« My Declining Home Connectivity | Main | Scott Berkun, Smart People, Bad Ideas »

May 27, 2005

Trying to Debug my Home Access

KC Lemson sent email asking in which browser OWA was failing. It fails both in Firefox 1.0 and in IE 6.0.2900.2180 (I'm posting this here instead of sending email because my email from home isn't working...).

There's actually 2 OWA errors. If I run the Premium View, it always hangs going into my Inbox with "Loading..." displayed where the messages should be.

If I run the Basic View or try it in Firefox (where it doesn't offer the Premium View as an option), then I get an error when I click send. In both browsers it displays the text "javascript:SetCmd(cmdSend);" when I hover over the Send button; in IE it displays "Error on page" when I click it, in Firefox it does nothing.

Meanwhile, I still can't get RPC-over-HTTP to work. I ran a network monitor and Outlook seems to not even try to contact my HTTP proxy server (I won't print the name here, but it's the main E12 dogfood machine). Instead it tries to obsessively contact my DF-XXX-MSG machine, both plain and with my DNS Suffix Search List (which persists from Microsoft, even when I get my IP address from my DSL DHCP server) appended.

There was one strange thing, when I was home futzing with this it somehow managed to download one email (actually it was KC's message offering to help with OWA). Like RPC-over-HTTP worked for a minute and then died again. Verrrry strange.

I also installed the latest RAS connection software when I was at work today, and now it seems to connect, but then 2 seconds later I get a "critical error" and csrss.exe goes into CPU-chewing mode for 5 minutes. Rinse, repeat.

Well, that just shot my entire Friday evening.

Posted by AdamBa at May 27, 2005 10:14 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


If you have not tried go through these steps.
1. Boot Outlook (I assume Outlook 2003)
2. Tools/Email Accounts
3. View or change existing e-mail account, Next
4. Select your Exchange server, Change
5. Make sure that the server points to your new dogfood server (is it still a df-xxx-msg server?? or something different??)
6. Select More Settings
7. Select the Connection tab
8. Check the Connect to my Exchange mailbox using HTTP (if you do not see this at all in the UI there is some hotfix you need to install but that might have been pre SP2 of XP).
9. Select Exchange Proxy Setting
10. This is a good chance where the problem is in this dialog and you need to know the server but it should be the same one you use for OWA, for example:
Check "Mutually authenticate the sesson..." checkbox.
Principal name should be without quotes "msstd:exchangedogfood.com"
Check the Slow checkbox
Select Basic Authentication

My guess is you needed to update the server name in one of these places or they changed the autentication permissions but then again I do not work on Outlook or Exchange and I am just on a df sever that I do not think is running 12 yet.

Posted by: Aaron at May 27, 2005 11:56 PM

Re: Your csrss.exe 100% CPU problem, you might see if any of these help: http://www.google.com/search?q=csrss+100%25+cpu

Posted by: Phil Weber at May 28, 2005 12:20 AM

Aaron, thank you for taking the type to type all that in! Always impressed by how supportive and helpful bloggers are. But all my settings match that, and helpdesk walked me through and confirmed it was set correctly.

I tried various things: also clicking the "On fast networks connect using HTTP first..." button; trying to disable the regular Connection settings in the "Connection" tab (I want it to *only* try HTTP, so I tried selecting the doomed-to-fail "Connect using my phone line" instead of "Connecting using my LAN"; upping the "Seconds Until Server Connection Timeout" setting on the "General" tab to give it more time to fail the direct name resolution of "DF-XXX-MSG". Nothing seemed to help.

I am wondering if that fact that my Exchange Server is set as "DF-XXX-MSG.exchange.corp,microsoft.com" is messing things up. The problem being that microsoft.com IS a domain accessible from the Internet, but the internal corp subdomain won't be, so this would cause the name resolution to get a strange error rather than failing normally, thus it keeps trying instead of giving up and trying HTTP (even though the checkbox on the Proxy Settings page says "connect using HTTP first..."). So I wanted to change the server name to be just plain "DF-XXX-MSG". But it won't let me change it -- I can highlight it, but not delete it. And I can't create a second account because Outlook says I already have one Exchange Server account.

Of course it's likely my old Exchange Server was also set with the full "...corp.microsoft.com" nsme (when RPC-over-HTTP worked), but I can't remember.

The fact that it was able to download one message to me points to more of a timing or proxy flakiness issue than a straight "can't find the server" issue. Yet the behavior of the Outlook client, as seen in a network sniff, looks more like "can't find the server". %$#^%*.

- adam

Posted by: Adam Barr at May 28, 2005 08:43 AM

Mine connects just fine with df-XXX-msg.exchange.corp.microsoft.com and this machine only connects via HTTP. It never has been connected to the corporate network so I think you can take that off of your list. If you can get Check Names to auto-resolve your alias as your full name in the dialog then you should have the correct server. In other words if you had just typed "df-xxx-msg" during the auto-resolve it is going to add the rest of the domain info.

Posted by: Aaron at May 28, 2005 12:48 PM

Hmm, I was under the impression that it wouldn't auto-resolve the alias unless you were on the corporate net. Of course I can't try this because it won't let me delete what is there. I suppose I could nuke the entire account and start over, but then I would need to recreate all the various settings.

Good to know about working with the full server name though.

Is your proxy server exchangedogfood.com or something else?

- adam

Posted by: Adam Barr at May 28, 2005 02:08 PM

Yuck. Stuff like this is terrible to troubleshoot. That's why I keep a Mac around so I can use Microsoft Entourage 2004 for Mac. It works great with Exchange outside corpnet.

Posted by: Dennis T Cheung at May 28, 2005 06:04 PM

I know this is a late post but was there a solution to the first part of the problem mentioned? You mentioned this:

If I run the Basic View or try it in Firefox (where it doesn't offer the Premium View as an option), then I get an error when I click send. In both browsers it displays the text "javascript:SetCmd(cmdSend);" when I hover over the Send button; in IE it displays "Error on page" when I click it, in Firefox it does nothing.

I have several users with this _exact_ problem and I'm looking for a fix.

Steve Cody

Posted by: Steve at June 23, 2005 08:42 AM