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Outlook 2003 clients going offline

Posted on 2004-04-16
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
We currently are running an Exchange 2003 cluster, clients are running Office 2003 in cached exchange mode.

We have been experiencing an issue where some client's Outlook will go to the Offline state, thus no longer sending or receiving email until they uncheck the Work Offline in the lower right hand corner.  

Some are users at remote sites, some are local to the server.  Does not seem to depend on the setup type(upgrade or clean install), OS(XP or 2000).  For instance, it happened to a brand new PC setup the day after it was installed.

The Exchange server is up the entire time and there are no issues with that as far as I can tell.  The Outlook client is open when this happens, may happen in the middle of the day or overnight.

Any ideas will be appreciated.
Question by:joewvogel
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Accepted Solution

Joe_C earned 172 total points
ID: 10841805
I'm having a similar issue... anyone that can answer this will now get both our points!

Here is a copy of my post:

-Dell Latitude C840 (P4 1.7Ghz, 512MB, 30GB)
-Windows XP Pro SP1a
-Microsoft Office 2003 Pro

-Compaq ML530G2 (Dual P4 Xeon, 1GB, 60GB) RAID 5
-Windows 2000 Server SP4
-Exchange 2000 SP3 w/ Post SP3 Rollup

This client is having send/receive issues with Outlook 2003...
He is configured to use cached exchange mode and is set to login with the default: "Kerberos/NTLM Password Authentication"
This person uses the Cisco VPN Dialer to connect to the corporate network (Cisco PIX 515e) and once connected, he can ping the exchange server by IP and FQDN.

He can actually send and receive e-mail... it's just every now and then he will receive one of the following error messages and his laptop will completely "lock up" at which point he will need to eject the battery from the laptop and reboot.

Task 'Microsoft Exchange Server - Sending and Receiving' reported error (0x80040115) : 'The connection to the Microsoft Exchange Server is unavailable.  Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action.'

Task 'Microsoft Exchange Server' reported error (0x8004011D) : 'The server is not available. Contact your administrator if this condition persists.'

Task 'Microsoft Exchange Server - Sending and Receiving' reported error (0x80040115) : 'The connection to the Microsoft Exchange Server is unavailable.  Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action.'

Task 'Microsoft Exchange Server' reported error (0x8004011D) : 'The server is not available. Contact your administrator if this condition persists.'

Please note that he was successfully using Outlook XP from the same location with the same hardware.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!


LVL 12

Assisted Solution

rcmb earned 164 total points
ID: 10842015
Take a look at this blog:
It allows you to monitor the connection state of your users and maybe you can determine what is going on when this happens.

Also check the users setting in outlook to ensure they are correct:
Open Microsoft Outlook
Go to Tools | Email Accounts.
Select "View or change existing e-mail accounts", Click Next
Be sure Microsoft Exchange Server is highlighted and click the Change button.
Click the "More Settings" button in the lower right corner.
On the General Tab, change the radio button from "Manually control connection state" to "Automatically detect connection state".
Click OK.
Click Next.
Click Finish.
Close Outlook


Expert Comment

ID: 10842080

I do have my users set to "Manually control connection state"

Can you explain why I should change it to "Automatically detect connection state?"

joewvogel - sorry to jump in on your post like this.
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Author Comment

ID: 10842162
We are currently set to Automatically detect.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 10842219
Automatically detect allows outlook to determine on its own what your conntection status is so it can queue your outgoing mail or not automatically get mail, etc.

I recognize that this is not always the best way to do this, I was troubleshooting the problem joewvogel is having and it may have been related to the connection state issue. If outlook is unable to determine what the connection status its it may go offline.


Author Comment

ID: 10842295
I thought that when it is in Automatic, which we do have it set to, it will go to disconnected state, not offline.  Is that a correct assumption?

Assisted Solution

GMsb earned 164 total points
ID: 10842387
Are you using RPC over HTTPS?
We had similar problems when the user get the password prompt and press Cancel, it goes to offline till you tell it otherwise.

We said that to the user and not when they get the password prompt they don't just cancel it.


Author Comment

ID: 10842415
No, we are using MAPI.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 10842457
I run a network of approximatly 2500 users. I have seen both cases in different versions of outlook. In some of my remote buildings where I only have low bandwidth I have seen the direct connection go to offline vice disconnected. No sure why that happens butit does. We run a mix of outlook clients (2000, 2002 and a few 2003). Mostly I see this problem with OL2000 but I was trying different solutions to see if we can isolate your problem.

I run all of my users in Automatically connect and in the areas where I can provide excellent bandwidth (100MB) I never see the problem.

I have done some extensive research on this issue and cannot seem to find a good permanent solution other than mostly it deals with bandwidth.

Sorry I cannot provide more.



Expert Comment

ID: 11787475
i've had a similar problem with outlook 2003 [no other version gives me problems]:
for some reason, when on a local 1gig ethernet connection, outlook goes offline immediately after doing a send / receive.  it sends and receives ever minute [per the settings], but immediately goes offline after.  he still gets his mail, but makes using the public folders impossible.

solution was simply to go in and take off the exchange cached mode, get out of outlook, then go back in and turn it back on.

Expert Comment

ID: 13146767
make sure you don't have both cache mode and offline folders enabled, use either one or the other.

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