Outlook 2010 and Exchange 2007 connection error workaround

I’ve been having trouble connecting Microsoft Outlook 2010 to Exchange Server 2007. In each instance, this problem occurred on a new PC running a clean installation of the 64-bit versions

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of Windows 7 and Outlook 2010.

When Outlook initially opens, it automatically detects the user’s name and email address as it should. After clicking Next, Outlook confirms that a network connection has been established and begins searching for the server settings. However, after several seconds of searching, Outlook displays the following error message:

An unknown error occurred, error code 0x80070057.

No Microsoft knowledgebase articles exactly match this problem, but one KB article does come close. This article states that error 0x80070057 occurs when a user tries to use the Auto Account Setup process when the mailbox is located on an Exchange 2003 mail server.

I‘ve encountered this particular error in my own organization, even though I don’t have any Exchange 2003 mailboxes. I do, however, have an Exchange 2003 server acting as a public folder server on my network. Could the very existence of an Exchange 2003 back-end server be causing this problem?

Other administrators who experienced similar problems were able to manually configure Outlook -- with one side effect. After manually configuring Outlook, the application displays the user’s email address -- not the user’s name -- to message recipients.

Fixing the Outlook 2010 connection problem
I’ve found that this five-step workaround is the simplest way to solve the connection issue.

  1. In a clean installation, close Outlook and then open the Windows Control Panel.

  2. Click on User Accounts and Mail. Once the Mail Applet opens, click the Show Profiles button.

  3. Remove any profiles that may have been created. If Outlook has been in use for awhile, don’t change any functional profiles. Only delete profile fragments that may have been created when you attempted to configure Outlook.

  4. After deleting the invalid profiles, click the Add button to create a profile. At this point you may receive the same error message you saw when you originally created the profile using Outlook. If you do, click OK to close the error message.

  5. Click OK and close any remaining open dialog boxes. The profile will be created even though the error message appeared. When Outlook opens, the profile is functional and you can connect to Exchange Server 2007.

Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a seven-time Microsoft MVP for his work with Windows 2000 Server, Exchange Server and IIS. He has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once in charge of IT security for Fort Knox. For more information visit www.brienposey.com.


This was first published in December 2010

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