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I am having an interesting issue, on my exchange server, the message store is mounted and I can ping it from any machine. But anytime I set up a mailbox on a client machine, it allows me to configure the mailbox and even underlines the server and full name once I hit "check name", so I know there is a connection.

But when I attempt to open up Outlook on any of my clients, it hangs up and is unable to connect to Exchange Server.

What would cause Outlook to be able to authenticate the user, but unable to check the actual e-mail account. As I said, the Message Store is mounted, and I even tried multiple message stores, with none of them working. I am able to open up the Hard Drive that the Message Store is located around and actual see the edb file, so I know that part is working.

Does anyone have any ideas?

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Can you send one of the affected users an email from a working Outlook client? Can you access one of the affected mailboxes from OWA? – joeqwerty Jan 11 '10 at 4:57
Can you install and run Outlook on the server directly? – tomjedrz Jan 11 '10 at 4:59
You should not, ever install Outlook on an Exchange server. – Massimo Jan 11 '10 at 5:34
I am using virtual servers, and created a new virtual machine on same stack, I installed outlook and it does allow me to open up my mailbox on that machine. The problem is all of my user machines located on the network. I am thinking maybe it is a firewall issue? – William Jan 11 '10 at 6:35

William, I think you answered your own question. (Good troubleshooting!) If you can access it from another VM on the same physical system, but NOT another system located elsewhere in the network, it's likely to be a network/firewall issue.

Try connecting from another system (laptop?) on the same switch and VLAN, with no router/firewall between you and the server. Success? If not, may be a software firewall on the VM or on the VM host. Check for both.

You can use telnet to verify whether or not a port is open and listening -- simply telnet to the port. If you see "Connected to BLAH.whatever. Escape character is '^]'." then the port is open.

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Some random question:

  • Which version of Windows is running on the server?
  • Which Exchange service pack and update rollup are applied?
  • Is this only a mailbox server os is it also running the Hub Transport and/or CAS roles?
  • Which version of Outlook?
  • Which O.S. on the clients?
  • Are the clients and the server on the same IP subnet or there's routing in the middle?
  • If they are on different subnets, do you have any firewall in between?
  • Is any firewall running on the server (including Windows Firewall)?
  • What about the clients?
  • Can you connect to a network share on the server (like \\Server\C$)?
  • Last but not least, do you have errors in the server's event logs?

If you're running Outlook 2007, user validation happens against domain controllers; so, if some network issue (or anything else) lets you properly connect to a DC but not to the mailbox server itself, you would be experiencing exactly the issue you're reporting.

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