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Exchange; Outlook Loses Connection to Server

This is for Exchange 2003.  Periodically, all my workstations lose connection with the Exchange Server, or the SMTP fails temporairly.  This happens for approximately 28 minutes, when magically all my workstations Outlook connects again without any user interaction.  Nothing at all is being logged in the event viewer on the server that might indicate an error.  Also, I know that it has nothing to do with the NIC card, because I am able to maintain network connection with the server during the problem, and have tested it throughly.

This happens about every 48 hours.  And with nothing in the event viewer, I have no way of troubleshooting it.  If you have any thoughts, please help.
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jonyelton
Asked:
jonyelton
2 Solutions
 
ATIGCommented:
Is the IS running at this time, Try downloading Spotlight for Exchange from Quest Software. You can get a trial key, it monitors many aspects of the system and might help you out.
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AffidiaCommented:
Are stations and Exchange server in same location?  I have had issues accross VPNs where this was the case.
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jonyeltonAuthor Commented:
I'm trying the Quest now.  Yes, this is all one location.
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AffidiaCommented:
Also, describe the clients a bit.  9x, 2K, XP, outlook version, service packs, etc.  the more info the better.
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jonyeltonAuthor Commented:
I have about 75 workstations, all XP and 2000.  All workstations have identical service packs and are up to date.  All Clients run Office 2000 service pack 3.  All stations lose connection to the exchange server.  Or rather, only SMTP fails because you can still see the exchange server when Outlook loses connection.

Online Defrag and backup are set to run well after the problem is occurring.  I have it pointed at two different internal DNS servers, both of which are also running server 2003.  Server is part of AD, but other than exchange, it serves no other purpose.  It's not a DHCP, PDC.  It is running IIS for Outlook web portal.  It is running two antivirus programs, one for the system, and another for the email.  My system antivirus omits the respective exchange directories.
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vtsincCommented:
I had a similar situation in which one or two XP clients would exhibit similar behavior.  The fix was to disable Application Layer Gateway Service on the client.  Note this also disabled the XP firewall, but was not an issue in this environment.
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jonyeltonAuthor Commented:
I'll try that, but what about the 2000 computers that don't have XP firewall.
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VahikCommented:
i dont have an answer but i want u to know this is an intresting problem...happens every
48 hours and to all outlook versions...and no services are down on the server and no
errors in event viewer...
well to rule out hardware such as switches and hubs....get a laptop and a simple switch
when the problem accures connect both server and laptop to the switch and see if u
are successfull...also it wont hurt if u change the nic card....the reason i say this because
i think u may have a hardware issue....since everything stops and starts automatically..
(it is like something gets hot...stops working...needs to cool off....and when cooled off starts working again....like an over heated engine)but this is just my opinion...
if u ever foud the exact cause it will be nice of u to post it here...

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jonyeltonAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I'm leaning towards hardware as well.  I have been able to completley rule out the NIC card, and there is no way it's the switch based on my topology.  My next step  is to swap out the hard drive just in case.

An interesting point somebody emailed me on.  He thought it might be an internal DNS error, where the mail server loses connection with the DNS and is therefor unable comunicate with my workstations.  Sounds far fetched, but I"m working on it.  Like I said, really difficult with nothin in the event viewer.
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