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Outlook 2007 Out Of Office does not work with Exchange 2003, however OWA allows Out Of Office to be enabled

Posted on 2011-09-29
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Good morning,

We have a really annoying problem that I am hoping somebody has a solution for. We cannot set Out Of Office within Outlook. We are using Outlook 2007 with an Exchange 2003 server installed in Windows 2003SBS. One of the workstations is still running Outlook 2003 and has the same problem.

While we are out of the office signed in through OWA, Out Of Office can be set without issue. However within the office we can't access the OWA site (get a message that he site cannot be found). OWA can only be accessed outside of the office.

I have a listing of the DNS and am hoping there's something that needs to be changed to make this happen. Does anybody have any suggestions as to where I can start?

Thx
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Question by:Poly11
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Expert Comment

by:e_aravind
ID: 36874016
Now what is that you are going to fix first,
- Outlook unable to access OOF
or
- OWA not accessible from LAN

a) Outlook unable to access OOF
> Outlook /cleanrules; Outlook /cleanclientrules; Outlook /cleanserverrules
> Chcek by creating new Outlook profiles....

b) Unable to access OWA
a) check if you can ping the FE\BE server
b) Need to confirm that http://fe-server or http://be-server should get you the default page "Under Construction"....
c) If needed check the IExplore proxy-settings too
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Author Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 36907728
Hi e aravind,

Thanks for the response. We are interested in getting OOF working first. I did run your suggested steps today with the Outlook switches. I even created a new profile but still received the same error message.

I can request a query of the DNS if necessary. Do you think this may be related to a domain DNS or certificate issue? The problem started after an Exchange SSL certificate was renewed.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:e_aravind
ID: 36923603
With the "Exchange 2003" servers, the OOF rules should be stored @ the INBOX-rules

So i dont think the "DNS resolution" or "Certificate issues" could be the cause for this issue.

Do we have any other "Mobile devices" connecting to the mailbox?
if yes can we remove the mobile-devices and check for the response with the OOF rules.

If needed you can reset the OOF rules using tools like mfcmapi.exe
Related link: http://www.msexchange.org/articles_tutorials/exchange-server-2007/tools/troubleshooting-out-of-office.html
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Author Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 36942390
Hi e aravind,

Thanks for the reply. I looked at the attached article, however we aren't even able to get the "Out Of Office" assistant to open in Outlook. A message is displayed that says "Your Out of Office settings cannot be displayed, because the server is currently unavailable.". This is a really annoying problem and it affects all users on the domain.

There is 1 iPhone that is used to connect to the server. Is  your recommendation to remove the iPhone from the equation to see if Out Of Office responds?

Thanks
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:e_aravind
ID: 36946867
Yes, we could test the OOF by removing the IPhone.

Note: Just removing the iPhone might not be useful
so,
a) remove the iphone
b) access the mailbox using OWA...configure some OOF rules
c) check from Outlook 2k7 to see if you can read those OOF rules.

Note: Check carefully if the OOF dialog box is showing just a single window OOF window or window with couple of tabs with the title (Inside My Organization and Outside My Organization)

Reason: OOF with 2 tabs, are features of E2k7 and OL2k7
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Author Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 36954638
Before we remove the iPhone, I just want to let you know that this is happening on all mailboxes. The iPhone is only used with one of the accounts. Will the steps posted in your previous message address the issue for all mailboxes or just the user who has the iPhone?

Thanks for your patience. I need to assemble an action plan and get approval, etc...
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Expert Comment

by:e_aravind
ID: 36954706
the above action plan will be for the mailbox attached with the iPhone

we may need to discuss the other mailboxes seperately
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Author Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 36957062
OK, right now I have access to one test account that does not have an iPhone attached. Would it be possible to move forward without removing the iPhone from the equation? The test account I have access to is unable to access the Out Of Office panel within Outlook, but it can be access while accessing OWA.

Thanks
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:e_aravind
ID: 36957156
Ok.

Now, for this affected user\mailbox, we have to reset the OOF rules using tools like mfcmapi.exe
Related link: http://www.msexchange.org/articles_tutorials/exchange-server-2007/tools/troubleshooting-out-of-office.html
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Author Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 37028996
Thanks for your reply e aravind. I'm going to work with the user in a couple of days and will reply with the results.

Sorry for the delay.
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Author Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 37037700
Hi e aravind,

We can't even open Out Of Office in Exchange. We get a message that says Out Of Office settings cannot be displayed because the server is currently unavailable. The link provided requests that we verify that Out Of Office is set, but because we can't open the Out Of Office feature in Outlook we can't continue.

Can you please let me know if there's anything else we can do?

Thanks.
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Accepted Solution

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e_aravind earned 500 total points
ID: 37038944
IN E2k3 server...Outlook should be using the OOF and anything related to OOF as the Inbox rules.

> Still try to follow the article and clear-off the Outlook\Inbox rules
Look for these objects in your mailbox
a) PR_MESSAGE_CLASS property of IPM.Note.Rules.Oof.Template.Microsoft
b) MSFT:TDX OOF Rules
c) anything mostly related to RULES

Note: You may need to export the Outlook-Rules to .RWZ files
(you can do this @ the Outlook Rules UI)
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Author Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 37048009
Hi e aravind,

The server operating system is Windows 2008SBS with Exchange 2007. I found the following article that details the exact problem that I am having:

http://www.proexchange.be/blogs/exchange2007/archive/2009/07/14/your-out-of-office-settings-cannot-be-displayed-because-the-server-is-currently-unavailable-try-again-later.aspx

I did a query in the Exchange Management Shell and did find that there's no ExternalUrl and the InternalUrl may not be valid. I'm going to correct them and see what happens.

Thanks
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:e_aravind
ID: 37048587
Okies...in case of the E2k7, OL2k7 ...we need to plan for the Autodiscover and other related stuff
If E2k3 or OL2k3 is involved...this would be using the Outlook Rules for the OOF functionality
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Author Closing Comment

by:Poly11
ID: 37231498
Thank you. Your suggestions combined with a firewall change have fixed the problem. Thanks.
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