Outlook profiles will not connect to Exchange Server (Full Version)

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mlc9 -> Outlook profiles will not connect to Exchange Server (12.Feb.2008 12:27:59 PM)

My issue begins with Outlook sessions opening in a Disconnected state, and never connecting to Exchange 2003 server. The client computers are able to ping the Exchange server by both name and IP address.

By deleting and re-adding the default Outlook profile, I get:
"Unable to open your defaul e-mail folders. You must connect to your Microsoft Exchange Server computer with the current profile before you can synchronize your offline folder file."

When I disable the cache mode option within Outlook settings, I get:
"Unable to open your default e-mail folders. The Microsoft Exchange Server computer is not available. Either there are network problems or the Microsoft Exchange Server computer is down for maintenance."

I have done several things to resolve this based on Googling the thing to death. Adding server names & IPs to local Host file, Registry changes, etc. Nothing has helped.

Clients are running Win XP Pro with Office 2003. I can try a brand new computer with a fresh OS format and brand new local profile for the user, and still get the same thing. While this has happened to several of my users over the past several months, it appears to be limited to those with laptops that occassionaly connect from home as well. I can only recall it happening once with a PC. The final piece of information is that the only default offline file that typically exists for a profile is outlook.ost. When this issue occurs, it appears to be creating an additional file called outlook0.ost.

The only fix that works is to completely restart my Exchange 2003 server. Not wanting to restart the server every time, I tried today to simply restart the Microsoft Exchange System Attendant service on the Exchange server, and that worked. I still do not want to have to do that every time. Can anybody help?

Brianw -> RE: Outlook profiles will not connect to Exchange Server (12.Feb.2008 4:31:44 PM)

Hello, we are experiencing the same issue, well, we have seen it twice now.  Here are a few things that need to be checked. 

Are you receiving event ID 9646 that discusses the 32 Mapi session limit on the Exchange server?  When Outlook is opened, it attempts to create a Mapi connection to the Exchange server.  Once that connection is established, then Outlook connects and you get your Inbox.  By default, Exchange supports up to 32 concurrent Mapi connection per user (this can be increased to 64 with a Reg entry http://support.microsoft.com/kb/842022/en-us ).  Microsoft did say that this Reg entry could impact Exchange server performance, so be aware.

If so, then are there any M$ Outlook add-ins on the affected computers?  Have you tried to start Outlook in Safe Mode (Start/Run Outlook /Safe) to see if outlook starts without any of the add-ins?  Also, are there any search engines installed on the local PC i.e. Google Desktop, Yahoo, or M$ (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/905184/en-us)?  These create Mapi connections as well and should be removed for troubleshooting.

You should also be able to restart the Information Store process to clear out Mapi connections and then connect the affected user to their Inbox.

Have you also checked inside of ESM to view the number of logons for the affected users mailbox?


mlc9 -> RE: Outlook profiles will not connect to Exchange Server (14.Feb.2008 11:20:38 AM)

BrianW...............I think you might be on to something here. I checked the Error log on the exchange server and found those Event ID 9646 for the exact users that are having problems. I am going to wait until the next one has a problem and see if I can Outlook will connect in Safe mode.

The affected employees did not seem to be running any installed tool bars or search engine bars (something that is typically a huge problem here. I hate those). After reading the MS white paper, I am keeping the server registry change as a last resort, as I really hate to fool with the registry of an Exchange server.

Let me know if anybody else has anything to offer. Thanks!

Sembee -> RE: Outlook profiles will not connect to Exchange Server (14.Feb.2008 1:01:26 PM)

First thing to check with any connection issues on Windows 2003 SP2 is the TCP chimney issue: http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2007/07/18/446400.aspx

Also check that you have the latest NIC drivers.


cestmoi -> RE: Outlook profiles will not connect to Exchange Server (14.Feb.2008 1:19:23 PM)

MLC9... a quick and simple question.  Have you tried (for those having connectivity issues) to enter the IP address of your Exchange box instead of its name?

mlc9 -> RE: Outlook profiles will not connect to Exchange Server (14.Feb.2008 1:54:34 PM)

cestmoi.........I assume you mean when setting up an Outlook profile, putting in the IP there. Yes, I did that early in my troubleshooting. The problem is that if you are to seletct "Check Name", after putting in the user account, the IP will change to the fully qualified domain computer name.

theodulf -> RE: Outlook profiles will not connect to Exchange Server (30.Apr.2010 10:53:43 AM)

I just fought this problem and discovered a painfully simple solution.  The Outlook 2007 profile I was having trouble creating was my own, and while I was working on this my notebook was on in another room and connected to the Exchange server.  Shutting down my notebook and recreating the profile on the new system corrected the problem.

It appears there is something in the Exchange 2003 server that needs to be opened in exclusive mode when a profile is created.  I believe there is no problem opening it from two different systems once the profile has been created.

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