Outlook cannot locate Exchange 2013 Server - "......Outlook must be online or connected..."

Posted on 2013-09-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-01-18
I have installed Exchange 2013 (MS Server 2008) in an Exchange 2007 (MS Server 2003) environment.  The Exchange 2007 box is decommissioned. However it remains as a file server.  I have both IPV6 and IPV4 running - and have disabled IPV6 in an attempt to fix this and failed.  Approximately 5 out of 50 machines made the switch to the new server.  The remaining boxes, a variety and mixture of Windows XP Pro, Vista Business, Windows 7 Pro, Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013 give me the following message when attempting to configure Outlook:

1 - When opening Outlook:  "The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable.  Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action"
2 - When trying to resolve the server name:  "The name cannot be resolved.  The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable.  Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action"

I have tried the following fix with no effect:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2264398.  I have deleted/recreated Outlook profiles.  I have created profiles with new users.  I have upgraded from Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2010 - direct and by first completely uninstalling the old version.  I have uninstalled Outlook 2010 then installed Outlook 2013.  All with no effect.

Mobile devices connect with no issues.  Of the few PC's that do connect, all Outlook functions work fine.  All PC's were connected fine with Exchange 2007 before the upgrade.

I have just the one Exchange 2013 server, with all necessary roles installed.

I can see no pattern as to which machines connect and those that don't.  The Visa box with Outlook 2010 connects.  An XP box with 2007 connects, but others with that same combination don't.  An XP box with 2010 connects, but others with that combination don't.  Two Windows 7 boxes with Outlook 2010 connect, but several others with that same combination, placed in service at the same time, do not.  All relevant machines have all the most recent service packs and updates installed.

I can ping the mail server from all working and non-working PC's - with both IPV4 and IPV6 - by name, IP address, mail.localdomain.local and mail.publicdomain.org.
Question by:sksaathoff
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Accepted Solution

Nick Rhode earned 2000 total points
ID: 39478040
I assume they had been connected to the Exchange 2007 server and there are remaining files left over on the workstation which might not be resolving correctly.  Sounds like DNS is all setup but did you try flushing the profile.  Its kind of like the following article to clear out the contents after you have removed the outlook profile from the workstation.


I know its for the GAL & OAB but it does clear up quite a bit of other issues.  Its a matter of navigating to those places and flushing them out.

Author Comment

ID: 39489016
Performed the steps in the article, plus a few other things.  No effect.
LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:Nick Rhode
Nick Rhode earned 2000 total points
ID: 39490300
What about autodiscover?  Where is that pointing to?
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Author Comment

ID: 39540487
On my primary dns server, under DNS-Servername-Forward Lookup Zones-localdomain.local-org-publicdomain, the autodiscover properties have the FQDN as autodiscover.publicdomain.org.localdomain.local.
Shouldn't it just be the local domain?
Is there somewhere else better to find this?

Assisted Solution

sksaathoff earned 0 total points
ID: 39778106
This was a combination of problems.  First, the security certificate had both local and public alternative names (i.e. mail.localdomain.local and mail.publicdomain.org) which caused problems.  Second, a few of the client PC's were pulling incorrect DNS information for the autodiscover website(s).  I obtained and installed a new certificate that contained only the public domain for mail and autodiscover (which causes problems with localhost on the server, but I can live with that), and flushed the DNS on the offending clients (one of which is STILL pulling incorrect DNS information from somewhere yet to be determined, but works 90% of the time now).

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39790475
Gave myself credit because part of the solution was not addressed in the thread.

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