Exchange 2003 Server is offline when Internet is accessed

15 pts.
Exchange 2003 SP2
Microsoft Exchange 2003
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003 R2
Why is it that our exchange server 2003 becomes offline when users start using their computers that have internet access? I have Exchange 2003 SP2 (Standard Edition) on Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 and have tried to access the exchange server via Outlook, Outlook Express, and Zimbra Desktop with the same result. The ExBPA does not detect major issues with the system neither does the ExTRA. When most computers are down (as in the evening) the exchange server is online. But when people start reporting for work in the morning (and presumably start using their computers), the server becomes offline.

Software/Hardware used:
Exchange Server 2003, Windows 2003

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I think we need more information to help you out on this one.

Is Exchange up and running during the periods when you cannot connect to the server?

Is everyone on the same internal network as the Exchange server is?

Are you able to reach the web interface of the server? Log into OWA?

Are there other connections to the server that work, say A/V updates, opening and saving files. and other such activities?

Can you browse the Internet from the server?

Do the Event Logs from the server or from the PC’s show any reason for the loss of connectivity?

Is your router connected correctly with the incoming line and the line going out to the switches and are the switches properly configured? Someone plugging a loose end into any old port on a switch can wreak havoc on your network.

Do you have more than one DHCP server operational on your network? Don’t just say no because you know that you had setup only one. Someone may have set up a consumer grade router/switch on the network so more PC’s could be hooked up completely unaware of the ramifications of doing so, then connected to the network backwards giving IP addresses to your whole network when the machines are looking for one. Unauthorized routers can be the devil to locate.

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  • Sivicako
    It is a local exchange for intranet email only. The exchange server is not DHCP and it is connected (through a switch) to another server (different domain name) that is also not DHCP. The Exchange Server is further connected to an internet modem (through LAN), which is DHCP. The Exchange Server is running when the clients cannot find the exchange server. This server uses Panda Antivirus managed from another server. I can browse the internet from the Exchange Server. I haven't tried the OWA. As to the server's event log, the "only" error reported is on the DNS Server: "DNS has updated its own host (A) records. In order to ensure that its DS-integrated peer DNS servers are able to replicate with this server, an attempt was made to update them with the new records through dynamic update. An error was encountered during this update, the record data is the error code. If this DNS server does not have DS-integrated peers, then this error should be ignored."
    15 pointsBadges:
  • Stevesz
    I'd first look at the network. Is everyone using the same network, i.e. Is everyone using the same DNS server(s) when offline and when online? Are you accessing the Internet through a proxy server? When accessing the Internet can you ping the Exchange server by IP, by name? If you have a problem pinging by name, check your DNS to see if the canonical name is listed, if not add it both as an A record and an MX record. and test again.
    2,015 pointsBadges:

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