troubleshooting Question

Outlook 2003 clients in multiple sites could not connect to their Exchange servers after central Exchange Server turned off

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aspenitFlag for Canada asked on
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Hi.  We are running a distributed Exchange 2003 SP1 environment in mixed mode.  We recently turned off an Exchange 2003 server and brought it to our site for decommissioning.  While Exchange was turned off, our Outlook 2003 clients in multiple sites could not connect and the Exchange Server Settings window in Outlook will come up.  If you type in any valid Exchange server, the client will connect OK.  Of course we do not want our users to use this procedure, so the question is:  how can we instruct Outlook clients to automatically connect to their home Exchange servers so we can decommision the server ?  After doing some investigations, I learned that this server was part of the initial Office rollout a couple of years back where all clients were (and still are) pointing to.  I checked the local Windows registry on XP clients and the Exchange server is used in at least tree keys.  Is there a method of solving this issue, make it transparent to users ?  One suggestion was to create an alias in DNS so for server X you create an alias pointing to a valid Exchange server Y, but would be interested in resolving the issue via Exchange or AD, not using DNS.

Any help is appreciated.

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