Exchange Server 2010: Fixing a LAB on Friday afternoon..

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Hi folks,

This morning I had a mission to fix up a lab that was created a couple of weeks ago and basically the members of the DAG weren’t able to have their services online, Exchange Management Console didn’t open up, initialization of those servers were really slow and so forth.

Well, my first line of thought was Jess.. they screwed up DNS and bob is your uncle.. Let’s get the DNS up and running and we will be fine but it turned out that DNS was okay (not optimal but was okay).

So, since it was a lab, I cleaned up and saved all log files on the file system and restarted the machine before doing that I made sure that DNS was pointing out to the DC (it was a single DC).

As soon as I restart the server and it took a considerable amount of time during this process, after I got access to the console my first tests were:

  • Nslookup (I got a time out which means that reverse zone wasn’t configured properly)
  • Tested \servername

    Result: Good, I could see both folders netlogon and sysvol no authetnication issues
  • Set L

    Result: Good, I could see that the server was in fact autheticating against the DC
  • Gpudpate /foce

    Result: Good, just in case to make sure that the server was receiving the GPO
  • Checked if the server belongs to Exchange SErvers group

    REsult: Good

Okay, I went to DNS and I fixed the DNS reverse zone, not a big deal and that wasn’t the root cause of my current issues. Then, I opened my Event Viewer and I saw the following errors on the application:

  • Event ID 2142: Process MSExchangeADTopologyService.EXE (PID=1372). Topology discovery failed, error 0x8007077f.
  • Event ID 1121: Error 0xfaf connecting to Active Directory.
  • Event ID 5000: Unable to initialize the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service. – Error 0xfaf.

Okay, that’s it LAB won the first round… :) and my wife was alreadycalling asking if I would be home at 5PM (In some circunstances that is more pressure than a couple of critical servers down :) )

I started to think about enabling logging and all sort of crazy things but usually the majority of the issues are simple things, right? Who hasn’t ever thought several solutions for an issue and turned out that the real issue was just disk space?

Well, that was the issue here I went to Active Directory sites and SErvices and I noticed that the environment had no Subnets configured and two sites created and that was creating confusion on my lab.

The solution was simple, I assigned the IP range being used by the lab to one of the sites and restart the all thing and here we go, AD Topology working like a charm and all services booting up without any issues.

Of course that is not the solution for all Event ID 5000, 1121 and 2142 but the lesson learned Today is make sure that you do your home work before starting troubleshooting like a maniac :)

I hope it helps and have a good weekend!


Anderson Patricio

Twitter: @apatricio

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Written by Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio is a Canadian Exchange Server MVP and MCSM (Solutions Master) and he contributes to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor at, and (Portuguese).