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Lost Outlook connection to Exchange server.

I have had remote access to an Exchange server from home for a couple of years. I also set up a VPN connection to the domain and a remote server connection. Over the last couple of weeks, I made a lot of changes in my home configuration, adding a wireless router, adding another user to the home machine and also adding a new profile to Outlook for the original user. I can click and connect quickly both on the VPN and the remote Office connection but now Outlook will only connect to the Exchange server when the VPN or Office Connection is active. Does anyone have any suggestions where I might have made changes that would block Outlook from connecting to the Exchange server without any help from the other dial-ins?
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pmacafee
Asked:
pmacafee
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1 Solution
 
aissimCommented:
My best guess is that the previous Outlook profile was configured for RPC over HTTP; which is how Outlook connects to an Exchange server via the Internet (without VPN).

Here's an article that explains the Outlook configuration: http://www.petri.co.il/configure_outlook_2003_to_use_rpc_over_http.htm
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bluetabCommented:
Outlook has probably been configured to connect to the Exchange server (not by RPC over HTTP).  If RPC over HTTP is not setup the only way Outlook will connect to the Exchange server is if the PC is connected via VPN to the Exchange server.  
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
I reviewed the Petri article to see if I had missed something or had messed up some settings. I did set Outlook up with RPC over HTTP. He recommednds setting the proxy authentication to basic. When I do that it asks me for my username and password but immediately rejects it and asks again. When I set it to NTLM it trys to log on to the server but fails after 15 seconds or so. If I have screwed up my certificate, would that affect the VPN and Office connection also?
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bluetabCommented:
How are you entering your username?  Try entering it as "domain\username".
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
Yes, I tried that too.

Thanks for the prompt reply
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
bluetab;
I just checked my user profile for the machine and checked where I had added a network ID and password (XP) I believe this is a setting that has not been changed since before the RPC over HTTP stopped working. That username was actually the machinename\username rather thatn the domain\username. Goofy.
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bluetabCommented:
Actually, if the remote office is connected to the home office via a VPN you shouldn't need to use RPC over HTTP.  Try turning off RPC over HTTP (or delete the Exchange account and recreate it).  RPC over HTTP is meant for those compuers that are not "connected" to the home office.  
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
Roger that. I wanted to just open Outlook without the need to use the VPN or office connection. I usually just leave Outlook minimized in the tray as I work at home. When I have the VPN or remote office connection going, my web browser speed is substantially reduced. Maybe deleting the connection and re-installing it is a good answer. I am now going to try to take the wireless router out of the home network.
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bluetabCommented:
The reason your web browser speed is reduced is because your Internet traffic is going across the VPN to the home office and then coming back through the VPN.  
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
Well, I took the router out of the home network with no joy. So I deleted the Exchange mailbox and went to re-install it and I cannot add the mailbox because the wizard cannot find the server. Outlook has 2 profiles for me and my wife. so I went in to her profile and tried to verify her name and now I have disabled her profile as well.

The wizard cannot find the email server even with the VPN connected or the Office connection working either. I can open a connection to the office domain, surf our office network, machine, and folders, but the exchange wizard can not now find the mail server. I have replicated these settings in Outlook with the 2 profiles on a laptop that we use around the house. There was no problem finding the mail server on that machine last week. I have really screwed something up.
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bluetabCommented:
If you took the router out of the network, how are you connecting through VPN.  Are you using a software VPN?  

What is the IP addresses of the Exchange server? What is the IP address and DNS server of the desktop when it is connected to the VPN and when it is not?
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
I am using the Microsoft software VPN. I know that the domain is at 192.168.0.1. I reconnected the router and re-enabled the firewall in the remote office connection. Office now connects to the Exchange server with the remote Office connection running and it will recognize mailboxes. Whew! Now if I can just get the RPc of HTTP to work correctly.
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bluetabCommented:
Cool, glad you got that working.  But remember if you're connected over a VPN you don't need to use RPC over HTTP.
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
Roger that, I still want to use RPC over HTTP to make it easier to use Outlook and keep it synchronized during my working at home without using the VPN or remote SBS connection because it slows my web use down.
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
The VPN is a Microsoft software VPN. I am going to connect the router back in so I can make sure that laptop still connects with the same settings. I think the Domain is at 192.168.0.1.
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bluetabCommented:
Makes sense.   Let me know if you're still having issues with the RPC over HTTP
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
Sorry, hit the submit button on an old browser page and re-sent an earlier post.

I think that I should look at the server side and see if I have changed something at the office end.
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
bluetab;

Not sure if there is anything wrong on the server side.
Still no luck with RPC over HTTP
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bluetabCommented:
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
I have read the Petri articles and others but can not find where I have gone wrong.

I again took the router out of the chain. Disabled Windows Firewall and the Mcafee firewall that Comcast provided.

I did check the certificate and found that it was not set for email, and check that box and rebooted, but no joy. The certificate from the Domain server is added to the root certificats. I can find the server when I select a mailbox to sync to. When I set the authentication to basic is just keeps asking me for passwords. The same password works for the SBS connection and the VPN.

On the Domain server, I set the user dial in access to access with protocols instead of a just a connect. Now when I run Outlook with the SBS connection or VPN I get an additional user name and password prompt. I enter my regular username and password and get entry to Outlook. When I disconned the SBS connection or the VPN and then enter the same password, it just asks me again for the password. Mayber it is the Kerberos or whatever password setting or something else.
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
We recently installed SP2 for our SBS 2003 server. Perhaps the RPC settings or exchange settings got set to some sort of default.
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bluetabCommented:
What do you mean by "I set the user dial in access to access with protocols instead of a just a connect", where did you make this setting change?
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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
In the SBS server user management. There is a dial in access tab. One check box is for connect and another for connect with protocols. I have replicated the problem on the laptop at home and I am now convinced that the problem is related to the SP2 for SBS 2003. I think it is a port or server firewall issue.

I have 2 outlook profiles on each of 2 machines at home with the same issue. Over the weekend I have been working on the server from home via the SBS remote connection. I will look for firewall issues today at the office.

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pmacafeeAuthor Commented:
bluetab;
The Exchange server connection log shows my attempts at logging in but the Outlook client just keeps asking for username and password. I have tried every permutation of logging in. This is an Exchange or SBS 2003 issue, in my belief and so I will re-post the question there also.
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