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"Network problems preventing connection to Exchange server" - bad mailbox?

Posted on 2004-08-06
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Last Modified: 2011-08-01
Exchange 2000 with Outlook 2000 client. One user's mailbox only is causing trouble - all others fine.

The problem mailbox can receive mail but not send it, and can't access the Global Address List. Error message "Network problems are preventing connection to the Microsoft Exchange Server computer" is displayed when trying to send mail or enter addresses. All other network functions are working fine, though, it's just the mailbox. (It also used to hang on shutdown, but that problem has been solved in the course of trying to solve this - see below).

User with problem mailbox has the same problem on other workstations, other users can access their email on his workstation without problems.

Have tried deleting the re-creating the profile from the user's workstation. The first time the user opens the mailbox after the profile has been re-created, the mailbox works fine, can send mail and access the address book. Once Outlook has been shut down, the mailbox has the problems again.

Have tried exporting all mail out of the mailbox, deleting and re-creating the mailbox on the server, then importing all the mail. (Tried this with both Exmerge and the manual export on the workstation.) It hasn’t solved the sending mail and address book problems - but it did get Outlook shutting down in a timely fashion.

Any more suggestions?

anseris
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Question by:anseris
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Expert Comment

by:robinluo
ID: 11738595
Did you try assign permission to other user and login as other user to access this mailbox? That's the first thing I would try. See if there is anything special in ADUC under that user's group, permission etc.
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Author Comment

by:anseris
ID: 11751156
Have just tried it, no effect - the same problem appears on the other user account also.
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 11823500
What is the user name? Is it using any words that might get AD confused?
When you recreated the account, did you use the same username as before? Did you give the AD enough time to flush the account out of the domain before recreating it?

It sounds like a permissions or AD issue.
Odd question to ask - is Exchange on a member server or a domain controller?

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:anseris
ID: 11827903
We only have one server, so yes it's the domain controller. The username is an elegant portuguese surname that I doubt will be reserved by anything MS produces.

Okay, I will try re-creating the account but will give AD more time to flush it. That probably means doing it overnight after the user leaves, so it will be 24 hrs or so before I can report back on this suggestion.

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Author Comment

by:anseris
ID: 11838965
Simon, I have tried your suggestion and AD was left for some hours before re-creating the account, but it still has the same problem.

BUT I've just struck this problem with a second account. The user was previously using an old machine with W98 installed and has just received a new WXP machine, and suddenly he's getting the "network problems are preventing connection" message. Which prompts me to recall that the other user's machine was also recently upgraded from W98 to WXP (while I was away on leave, BTW, and I think it was a bad idea). It didn't occur to me that this might be a factor in the problem, as I wasn't told about the problem until maybe a month after the upgrade, but many of the users here have a way of sitting on their computer problems without telling me about them.

Does that suggest anything? I'm going to see if I can turn up any info about migration problems.

anseris
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 11839279
I have just been through the thread again... have you tried this user on another machine to ensure that it something with the account and not the machine?

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:anseris
ID: 11839737
Yes. He has the same problem on other computers. Other users can use his computer without any problems.
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LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 11839891
If it is following the user around and survives a mailbox/account being recreated then it appears to be a more serious problem.
It could be as bad as database corruption in Exchange or similar.

If possible I would start planning to move all users off to another machine so that the original machine can be rebuilt.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:anseris
ID: 11889925
Sorry it's taken so long to respond... the job of rebuilding that damned machine is difficult to face. It is going to be a Saturday morning job so I will report back after the weekend. Presumably the machine has to be rebuilt AND the mailbox and user account deleted and re-created.

If the Exchange database itself is corrupted, is rebuilding the machine going to help at all?
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Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 11891075
Depends how you do it.

If I have to rebuild an Exchange server then I get my hands on another machine with enough space and performance to take Exchange. Build it as a member server and then install Exchange. Use Move Mailbox wizard to move all the mailboxes to this machine, along with public folders etc.

If it is a corrupt Exchange db then this will fix it as a new database will be created.

Once you have moved everything across, you can remove the old server in the correct way (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=307917) and then rebuild.
Time it right and the users will never even notice.

I would actually try moving the problematic user first. If that mailbox fails to move - then the problem is more serious with the actual database files - which might mean having to run some of Microsoft's tools on the db.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:anseris
ID: 11910647
Just found MSKB article 279742 which describes the problem exactly... a matter of changing the binding order of the network cards in the server... about to go try it, much easier than rebuilding computers.
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Author Comment

by:anseris
ID: 11930055
Yes, changing the binding order of the network cards solved the problem. I had to uninstall & reinstall Outlook on the client machines also.

Thanks everyone for your time and suggestions.

anseris
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