Manually Update Global Address List (GAL) on Exchange 2010

Manually Update Global Address List (GAL) on Exchange 2010

Our infrastructure automatically updates “offline address book” and distributes changes to clients once that is submitted by Generation server.
Microsoft System Attendant service is answerable for the Generation of Offline Address Book, and server hold mailbox role can only have this Service.

You can also check the Generation Server below follow path:
Exchange Management Console -> Organization Configuration -> Mailbox -> Offline Address Book Tab.

Everyday Offline Address Book is distributed to clients every 24 hours, if you click on properties of Default offline Address List you will get the below window, this is where you can customize your update schedule.

Two important thing to ponder upon is:

1. Enable Web-Based distribution:
Used to distrubute OAB running outlook clients 2007/2010.
2. Enable public folder distribution:
 Used to distrubute OAB running outlook clients older than Outlook 2007.
If there is any change that has occurred on your infrastructure during working hours than you can try to force the generation server to create the OAB and distribute the OAB through Web-based distribution:
Exchange Management Console -> Organization Configuration -> Mailbox -> Offline Address Book Tab.
Right click on your address book and select update.


You will receive the following message, Click Yes

Above Steps can be done using PowerShell:
Update-OfflineAddressBook –Identity “Default Offline Address Book”

After go to client access server and restart Microsoft Exchange file distribution service from services

Above Steps can be done using PowerShell:
Update-FileDistributionService OABGenerationServer -Type OAB

Goto Offline Address Book location and check the date and time changes:
Path: C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\ClientAccess\OAB

Q. How Microsoft Outlook 2003 receives Offline address book? What is the OAB generation process?
Microsoft Outlook 2003 and older version receive Offline AddressBook from the System Public folders located in Exchange, Offline AddressBook Generation Server unwraps the public folder and renews the changes.

Q. How Microsoft Outlook 2007 or outlook 2010 receive Offline address book? What is the OAB generation process in exchange 2010?
Microsoft Outlook 2007 and 2010 make user of AutoDiscover to search the Offline AddressBook update link(url) and it connects to concerned server that has the OAB files for distribution and i.e., Client Access Server is answerable for any request to download OAB by outlook clients.

CAS specifically has the MS Exchange File Distribution Service which pulls the OAB ExchangeOAB files(folders) from Mailbox Server(OAB Generation Server) in Client Access Server so that it can be distributed through web-based distribution point:

Web-based Distribution Point Path: C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\ClientAccess\OAB (Inside this will be a GUID folder which holds the OAB files)

As our OAB is now ready to be downloaded, Outlook clients can download the OAB from Web-based Distribution point. In Outlook 2013 Click in SEND/RECEIVE tan -> Click on Send/Receive Groups > and Click on Download Address Book.

 Offline AddressBook Location in Client Machine:
2010 and 2013:
C:\Users\ (username)\AppData\Local\Microsft\Outlook\Offline Address Books\ (GUID)

Wednesday by Vinayak Gurav · 2


Exchange 2010 Initialization Failed

Exchange 2010 Management Console Initialization Failed


Exchange Server 2010 Initialization Failed Error:

The Following error occurred while attempting to connect to the specified Exchange Server
Above error can easily be sorted using Below steps, we have tested it in our infrastructure and it works good.

Method 1:

Close all MMC/EMC instances before proceeding.
Open Registry Editor (regedit) as the user you run the EMC under.
Go to
Look for value NodeStructureSetting.
If it is there, back it up and then remove it.

Method 2:

Close all MMC/EMC Instances before proceeding.
Open Powershell or Powershell IDE as the user you run the EMC under and execute the following command:.
Remove-ItemProperty -Path HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\ExchangeServer\v14\AdminTools\ -Name NodeStructureSettings
Close Powershell
After performing either of the methods above to remove the registry entry you should be able to open the Exchange Management Console and it will discover another Exchange server and connect.

Monday by Prashant Shalgar · 0


Monitoring Exchange Server 2010

Monitoring Exchange Server 2010 or Day to Day Task on Exchange Server 2010:

Below are the Day to Day task apart from Administration an Exchange Admin performs.
We have Exchange Server infrastructure is Microsoft Hyper-V and IBM Storwize 7000.

Total 4 Exchange Server 2010
HUB Transport , Client Access
WinAdminHTCAS 2
HUB Transport , Client Access
Network Load Balancing
Database Availability Groups (NLB): When WinAdminHTCAS1 goes down then NLB automatically fails over to WinAdminHTCAS2, Vice-Versa. (DAG): When WinAdminMAILBOX1 goes down then DAG automatically fails over to WinAdminMAILBOX2, Vice-Versa.

