Thursday, December 06, 2007

Outlook 2007 on Vista accessing Exchange using HTTP over RPC

If that title didn't mean anything to you, ignore this post. (Well, you can click an advert on the right first! ;-)

Just recently I've updated my laptop to the latest Windows operating system release named Vista. Since I'm out in the field, I don't have a nice persistent connection to my corporate network and Exchange mailbox. After installing Office 2007 (which I'd been using for some time and can say is quite good!) I needed to get my email configured again. So I point and clicked everything as it was configured before. Alas, no joy.

After researching a bit online including a very poorly worded and far too succinct KB article (found here), I got it running again. I've listed the important steps below, skip them at your peril.

  1. Open regedit or your other favorite registry editing tool.
    If this is unfamiliar go get your geeky computer friend to help. You can really screw things up playing in the registry, so only do this if you know what you are about.

  2. Locate the following subkey:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\RPC

    You might not have the RPC portion of the key. I didn't. Just create it if missing.

  3. Add a new DWORD value named DefConnectOpts with a value of 0.
    You have to get the name correct, and make sure the value is set to zero.

  4. Restart your machine.
    This is usually the first step I skip. You can't do it this time. It won't take effect until restart. There probably is a service or .dll that can just be unloaded, but what a hassle. Keep it simple and just reboot.

  5. Delete the profile you had, and recreate it with valid settings.
    At this point it should let you login to your Exchange server via RPC over HTTP. If it didn't you probably skipped a step or hit that special "you're screwed" portion of code. Call your techie friend.

My default Vista install did not have the RPC portion of the above key. So, I just created the key, then added the new value. I first deleted the old profile, then rebooted the computer. I created a new profile and it worked. Your mileage may vary.

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