook error messages
Outlook Web Access
OWA
I have an end user who connects to our exchange 03 server through outlook 03. He cannot connect to our exchange server. His OWA works fine inside and outside of the network. I have flushed the dns, took the outlook account out of cache mode and back into cache mode. Nothing seems to help, I also noticed he had a sync conflict folder in outlook with over 4000 messages, mostly calendar and contact issues. These were resolved and deleted. Not sure what to do next, I dont really want to uninstall and reinstall Outlook any other suggestions.

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You shouldn’t have to reinstall Outlook, you can always try a new or test profile it could very well be a corrupt profile depending on the size of the inbox. Can you ping and browse the server?
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Another possibility is that someone has turned off remote registry and RPC services on the server in the name of security. You won’t notice anything wrong with existing users, but systems that have not done email with that server will be unable to connect.
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  • Robert Stewart
    I would also like to add that I have set this end user up on another pc, with no luck also. I get the message "Unable to open your default email folders. The MS Exchange Server computer is not available. Either there are network problems or the MS Exchange Server computer is down for maintenance". So at least I now know it is not his laptop with the problem. I don't believe it is a networking issue I can ping the server by name and ip, also no other users are reporting this problem. Should I try scanpst.exe. His Outlook Web Access works and I'm using this as a workaround for now.
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  • Petenun
    When setting-up Outlook, upon entering the Exchange server name and the username, does Check Name underline the username and servername? In other words, is Outlook able to resolve both? It could be a mailbox permission issue. I would verify that the user account has Full and Read access to the mailbox and the Self account has Read, Full, and Ownership permissions. It's also possible that the something happened to the domain membership of the workstation and authentication is not passing through AD to Exchange properly. Can the user access other permission-dependent network resources? You could reconfigure the workstation to be part of a workgroup (and name would do), reboot, and then re-join the domain. If there are domain problems, it may not be noticible on the workstation due to cached credentials, but of course there would be issues when actually talking to the domain Also verify that the workstation doesn't have any unique software such as firewalls that could affect it's ability to connect. If 80 and 443 can pass through but nothing else, that could explain why OWA works but not Outlook. I know this is a shotgun approach, but I hope one of these might be helpful.
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  • Robert Stewart
    I will check permissions next, I assume all domain authentication is working, he loggs into domain every morning, and call also sign onto other network resources. Another couple of things I have tried that have not worked, I ran scanpst.exe with no luck, I also created a generic user in the AD and set up a mailbox for said user on the mail server everything works fine for the new generic user so I think AD and mail server are functioning properly, I also tried outlook in Safe mode all of this with no luck. I did not however look at permissions and his name was undelined after I check the name but not sure on the server if it was underlined or not, never had to worry about server named being underlined before just always checked username. Thanks for the suggestions I will try them and post results back here.
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  • Robert Stewart
    I checked the permissions for the mailbox, self had only read and full access, no ownership, I changed this and it did not work. I don't see the individuals listed on any of our mailboxes as far as rights and permsissions go and they all work fine without the individuals listed has having rights to their mailbox, isn't this what the self account is for?? Not sure just asking. So what I'm saying here is that if this is the case the user needs rights to his mailbox, should not all of our other domain users need the same rights to their mailboxes, and if so they are all working fine without these rights. Confusing me lol. Again thanks for the response any other ideas??
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  • Petenun
    A couple more questions: Where is "user x's" (as I"ll call him) physical location when he's tring to connect? Is he physically on the network with his Exchange server? If not, can he try for testing purposes? If you create a temp password for the user (for the sake of testing) and log-in as him from various locations and workstations, do you get the same results as him? This test will give you the power to test on his behalf without putting the user through 20-questions. My thinking is that anytime a specific user gets "cannot connect to Exchange server" where others are not, it's usually some sort of workstation issue, either Outlook appliatoin, network configuration, or physical location in oregin. Another simple test: can he log-in from your workstation where you have been presuably been successfully connecting? Does he get the same results? Or, vice-versa- what happens if you log-in and connect to you mailbox from his computer locatoin? Also, what is the connection protocol he's using in Outlook? Straight RPC (normal), RPC over HTTP (aka Outlook Anywhere), or some other method like POP or IMAP? I know, not more anwers, but more questiions, but hopefully answering these quesitons will help shed light specifically on where his problem is.
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  • Robert Stewart
    He is physically on the same network as the exchange server. I did a test on a clean pc, I signed on as him and tried to configure his email account. No luck same errors, I then created a dummy user and signed on as the dummy user and everything worked as planned. This was all done on the same network as the exchange server. I'm a domain admin so I also tested his inbox by opening my outlook and under the file option chose to open other users folder, chose his inbox and it opened no problem. So to answer your question I get the same result with his same login credentials on another machine on the same network, but If i create a new test user the test user has no problem connecting to the exchange server on the same network. Since his OWA and the test i did with opening his inbox from my account works, this makes me believe it is an issue with his laptop or profile stored on his laptop, but with that said I should have been able to connect his user id and email account on a different totally clean pc but this was not the case as stated before. Maybe it is a problem with the domain or active directory for him any ideas. Thanks again for responding. I have not tried unjoining his laptop from the domain and then rejoining it for fear if it is a domain issue I will lose all his other network resources needed for his job.
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  • Petenun
    One final server-based thing that I sometimes use (ie get out the big hammer), is to just delete and re-create his mailbox on a different store. That will easily tell you if it is a problem with his mailbox. It's a shotgun approach, but when people are getting impatient, sometimes the root problem just doesn't matter: 1) Use ExMerge to extract the contents of his mailbox to PST file 2) Delete uer's mailbox in Exchange Tasks under AD Users & Computers 3) Give it about 15 minutes or down a quick beer- whicjever comes first 4) In AD Users & Computers > Exchange Tasks, Create New mailbox 5) Have user test on empty mailbox (assure him /her that their mailbox contents aren't gone) 6) After (hopefully) successful user test, Use ExMerge to Import contents of PST into new mailbox. 7) Live happily ever after, win the lottery, and move to the Camen Islands to avoid paying taxes. It's not the perfect solution, but it has been know to work when all else fails or you just get too damn tired of troubleshooting with an unenthusiastic user. Let me know what happens
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  • Voodooclanboy
    Seems to be a problem w/ Exchange as it's affecting more than one user. Check the Exchange server logs for any error messages, and begin troubleshooting from there.
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