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Offline Address Book Not Being Received By Client PC

Posted on 2009-04-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Good morning,

I hope somebody will be able to offer a nugget of information here, as I'm currently struggling with an offline address book related issue. I have a customer connecting via VPN to an Exchange 2003 environment from home. He recently reported that his Outlook Global Address List wasn't up to date, and upon investigating remotely I realised that he was running Outlook in Cached Exchange Mode. If this is disabled and Outlook is restarted the GAL will update. However, if I then enable Cached Exchange Mode again and restart the GAL reverts to the old Offline copy, which is once again out of date.

I've tried manually downloading it via the 'Send/Receive' menu, but this has made no difference. I've rebuilt the offline address book through ESM and manually downloaded it at client end, and again it's made no difference.

I'm at a bit of a loss at the moment I'm afraid! The address book is set to update daily at around 5am, but this doesn't seem to take effect for this user. If anyone has any ideas or possible troubleshooting methods I'd be very grateful to hear them!

Thanks very much.
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Question by:msbccs
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Veerappan Sundaram
ID: 24085371
You have not given your exchange setup details.
Are mailbox and OAB servers same? If it is different, can VPN users access the OAB server?
What is the version of outlook the user is using? If it is outlook 2003 or later, to check the connection status, login to mailbox using outlook > Hold the Ctrl key and right click the outlook icon on the task bar, located at right-hand side bottom corner, next to time display > connection status.
>>>>Veera.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:greesh_hem
ID: 24085392
Try to rename the .oab files on your machine and then download a new updated copy from the server and check if this helps.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Veerappan Sundaram
ID: 24085393
Different version of outlook access different OAB. In Exchange 2003, we have OAB 2, OAB 3a and OAB 4.
Check the same version of outlook from your local LAN instead of VPN to confirm that the OAB version is OK.
>>>>Veera.
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Author Comment

by:msbccs
ID: 24085661
Sorry Veera, the mailboxes and OAB are both stored on the same server. The client is using Outlook 2003. I'll have a go at renaming the .oab files and will also check the OAB versions, and I'll let you guys know the outcome.

Thanks very much for your help!
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Veerappan Sundaram
ID: 24085767
Did you get any error or warning while manually downloading the OAB?
Check the below link which talks about the OAB issues both in Exchange 2003 & 2007: http://blogs.msdn.com/dgoldman/Default.aspx?p=4
>>>>Veera.
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Author Comment

by:msbccs
ID: 24086364
I was wrong when I stated the Outlook version earlier on I'm afraid. The user is actually using Outlook 2007. I renamed the .oab files as suggested, but once I'd reopened Outlook and the new .oab files were created the problem persisted.

When I run the 'send/receive' tool for Offline Address Lists I receive no errors. The 'send/receive' window opens for around 3 or 4 seconds before closing again, so it seems to be very quick.
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Expert Comment

by:Veerappan Sundaram
ID: 24086538
Try creating a new outlook profile (do not delete the old profile) and check.
>>>>Veera.
0
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Author Comment

by:msbccs
ID: 24137362
Sorry for the late response. I was away for a few days over the Easter holiday period.

I tried creating a new profile, recreating the .oab files and manually downloading the OAB within the Send/Receive menu, but the problem persisted. It seems to me that the address book being sent out by Exchange isn't up to date. Is there a way to force an update from the Exchange server? I tried 'rebuilding' it but the problem's persisted.

Thanks.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Veerappan Sundaram
ID: 24146047
Follow the below steps to achieve your requirement:
  1. On the Tools menu, point to Send/Receive, and then click Download Address Book.
  2. In the Offline Address Book dialog box, make sure that the Download changes since last Send/Receive check box is checked.
  3. Click OK.
You can disable the downloading of the offline address book and force the Outlook computers to use the online Global Address List when they use Cached Exchange Mode.

To do this, add the following registry value to the computers, as appropriate for the version of Outlook that you are running.
Outlook 2007
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Cached Mode Parameter: DownloadOAB
Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 0
Outlook 2003
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\Cached Mode Parameter: DownloadOAB
Type: REG_DWORD
Value: 0

 For more information, please check the below links:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=841273  
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823580/
 >>>>Veera.
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Author Comment

by:msbccs
ID: 24165758
Thanks for the detailed response Veera.

I spoke with another domain user and had a look at his PC remotely. By enabling Cached Exchange Mode within Outlook 2003 I was able to replicate the issue, so it certainly seems to be a domain-wide problem as opposed to an issue with just the one client. Exchange doesn't seem to be sending the updated OAB at all. Either that, or it's sending out a different GAL than I expect (though I've no idea how, as it's definitely set to use the default GAL).
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Veerappan Sundaram
ID: 24166662
Enable diagnostics logging on Exchange server properties in ESM (Exchange System Manager) - check the event logs.
Enable Logging in Outlook. Do a manual download of OAB and check the generated log. To enable logging in outlook: click Tools -->Options -->Other (Tab) --> Advanced Options --> Check the box against "Enable logging (troubleshooting)".
>>>>Veera.
0
 

Author Comment

by:msbccs
ID: 24185604
I've enabled the diagnostics logging for Exchange AL. I'll check the logs tomorrow AM, and will update you. Thanks again Veera, your help is much appreciated!
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Author Comment

by:msbccs
ID: 24195730
I enabled 'medium' diagnostics logging on the AL and have found three different Event ID's within the event viewer this morning. They're as follows:

Source: MSExchangeAL
Category: LDAP Operations
Event ID: 8006

Source: MSExchangeAL
Category: LDAP Operations
Event ID: 8355

Source: MSExchangeAL
Category: LDAP Operations
Event ID: 8248

Is there anything inparticular I should be looking for?
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Accepted Solution

by:
msbccs earned 0 total points
ID: 24373071
Got the issue resolved in the end by changing the default offline GAL to 'all global address lists' and rebuilding it. Not quite sure why this was any different to 'default global address list', but it seems to have done the trick.

Thanks for your help guys.
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