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Article ID: 319206 - Last Review: September 3, 2013 - Revision: 14.0

This article was previously published under Q319206
For a Microsoft Outlook 2000 version of this article, see 272290  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/272290/ ) .

Symptoms

In some situations, you may notice excessive network traffic when Microsoft Outlook attempts to contact the global catalog server.

This article describes how to configure Outlook to a specific global catalog server or to the closest global catalog server.

Note If the global catalog server and the Exchange Server computer are in the same site as the Outlook client, you do not need to make this registry setting. The normal referral mechanism provides the best performance.

Cause

This behavior occurs when the Exchange Server computer (where the Outlook client is homed) and the global catalog server are both located in a site that is remote from the Outlook client location.

Workaround

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/ ) How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

How to set the closest global catalog server

To have us set the closest global catalog server for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. To set the closest global catalog server yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

Fix it for me

To set the closest global catalog server automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Click Runin the File Downloaddialog box, and then follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.
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Fix this problem (http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9707344)
Microsoft Fix it 50353
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Note this wizard may be in English only; however, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.

Note if you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.

Let me fix it myself

If you are running a version of Exchange Server that is earlier than Exchange Server 2010, use the following steps to force Outlook to identify and use the closest global catalog server yourself.
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit.exe, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Exchange Provider
    Note You may have to create the registry path.

  4. On the Edit menu, click Add Value, and then add the following registry value:
    Value name: Closest GC
    Data type: REG_DWORD
    Radix: Hexadecimal
    Value data: 0x00000001
  5. Quit Registry Editor.

    Note If you are running Exchange Server 2010 in your environment, you must configure your Outlook client to use Outlook Anywhere connectivity to resolve this issue.

How to set a specific global catalog server

In other topologies, you may want to force Outlook to communicate with a specific global catalog server, not necessarily the global catalog server that is closest to the Outlook client.

Note although you can manually change the registry parameter in the MAPI profile, it is overwritten the next time that you start Outlook.

To force Outlook to use a pre-defined global catalog server, use the following steps to set the following special registry parameter to point to the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN). Doing this over-rides any setting in the MAPI profile.
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit.exe, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click the following key in the registry:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Exchange\Exchange Provider

    Note You may have to create the registry path.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Add Value, and then add the following registry value:
    Value name: DS Server
    Data type: REG_SZ (string)
    Value data: FQDN of the global catalog server
  5. Quit Registry Editor. If Outlook stops responding after you set the closest global catalog server or set a specific global catalog server, Outlook returns to the DSProxy process on the Exchange 2000 server and requests a new referral. The following are two possible limitations if you configure Outlook to a specific global catalog server:
  • The client-detected global catalog server may be out of date or semi-functional. If the global catalog server is having problems but still responds to Named Service Provider Interface (NSPI) requests, Outlook may not stop responding, and Outlook may return to the DSProxy for a new referral.
  • In multidomain environments, the global catalog server that you select may not be in the same domain as group objects in the Active Directory directory service. Therefore, users cannot update group membership because the local global catalog server has a read-only copy of the group.

    This behavior can also affect how you add delegate permissions to a third party's account.

    This behavior was recently changed so that you receive an error message when the "Send on Behalf Of" permission is not written. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    913807  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/913807/ ) Description of the update for Outlook 2003: March 14, 2006

More information

Exchange Server 2010

Exchange Server 2010 introduces significant changes in the way Outlook interacts with global catalog servers in the organization.

In earlier editions, Exchange server would direct Outlook to contact a global catalog. In Exchange Server 2010, the Microsoft Exchange Address Book Service on the Client Access Server (CAS) hosts the NSPI endpoint. The Exchange Server 2010 CAS provides address book and related services to Outlook clients instead of referring Outlook to Global Catalog server.

The Closest GC and DS Server registry values that are specified in this article will not work correctly if the mailbox is hosted on Exchange Server 2010. In this case, the Closest GC key should never be used, and the value of the DS Server entry should be set to the Fully Qualified Domain Name of the Exchange Server 2010 CAS.

When you use the Closest GC value with an Exchange 2010 mailbox and reply to an email message from someone external to your Exchange organization, you may receive the following error:

The operation failed. The messaging interfaces have returned an unknown error. If the problem persists, restart Outlook. Cannot resolve recipient.

For more information, see the following Microsoft TechNet article:

Understanding RPC Client Access
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee332317.aspx (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee332317.aspx)

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
317209  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/317209/ ) How to identify your global catalog server using Outlook 2000 and Outlook 2002
The information in this article was derived from the "Understanding and Troubleshooting Directory Access" white paper. To view this white paper, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=C976433F-F979-4745-B7A6-9D8446EF6409&displaylang=en (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=C976433F-F979-4745-B7A6-9D8446EF6409&displaylang=en)

Applies to
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2007
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbmsifixme kbfixme kbregistry kbconfig kbhowto kbprb KB319206
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