Outlook client continually disconnects/connects with Exchange every few seconds

Posted on 2014-01-24
Last Modified: 2014-08-05
Warning: this will be a fun one I think

 I have a client that uses Exchange 2007 for their mail server.   I have one user that's at the end of a VPN using Outlook 2010.

 Recently, he's getting a situation where he'll contect to Exchange for a few seconds, then get an error, it disconnects, and then reconnects.  This happens during syncing (using cached mode with exchange).

 Looking at the connection status, it's always on the cache and background tasks.  The foreground task never has a problem.

Only error I see in the server event logs is an occasional event that the max number of session objects for MAPI has been reached for this user.  I had upped that to 48, which has helped, but now were right back here a few weeks later.

Nothing's really changed for this user in a couple of years, and his e-mail has worked fine till now.   Three other users in the same office (also on the end of the VPN) have no issues.

 Server is fully patched as is Outlook and the station.   I have already investigated the VPN and network to some degree, and adjusted the MTU to avoid packet fragmentation.

 I believe it's the result of simply a mailbox that has grown too large; current mailbox size is 5.3GB with approx twenty thousand items in it.   But outside of the event log entry on the server, which doesn't match up in frequency with the number of disconnects and re-connects by far, I can't find anythign else wrong.

 Any suggestions on how I might pin this down further?

LVL 57
ID: 39806037
BTW, the other error I see on the client side often for him is event 27 "Calendar Folder property is missing"

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Assisted Solution

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 250 total points
ID: 39806126
The MAPI sessions error is a clear sign that the sessions aren't being ended correctly.
Something is interrupting the MAPI traffic. Large mailboxes in cached mode shouldn't be a problem. If you suspect the mailbox might have a problem, simply moving it to a new database will usually correct things.

If other users on the same VPN are working correctly, then it would point at the machine maybe, or the network port. Have you tried changing either? Of course getting a 5gb mailbox in cached mode on a second machine might take a while.

LVL 57
ID: 39806294
<<If other users on the same VPN are working correctly, then it would point at the machine maybe, or the network port. >>

 I've been thinking it was the machine.  I haven't switched ports, but I did disable power management features on the NIC.

 I will investigate the networking on that station further.

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Expert Comment

ID: 39811201
Can you check if the outlook client  has "Download Shared Folders" option enabled for cached mode. If so, uncheck and test.
The above could minimise the session objects.

Are there any session limits on the vpn device.
Is it possible to check for RPC Client Access Service errors during that time on the server.
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Accepted Solution

Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 250 total points
ID: 39811727
That error (Calendar Folder property is missing) is caused by Outlook 2010 SP2.

There is a hotfix package that will resolve it:

I don't know if that is your problem, though -- I would generally NOT configure Outlook to run over the VPN.  Instead, just use Outlook Anywhere:

LVL 57
ID: 39811828

  I reconfigured Outlook on Saturday to force it to use HTTP over TCP/IP; errors went down significantly and the constant disconnect/reconnect stopped.

  That helped as it now isolates the problem a bit more.  Seems as everything is OK with Exchange and the "Calendar Folder property is missing" error is un-related.

  What it leaves me with and points to is a network issue, yet others in the same office are having no issues, nor are any other apps having an issue on this station.  Monitoring the networking shows no real amount of packet loss or fragmentation.  Fundamentally, his network setup seems OK.

 That would narrow it down to something specifically with RPC on this station.  Nothing shows up on the client or on the server side in regards to RCP and I don't know how to troubleshoot RPC calls that are failing.

 I'm going to be on-site in the next few weeks at which point I will remove TCP/IP and re-install.   If that doesn't do it, then just on the off chance it is network related and I'm not catching it, I'll put in a new NIC card and run a new cable (I've already updated the NIC drivers and turned off all the power management features with no change).

LVL 57
ID: 39811842

<<I don't know if that is your problem, though -- I would generally NOT configure Outlook to run over the VPN.  Instead, just use Outlook Anywhere:>>

 Why not?


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