Getting Started with Exchange

Question:
I am in the process of installing Exchange 5.5 for the first time. I need some help understanding the basic concepts of this system. How do I get the server and client (Outlook 2000) to talk to each other? I have installed the server and am not having much luck getting the Outlook client to connect to Exchange. (It is logged into the NT server.)

Answer:
You have a good and valid question. Let’s take a look at the steps involved in getting Outlook connected to Exchange.

Step 1

You need to have a solid connection to your Exchange server. If you’re using TCP/IP as your network protocol, a good test to see whether you’re ready to go is to try and ping the Exchange server by name, like so:

 PING [SERVERNAME]

If you promptly get “Reply from…, Reply From…, Reply From…” then you know you’ve got this step covered. You can skip to Step 2.

If it takes quite a while (more than a few seconds) and/or you get “Request timed out…, Request timed out…” then you should check your fundamental connection. Try pinging the server by IP address, like so:

 PING [111.111.111.111]

and see if it replies. (Obviously you’ll need to replace those 1’s with the actual IP address of your server.)

If the server replies to the ping by IP address, then you have a problem with your name resolution. If it doesn’t reply to the ping by IP address, then you have a problem with your connection or your IP configuration (or you have the wrong IP address).

If it’s a name resolution problem, you have two ways to resolve this: the right way and the workaround. The right way is to get your WINS (Windows Internet Name Service) working properly so that it can handle your name resolution automatically and dynamically. The workaround is to add this line:

 [IPAddress]      [Servername]

to the WindowsHosts file (no filename extension!) on your Win 9x workstation. Replace [IPAddress] with the actual IP address of the server and [Servername] with the actual name of the server.

NOTE: If the workstation is WinNT the HOSTS file will be located in the WINNTSYSTEM32DRIVERSETC directory.

Step 2

Add the Microsoft Exchange Server service to the messaging profile of your workstation. You’ll need the name of the mailboxes (it’s usually easier to use the mailbox alias) and the name of the server.

You can get there by going to Control Panel > Mail & Fax. Click Add to add the Exchange Server Service and put in the server name and the mailbox alias on the General tab of the Exchange Server service properties. Click the Check Name button to verify your connection. If the name resolves itself (it will be expanded to the display name and underlined), then your connection is good and you’re ready to go!

If you don’t get the name resolved, then you still have a problem with your server name resolution or connection. Go back to Step 1 to verify it.

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