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WINS, Exchange 2003, Outlook 2003

Posted on 2012-03-13
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Last Modified: 2013-02-26
We have recently upgraded our domain and forest to server 2008 R2, all DC's run 2008 R2 SP1, 6 exchange servers 2003 and outlook 2003 clients.
Several users around the world and various intervals that outlook failed to connect to the exchange server, a window appears requesting network credentials and if they cancel that window then outlook goes offline - Obviously this is quite annoying.

Exchange has been centralised to the datacentre, with cached exchange enabled for all users.

As part of the domain upgrade we removed 10 WINS servers from the local sites and centralised WINS at the data centre, with only now 2 WINS servers.

MS say dont install anymore WINS servers, we have enough but after reading some articals exchange and outlook 2003 require WINS.

Any ideas?
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Question by:vigge79
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by:EVeuger
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Hi,

Exchange only needs WINS in certain situation. In your situation I don't think you need WINS since your clients use Outlook 2003 and Exchange is higher than 5.5.

Do you use RPC over HTTP(S)?

It can be that the clients whom experience problems are configured to use HTTP on slow networks. If they would briefly lose connection (for instance in a wireless environment) or are in a slow network, the client will switch to HTTP and require network credentials (these credentials are just the basic windows login credentials).
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by:EVeuger
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Here is what Microsoft has to say about WINS dependencies: WINS and Exchange
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by:vigge79
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OK -thats good about the WINS but its strange that these issues arose around the same time as the raise of domain and forest.
plus it also takes some time when users are trying to navigate to PST files that are located on a netowork drive, i have noticed that the windows browsing service is disabled by default in 2008 R2.
How do i check about the RPC over HTTPS(s), unsure about this, users are just opening the outlook 2003 client from their PC not from the internet.
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by:EVeuger
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If you look on the client, check his account settings, go to More Settings, Connection Tab.
There you see Outlook anywhere, check if the checkbox Connect to Exchange using HTTP is checked, if so, the client is configured to use RPC over HTTP. In Proxy settings you find the address and the settings when to use HTTP (slow or fast networks).
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by:EVeuger
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RPC over HTTP is new to Outlook 2003, so that could explain why the issue arose when you upgraded the clients to Outlook 2003...
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by:vigge79
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Here are my settings in the connections TAB
Connect to my exhange mailbox using HTTP - Checked

Exchange proxy settings:
on fast networks, connect....... - UNCHECKED
on slow networks, connect...... - Checked

Proxy authentication settings = Basic Authentication

Do these seem ok?
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EVeuger earned 250 total points
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Yes, seems OK, so your clients use outlook over HTTP. That explains the credentials popup!

Now you need to find out why the network is sometimes slow
Since you also mentioned clients are slow to connect to PST files on the network it seems that there are some network issues.
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by:JoHaMey
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Are your users in the branches or are they using notebooks connected outside your corporate network?

Perhaps for the most non-mobile users, you can uncheck "outlook over HTTP", so they dont have to type their credentials. You can also do this with GPOs
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