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Cannot connect to Exchange through Outlook when using home internet, but OK using 3G dongle

Posted on 2011-03-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi,

I am using Outlook 2007 to connect to our Exchange 2003 server.

Works fine in the office while connected to the LAN.

Works fine over the Cisco VPN when using a 3G dongle.

Does not work when connected to the VPN using my home internet connection. All other systems are accesible, I can ping the server, and use Outlook Web Access fine.

Outlook hangs for a couple of minutes when opening and eventually says 'cannot connect to the exchange server'.

Any ideas what the problem could be? Seems particularly strange that the Outlook - Exchange connection works fine when the VPN is established using my 3G dongle, but not when using my home internet!

Cheers
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Question by:failed
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Assisted Solution

by:Ernie Beek
Ernie Beek earned 400 total points
ID: 35214551
When on the home network VPN, can you ping the exchange server by name?
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warrenkerrigan earned 1600 total points
ID: 35214622
It may be a problem with DNS. As mentioned above can you ping it by name and also by the full internal domain name. server.domain.local.

On other thing that may be an issue is that you are using the same internal addresses on your local network as they are on the network you are VPN'd into? i.e. your home router is set to give out addresses in the range 192.168.0.1-254 and that is the same address range as the other end of the VPN. i.e. your pc and the exchange server are "technically" on the same address so it is routing locally rather than remotely.

You could click the option in your VPN config to send all traffic remotely if it's not that. Or you could make a manual entry in your HOSTS file. i.e. exchangesever = 192.168.0.111.

1st check if you can ping it. Then see if you can go to http://servername/exchange/

If neither of those work, check your IP ranges and then change your local network to 192.168.1.1-254 instead of 192.168.0.1 (or whatever it is now).

Good luck.
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Author Comment

by:failed
ID: 35333429
Apologies for the late response.

This is actually one of my user's laptops, so its difficult to get the chance to test these suggestions, so I will accept both of your solutions.
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Author Closing Comment

by:failed
ID: 35333438
Have not had chance to test these suggestions as the laptop having the problem is not mine
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Expert Comment

by:warrenkerrigan
ID: 35333461
Have you tried something like something like this?

http://www.gotoassist.com/mm/intl/uk/entry.tmpl

That way you could have a look at what they are doing and do some of the tests while they are online.

There is a free trial if you want to have a play. There are loads of these tools out there. Such as this one http://showmypc.com/ 

The nice bit about these two is they are easy for the user to setup.

Best of luck.

Warren
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Author Comment

by:failed
ID: 35727560
For everyone's information, I was connected to this user's laptop over VNC today and I fixed the problem by creating a new mail profile. Used the exact same settings as the original mail profile, so I'm not sure what the issue was. Perhaps there was some old or corrupt data in his original profile?
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Expert Comment

by:warrenkerrigan
ID: 35728298
I have seen that before. Sometimes if you run the old "Microsoft Inbox Repair Tool" it finds problems with the mail profile and fixes them. That said I've not seen that tool around for a while.
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