Monday, May 4, 2009

Outlook Troubleshooting

Most of the time we face lot of complains that users are not able to access their emails on outlook or exchange is not responding, in most of the cases client's outlook has some problem and users don't realize it. Following are some of the steps which will be handy in troubleshooting these types of issues and also narrow downing the problem scope;

Test 1 : Testing OWA:

1. Get the troubled user user id and password and test from OWA or ask him to open his mailbox via OWA.

2 . or create a test Mail account and Access OWA from it to verify that Exchange is working fine and user is able to access their emails.

If OWA is working fine then we have to concentrate on Client side troubleshooting else we have to look at the server side and check CAS servers and ISA severs (If reverse proxy is in use) (i will discuss server side troubleshooting in my next blog).

Test 2: Deleting Addins Registry Keys:

1. Logon to a troubled user machine.

2. Navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Client\Extensions (If it exists)
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Client\Extensions (If it exists)

3. Export the keys (for backup purpose), right click each subkey and click Delete.


Test 3: Configure Selected Startup:

1. Go to Run and type msconfig.

2. Select Selective Startup in General Tab.

3. Click to clear Process SYSTEM.INI file, Process WIN.INI File and Load Startup Items.

4. Click tab Services and select option Hide All Microsoft Services, and click button Disable All and click OK

5. Restart computer.

Test 4: Check if issue is occurring in Cached Mode:

Create a Outlook profile with Exchange cached mode and then test.

Test 5 : Check if issue is occurring in Online Mode:

Change Outlook profile in online mode, and open Outlook again and then test.

Test 6: Configure outlook profile for using RPC over HTTP:

1. Open outlook profile configuration and select Connections Tab

2. In the outlook Anywhere selection check connect to Ms exchange using HTTP.

3. Enter OWA address in exchange URL text box.

4. Assuming that user is sitting in a LAN environment, select “On Slow networks, Connect using HTTP first, then connect using TCP/IP.

5. Select Proxy server authentication settings based on your exchange server configuration.

6. Click OK.

7. Close Outlook completely. verify that there is no outlook.exe process visible in task manager.

8. Launch outlook again.

9. Hold control and press right click on outlook icon in system tray.

10. Click on connection status and verify that all connections are established by using HTTPS protocol not TCP/IP protocol.

Test outlook by sending and receiving emails. If this works then it means there might be some TCP/IP (RPC) communication problem between your client and server. You have to involve your network team and verify that if there is any network device causing issue or playing with the TCP/IP settings or TCP/IP packets.

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