Problem Connecting to Exchange Server from Outlook


D

DLN

Hello all,

I'm having a problem with some of our staff systems running Outlook 2003
connecting to our Exchange 2007 server. When they add the server name and
their username and then click the "Check Name" button, they receive a
message that states:

The action could not be completed. The connection to the Microsoft Exchange
Server is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this
action.

I've read several posts that discusses possible solutions to this error and
I've tried most of them with no success. The staff systems are in a remote
office and not part of the domain (I don't think that should make a
difference, but who knows). Also, for the initial connection to the
Exchange Server, do I have to have the RPC ports opened through to the
Exchange server? I know that after the clients are authenticated we can use
HTTPS, but is RPC required to establish the initial connection?

Thanks,

DLN
 
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D

Diane Poremsky [MVP]

no, open rpc ports is not required. it's can be difficult to configure rpc
over http remotely. Have you tried having them use a hosts file with the
external ip pointing to the internal mail server name (as seen in outlook
when accts are set up inside the network)? This will usually take care of
it.
 
D

DLN

Yep, tried that but no luck. I've also tried setting up the HTTPS settings
and then clicking the "Check name" button and that didn't help either. I've
tried resetting the TCP/IP settings as per a suggestion by a group of people
that were experiencing the same problem, but it didn't help. The office the
remote staff are in blocks most outgoing traffic by default - they only let
a few key ports through like HTTP/HTTPS, IMAP, SMTP, etc... It wouldn't
surprise me if that figures into it somehow, but I don't know what ports
it's trying to use. I do see successful authentication requests in the
Exchange server's security log, so they are partially connected - there's
just some part in the process that isn't working.

Thanks again.
 
D

Diane Poremsky [MVP]

is the rpc proxy configured correctly? set up a laptop inside then try
connecting from outside and see if it works.
 
D

DLN

The RPC proxy does work for client systems that we set up in the home
office, but they have the advantage of connecting to the Exchange server
without having to go through any restrictive firewall rules. Once we set up
the system, the user can roam to external networks (including the remote
office) and connect without issue. It's just that initial connection that's
tripping us up.
 
D

Diane Poremsky [MVP]

the way the system works, once its set up inside the network, it will work
outside if the FW is properly configured - getting it set up outside the
network is bear. it takes a lot longer and more effort - ms recommends using
a prf to configure the accts, but I never tried it - using a hosts always
worked for me.

if a laptop configured in the office works from the remote office's network,
then it shouldn't be firewall issues... its probably because outlook can't
find the mail server (why I used hosts)
 
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B

Brian Tillman

DLN said:
I'm having a problem with some of our staff systems running Outlook
2003 connecting to our Exchange 2007 server. When they add the
server name and their username and then click the "Check Name"
button, they receive a message that states:

The action could not be completed. The connection to the Microsoft
Exchange Server is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected
to complete this action.

Are they specifying a fully-qualified name for the Exchange server?
 
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D

DLN

We finally figured this out - they had a firewall rule in place that was
blocking connectivity. Once we opened outbound traffic on port 443 from
their office, it resolved the problem. Sorry to be a bother ... we should
have figured this one out sooner.

DLN.
 

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