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.

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?

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       roadcom     TCP/IP      Established      6/0              12
Exchange Server#1,   Mail      Broadcom    TCP/IP      Established     46/0             2               1
morarcAsked:
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Gregory_VCommented:
What do the pings look like from the workstations to the domain controllers.  Are they high as well?  If so you have a networking issue that needs to be resolved.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
The slow response times from the DC seems to be the problem. Are there any other issues involving network performance? Such as slow logons, or may slow response to name lookups when web browsing?
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Crazy1TGuyCommented:
Installing a packet sniffer on the exchange server might help determine what kind of traffic and the volume that is hitting the server.
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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:
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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Gregory_VCommented:
Why would their domain controller have an external ip address?  What's that server doing, is it also a web server?

You could go in and edit the DNS entries, but there could be several things broken here.  AD replication, dns, backup dhcp scopes, etc.  

I'm curious now to know if the 1st domain controller can ping the second, and what condition replication is in by checking their event logs.
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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 DC01'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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Gregory_VCommented:
Can you run your orig outlook connection tests and lets see if the times there look more reasonable.
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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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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
What you found will speed up performance. Hopefully now DNS requests will get balanced between the two servers. In addition, fixing the DNS settings should speed up the responses from the second DC.

Having said that, you should still find out about why they are using public IPs in that way if its still happening.
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morarcAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys you helped me find out that there was a DNS problem on my servers.
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