First: Monitoring Cluster Nodes & Networks:
From your DataBase Availability Group Server ( follow below path to launch the Failover Cluster Manager Microsoft Management Console:

Click Start -> All Programs -> Administrative Tools ->  Failover Cluster Manager
Click on Nodes

Now monitor if both the Mailbox Servers status is up or not, if not right click on the Database and click on Resume if it’s paused due to some technical reasons.

Second: Checking if Mailbox Database is properly Mounted or not, follow the path below to launch your Exchange Management Console:
Click Start -> All Programs -> Expand Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 -> Exchange Management Console

Now Expand Server Configuration and Select Mailbox, Select your server and check which Database is Mounted, which one is in Healthy mode and also check if any of the Database is in Suspended mode, if so Right Click the database and either click on Resume Database Copy or Update Database Copy.
If the database was suspended for some time than there will be Copy Queue Length and Replay Queue Length which will have some numbers but that won’t be zero like the screenshot that I have added.
  • Copy queue length log files: Signifies the number of log files waiting to be copied and checked.
  • Replay queue length log files: Signifies the number of log files waiting to be replayed into suspended copy of the database from the active/working database copy.

This is really a crucial part of Monitoring Exchange Server 2010 if you have Tivoli Storage Manager on your infrastructure for Exchange Server Mailbox Backup than it won’t perform the backup for the day., as it first performs a check if all the database copy is either in healthy or mounted mode., but if found in Suspended the automated backup will fail for the day.

Third: Network connectivity is properly functioning or not.
So this step you’ll have to perform on each server for both MAPI (Messaging Application Programming Interface) and Replication network, we will further explain in details about our Exchange Server 2010 Setup and Installation in our upcoming articles/posts.

Fourth: Monitoring Network Load Balancing in Hub Transport and Client Access Server.
Click Startà All Programs à Administrative Tools à Network Load Balancing Manager

Expand Outlook.WinAdmin.local in your case that would be your own name of NLB server, now check if Initial Host State is started for both Hub Transport and Client Access Server or not, else you can right click the HTCAS1 or HTCAS2 and goto Control Host and start or stop the service as per your necessity.

Fifth: Monitoring Disk Space for all the Exchange Servers





If mailbox database is going to fill up the drives than you must indulge with your Clients and check if they are ok with adding more drives on the Storage slots or else you can send mail to start archiving users mail as per some set up policies to those faulty users, this can easily be done with PowerShell scripts., we will update the same in our upcoming posts.

Sixth: Monitoring Exchange Services in Mailbox Server and Hub/Transport roles:

Mailbox Server Role: Services that must be enabled:
Hub Transport Role and Client Access Server Role: Services that must be enabled
Seventh: Checking Mail Flow In to Out and Out to In
You can send mail from your office account to your gmail account, and see if its going through within in few minutes, and vice versa.

Friday by Gyan Mainali · 0

Creating Customized Outlook Holiday Calendar Part II

Creating Customized Holiday Calendar Part II

This way we are not editing OUTLOOK.HOL file locally instead we are creating a normal user mailbox for each specific location and adding the Annual Holidays approved from official HR.

Please find the steps below:

Step – 1:

Create one Mail-Enabled user using Exchange Management Console, open EMC and expand "Recipient Configuration", now right click on Mailbox select "New Mailbox" 

   Select User Mailbox
Click Next,

Select New User, or Select Existing User if you've already created it on Active Directory., Click Next

Give Required Details, like First Name, Last Name, Name, User Logon Name (User Principal Name), and Password

Click Next,

Give Required Alias. Click on Next,

No Online Archive required at the time, Click Next.

Click New,

Click Finish.

Step – 2:

On Client machine Open Microsoft Outlook 2013 and configure Mail Account for Holiday Calendar. If you don't get below window then goto "Control Panel" -> Select Mail -> Click On Show Profiles -> And Add New Profile then you'll get the similar window as below:

Click Next, after giving required input like, Your Name, Email Address, Password provided for the account.

Click Finish as Network connection with Exchange Server has been established.

Go to your Calendar with the new account that we created few minutes back.

Click Calendar Permissions so that we can make the Holidays visible when user will access this calendar.

Below we have given full details access to the calendar, and Permission level for the calendar is Reviewer only.

Now Create Events (Holidays) for your annual year, or even next few years event. If all the dates are fixed than you can create a "New Recurring Event or New Recurring Appointment"

Step – 3:

Now you can send this steps as a viral email to all your users so that they can catch up the steps to check their holidays.

Click on Calendar,
User can See his own account, now click open Calendar

Open From Address Book…

Find your Calendar

Now you can see two calendars, one is user calendar and other is the holiday calendar which we have created earlier.

