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Exchange Server errors with a Windows 2000 global catalog server

Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003 may demonstrate peculiar behaviors when run in an organization with a Windows 2000 global catalog server. Find out how these Exchange Server errors manifest themselves on the client-side and server-side and how to resolve them.

Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003 can manifest peculiar errors when run in an organization with a Windows 2000 global catalog server.

The aberrant behaviors involve one of the following errors from a Microsoft Outlook client:

  • The bookmark is invalid.

  • The name could not be resolved. Network problems are preventing connection to the Microsoft Exchange Server computer.

  • Unable to expand the folder. The set of folders could not be opened. The information store could not be opened.

These client-side errors are also usually accompanied by a server-side error of Event ID 9176 and the following description:

NSPI Proxy can contact Global Catalog <servername> but it does not support the NSPI service. After a Domain Controller is promoted to a Global Catalog, the Global Catalog must be rebooted to support MAPI Clients. Reboot <servername> as soon as possible.

This Exchange Server error surfaces if one of two conditions is present:

  1. A Microsoft Windows 2000 Server domain controller was promoted to the role of global catalog server, but wasn't rebooted.

  2. A Microsoft Windows 2000 Server domain controller was running in the role of global catalog server, but had its IP address changed without a restart. (This can also happen if the global catalog server goes offline, and another machine comes online that has the same IP address; or if some other mechanism has made the global catalog server unreachable at its original address.)

In both cases, the information that Exchange Server has on hand about the current global catalog server is "stale," so all requests that go to the global catalog server will fail.

The best way to address these symptoms is to restart the domain controller, and verify that it's reachable after it's restarted.

Note that if you have trouble promoting a Windows 2000 Server to the status of a global catalog server, make sure the global catalog server is reachable and confirm that there is domain controller available to the global catalog for that particular domain.

Finally, this problem doesn't affect Windows Server 2003 due to changes in the way certain services bind -- they're dynamically binding instead of static (i.e., they detect changes in server IP addresses without a reboot).

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of Windows Insight, a newsletter devoted to hints, tips, tricks, news and goodies for all flavors of Windows users.

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Related information from

  • Tip: Troubleshooting Exchange Server global catalog issues
  • Expert Advice: The global catalog process in Exchange 2003 mixed mode
  • Fast Guide: Troubleshooting Exchange Server Event IDs
  • Learning Center: The Exchange Server and Active Directory Toolbox
  • Reference Center: Exchange Server 2003 administration tips and resources

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