Outlook 2003 - User logons experiencing hangups and unavailability errors

Across our entire network, all users experience an issue where upon opening Outlook (either by logon script or subsequent opening) the system hangs for up to a minute and then the user is told that Microsoft Exchange is unavailable and the user is given the option of "Retry, Work Offline or Cancel." If the user clicks "Retry," about half the time Outlook will open, the other half of the time Outlook will hang again and then the user will be prompted with the same options.
morarcAsked:
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
Hello,

Check your DNS servers to ensure name resolution is working correctly. When you launch Outlook, CRTL-Right-click the Outlook icon in the system tray and select Connection Status. It will show you which servers Outlook is trying to connect to, the protocol it is using and whether it is able to connect.

JJ
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morarcAuthor Commented:
Thank you sir I will try this, I am new to Exchange so did not think to do this. I am thinking maybe maintenance might be needed to the Private/Public store. What do you think?
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
No maintenance is required or recommended on Exchange stores. Check the event logs on your Exchange server for errors. It could also be a resource problem on your Exchange server. You can run performance monitor to check the common counters and how much your server is paging and your disk I/O.

JJ
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ChiefITCommented:
I agree with DNS issues.

DCdiag /test:DNS at the command prompt is a quick test

Also make sure the client is pointing to your DNS servers as their preferred DNS servers.
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morarcAuthor Commented:
Sorry this has taken so long, I am attempting to troubleshoot this via distance and I have not received any response from my contact. Thank you so much for your support in this matter. I really appreciate all the help you guys provide.
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morarcAuthor Commented:
I performed the CRTL-Right-click of the Outlook icon in the system tray and selected the Outlook Connection Status. I first get the first results then a few seconds later I get the 2nd results. What does this mean?


Results#1
Server name,                 Type,       Interface,       Conn,         Status,            Req/Fail,      Avg Resp,       Avg Proc
Domain Controller#2   Dir           Broadcom    TCP/IP      Established        1/0                  42062


Results#2
Server name,                 Type,       Interface,       Conn,         Status,            Req/Fail,      Avg Resp,       Avg Proc
Domain Controller#1   Dir           Broadcom    TCP/IP      Established      7/2                  8412    
Exchange Server #1     Mail         Broadcom    TCP/IP      Established     265/0                  1                       0
Domain Controller#1   Dir           Broadcom    TCP/IP      Established      6/0                    12
Exchange Server#1,     Mail         Broadcom    TCP/IP      Established     46/0                     2                       1
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morarcAuthor Commented:
repost because of crappy formatting.


Server name,         Type,       Interface,       Conn,         Status,         Req/Fail,      Avg Resp,  Avg Proc
Domain Controller#2   Dir        Broadcom    TCP/IP      Established          1/0            42062


Server name,            Type,       Interface,       Conn,         Status,      Req/Fail,   Avg Resp,    Avg Proc
Domain Controller#1   Dir          Broadcom    TCP/IP      Established      7/2                  8412    
Exchange Server #1  Mail        Broadcom    TCP/IP      Established     265/0                  1               0
Domain Controller#1   Dir          Broadcom    TCP/IP      Established      6/0                    12
Exchange Server#1,  Mail        Broadcom    TCP/IP      Established     46/0                     2               1
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ChiefITCommented:
not familiar with that tool. It looks like DC1 and DC2 have a pretty long av reponse times.

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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
You definately have a problem with your domain controllers. They are taking way too long to respond. Check the performance of the servers. Also, are these domain controllers on the same LAN as the Exchange servers? Are they on the same LAN as the clients?

JJ
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morarcAuthor Commented:
I had the customer get on a client computer and ping both Domain Controllers with the server's Netbios name. I found that while it resolve Domain Controller #1 IP address correctly it did not resolve Domain Controller #2. It resolved to a 192.168.3.31 address (and timed out) when it should resolve to 205.35.XX.XX. I think this will be the root of the problem, question is how can i fix this?
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morarcAuthor Commented:
Forgot to mention that both Domain Controllers can ping each other correctly using their respective Netbios names. Domain Controller #2 cannot be pinged from a workstation.
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
What DNS server is the workstation pointing at? If you ping by FQDN from the client does it resolve correctly? Do you have WINS configured on your network?

JJ
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ChiefITCommented:
You have a faulty record. That can be tracked down following the query. It depends upon the type of query you are doing. (NETBIOS, ARP and DNS)

The path of a DNS query:
On client:....................ON preferred DNS server...........................Outside DNS resolution
CACHE>>HOST file>> CACHE, DNS databse>>>>>>>>>>>>Forwarding server or root hints server

PATH of a NETBIOS query:
netbios broadcast populate the Master browser list.
On Client>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>ON WINS server
Netbios cache>>LMHOST record>> CACHE>>WINS database


ARP changes MAC address to IP address:

CLIENT>>>>>>>>>>>Switch>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>external and past router
ARP cache>>>>>>>>ARP table>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>ARP table

Netbios cache is updated every 15 minutes for clients and 5 minutes for servers (when netbios broadcasts are sent out). So, it appears that you have a bad LMHOST record or WINS record on DC2
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morarcAuthor Commented:
After further troubleshooting, I discovered in the DNS snap in on Domain Controller #2 under Properties and the Interface tab Domain Controller #2 was set to "Listen on ALL IP Addresses" and 192.168.3.21, and .31 were listed in the list along with the IP to Domain Controller #2. I verified Domain Controller #1 was set to "Listen only on the following IP address" and Domain Controller#1's IP was listed.

I set Domain Controller #2 to match and now when pinging from workstation it comes right up.

Still not sure if this affects the Outlook problem or not.
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ChiefITCommented:
Yep,

That sounds like it sums up your problems. Interesting how DCdiag didn't pick up on the interface listening, instead of fully active.
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morarcAuthor Commented:
I tried logging in with a few different accounts and haven't had the Outlook connection issue to this point but I am getting little blue circular arrows on my "My Documents" folder now and every folder inside that. I believe that indicates a replication problem?
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ChiefITCommented:
How goes the battle, boss?
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morarcAuthor Commented:
Your Awesome!
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