Now overlay both calendars, click  on Left Arrow as highlighted below:

It will merge with users calendar.

So this way you can create a user in Active Directory and share your Calendars officially to all the end users with ease.

If you have any question, kindly leave us a comment so that we can guide you.

by Prashant Shalgar · 0


Customize Outlook Holidays calendar 2010/2013 - Part I

Customized Outlook 2010 / Outlook 2013 calendar for your organization Part I

How easy would it be if you can check all your holidays of a year without searching the email of your HR,
as at times you can be lucky and you have the email in front of you., but other times you may not be so
lucky so we are discussing below how easily you can have all this information collected with few clicks
for your office location.

Recently we had a requirement where Microsoft OUTLOOK.HOL file was not mitigating our necessity.
Our Client was seeking something more easy way and less task from end user point of view, so we went
through testing and came with two viable ways through which we can share Holidays calendar throughout
the organizationand for different locations without much trouble from end user.

Outlook 2010 holiday calendar and Outlook 2013 holiday calendar Manually editing OUTLOOK.HOL file.

Office 2010: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\1033
Office 2013: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\1033

Now open OUTLOOK.HOL with Notepad and edit, in our case we have inserted below location specific holidays.

[India] 5
Gandhi Jayanti,2012/10/2
Gandhi Jayanti,2013/10/2
Gandhi Jayanti,2014/10/2
Gandhi Jayanti,2015/10/2
Gandhi Jayanti,2016/10/2

[India, Chennai] 5
Republic Day,2014/1/26
Independence Day,2014/08/15

[India, Kolkata] 5
Republic Day,2014/1/26
Independence Day,2014/08/15

[India, Gujarat] 9
Republic Day,2014/1/26
Gudi Padwa,2014/03/31
Maharashtra Day or Labour Day,2014/05/01
Independence Day,2014/08/15
Vinayaka Chaturthi,2014/08/29

[India, Maharashtra] 9
Republic Day,2014/1/26
Gudi Padwa,2014/03/31
Maharashtra Day or Labour Day,2014/05/01
Independence Day,2014/08/15
Vinayaka Chaturthi,2014/08/29

Understanding Above inputs:
Part 1: [India, Maharashtra] 9  -  Name to be kept for output inside bracket [India, Maharashtra] and 9 is for number of rows as data to be feed.
Part 2: Republic Day,2014/1/26 – First Comes the name of the event with a comma, and the YYYY/MONTH/DATE
So on you can add other events..
Now save the file in your Desktop and replace it with the original OUTLOOK.HOL file. We did this without exiting Outlook 2013.



So now to import calendars on your local machine goto Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013 path: File -> Options -> Calendar -> Calendar Options -> Add Holidays

After your Click OK you be provided with below POP UP window:

Now Goto your Calendar and check, as in our case we had an event for Republic Day which has appeared as we had expected.

Now distributing the OUTLOOK.HOL file to other machines:

You’ll have to create a batch file for Outlook 2010 and 2013:
\\MYPCD\OUTLOOK.HOL - its a share file created in my PDC you can create anywhere and paste the new generated OUTLOOK.HOL to be shared with other clients in your network.

1. For Outlook 2010 Copy below text and save as Calendar2010.bat
ren C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\1033\OUTLOOK.HOL C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\1033\OUTLOOK.HOL.old
copy /Y \\MYPDC\OUTLOOK.HOL C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\1033\
2. For Outlook 2013 Copy below text and save as Calendar2013.bat
ren C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\1033\OUTLOOK.HOL C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\1033\OUTLOOK.HOL.old
copy /Y \\MYPDC\OUTLOOK.HOL C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\1033\

Now your batch files are ready to be shared to your end users:

Our Infrastructure has Windows 2008 R2, so we have used the same for below task:
Create a new Group Policy for the same:
Goto Run from your Primary Domain Controller, and type  "gpmc.msc"-> Expand domain -> Right Click Group Policy Objects -> Click New -> Enter the Name of the GPO and Click Ok.
Right click the Newly created GPO and expand User Configuration -> Expand Policies -> Expand Windows Settings -> Select Scripts (logon/logoff) and add the batch files that we created earlier.
Group Policy

There is a drawback that this script will keep renaming the OUTLOOK.HOL file each time users keeps login in, so when you think that all the changes to OUTLOOK.HOL has been replicated throughout your infrastructure you can disable the Group Policy till the next change on the for the Holidays Calendar.

No worries if the above steps is not feasible for your infrastructure we will post another easy way you can share calendars for each locations in your Infrastructure.

Thursday by Gyan Mainali · 0

Windows Admin Jobs in Pune