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How to fix three nagging iPhone problems in Exchange 2007

If your iPhone users are having trouble accessing Exchange 2007 email and calendaring, you can sidestep the problems before they happen.

Exchange 2010 administrators face plenty of challenges trying to make iPhones work properly with Exchange ActiveSync. Although ActiveSync generally works well with Apple's iOS, additional problems can occur with Exchange Server 2007. Let’s look at three common iPhone problems facing Microsoft Exchange 2007 setups.

1. An Exchange 2007 meeting attendee becomes a meeting organizer

One ActiveSync issue that plagues a lot of Exchange 2007 and iPhone users is when a user is invited to a meeting, he might suddenly see himself listed as the meeting organizer. This is triggered when a user accepts a meeting request through his iPhone.

When this happens, Exchange 2007 logs a rather ominous event in the mailbox server’s application log:

Event ID 8230

An inconsistency was detected in <mailbox name>:</calendar/xxx/xxx.EML>. The calendar is being repaired. If other errors occur with this calendar, please view the calendar using Microsoft Outlook Web Access. If the problem persists, please recreate the calendar or the containing mailbox.

This essentially indicates that the calendar is corrupt and that you might need to recreate the calendar or even the entire mailbox. However, neither of these actions actually corrects the problem.

The only way to address this issue is to install Update Rollup 4 for Exchange 2007 SP3. Doing so will not correct existing calendar appointments, but it will stop the error from occurring in the future.

2. iPhone and Exchange 2007 synchronization problems

One of the most frustrating iPhone problems that Exchange 2007 administrators encounter is the lack of compatibility between iOS 4.0 and Exchange Server 2007. When a user tries to synchronize an iPhone running iOS 4.0 with an Exchange 2007 client access server (CAS), the synchronization will typically either fail or be extremely slow. Furthermore, the problem can also affect non-iPhone users, who may be unable to connect to Exchange because of extremely high resource consumption on the CAS.

Note: If you experience a problem that I haven’t discussed, the best way to begin troubleshooting the problem is to look at the client access server’s application log for possible hints as to what’s going on. Also, if you have any Exchange and iPhone problems of your own, write us to let us know.

There are two ways to fix this problem. The first option is to update any iOS 4.0 users to iOS 4.0.1 or later. This release corrects the bug that causes the resource-consumption problem.

A workaround is also available. On each affected iPhone, download a new configuration profile from Apple. After downloading the new configuration profile, tap on it, then tap Install.

When prompted, tap Install Now, then enter your passcode. When the installation completes, tap Done. Finally, turn the iPhone off, and then turn it back on. ActiveSync should now function normally.

Note: If you apply the configuration profile and later decide to update the iPhone to a newer iOS version, then you must remove the configuration profile before upgrading. To do so, tap Settings -> General -> Profile -> EAS Default Task Timeout -> Remove.

3. Problems with ActiveSync for iPhone during Exchange 2010 upgrades

If and when your organization moves from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010, your iPhone users may have difficulties with ActiveSync. The problem occurs when the iPhone has trouble redirecting a user whose mailbox was moved. When this happens, ActiveSync sends an HTTP 451 response code to the iPhone. This code indicates that the device is misconfigured and should be using a different CAS.

IT administrators should check a few different pieces to resolve the problem. First, confirm if the user’s mailbox was moved to a different forest. If a cross-forest move was performed, the only way to fix the problem is to manually reconfigure the iPhone to connect to the user’s mailbox.

If the mailbox move occurred within the forest, make sure that the legacy URL was correctly configured for Exchange 2007 users. If you’re not familiar with the legacy URL, it is a special address used during Exchange 2007 to Exchange Server 2010 transitions to redirect user requests to the correct Exchange Server.

You also need to make sure that the iPhone is not running an outdated version of iOS. For the redirection to work correctly, iPhone users must be running iOS Version 4.3.2 or higher.

In most cases, completing your Exchange 2010 upgrade should also correct the problem.

Brien Posey
is an eight-time Microsoft MVP with two decades of IT experience. Before becoming a freelance technical writer, Brien worked as a CIO for a national chain of hospitals and healthcare facilities. He has also served as a network administrator for some of the nation’s largest insurance companies and for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox.

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