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Fun with Exchange 2000 in a legacy domain

January 26, 2011 Leave a comment

I had an issue where multiple users were unable to access Outlook.  They were receiving a password prompt upon launching the application.  I needed to find out which Global Catalog server the Exchange server was binding to, which you can do with the trusty old netstat command piped to findstr (which just isn’t a patch on grep, sorry Microsoft):

C:\>netstat -a | findstr ":3268"  
TCP    exch-srv01:1170          DC13.your.domain.com:3268  CLOSE_WAIT 
TCP    exch-srv01:1171          DC13.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED  
TCP    exch-srv01:1174          DC04.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED  
TCP    exch-srv01:1175          DC05.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED  
TCP    exch-srv01:1186          DC05.your.domain.com:3268  CLOSE_WAIT  
TCP    exch-srv01:1187          DC05.your.domain.com:3268  CLOSE_WAIT  
TCP    exch-srv01:1189          DC05.your.domain.com:3268  CLOSE_WAIT  
TCP    exch-srv01:1221          DC04.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED  
TCP    exch-srv01:1223          DC05.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED  
TCP    exch-srv01:1237          DC04.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED  
TCP    exch-srv01:1238          DC05.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED  
TCP    exch-srv01:1429          DC05.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED  
TCP    exch-srv01:1431          DC04.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED  
TCP    exch-srv01:1910          DC04.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED  
TCP    exch-srv01:1911          DC05.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED  
TCP    exch-srv01:5452          DC04.your.domain.com:3268  CLOSE_WAIT  
TCP    exch-srv01:10412         DC04.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED  
TCP    exch-srv01:10414         DC05.your.domain.com:3268  ESTABLISHED

C:\>

The output of the netstat command was a little worrying as the Exchange server was only set to bind to DC04 & DC05 because DC13 was to be decommissioned as it was very sick.

The resolution was easy enough; you just need to uncheck Automatically discover servers and remove all but one GC in the Directory Access tab of the Exchange servers properties dialog in the System manager to force it to bind to a specific DC.  Once it works add the other GC(s) back in and enable automatically discover again.

NB: This is an excellent troubleshooting method if you’re having authentication problems with Exchange &  don’t know which DC is causing the problem; just connect to each one in turn until you find the culprit.

Bind to specific GC

Now comes the fun of removing the meta-data for DC13 as it wasn’t cleanly removed (DCPROMO failed to de-promote).  :-/

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