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Root Cause and Troubleshooting RPC Dialog Box

 

Common Root Causes For Receiving the RPC Dialog Box    

  • High network latency
  •  Loss of network connectivity on the client side
  •  Loss of a network path within a network
  • Exchange server outages and crashes
  • Active Directory/Domain Controller outages and crashes
  • High database and/or log disk latencies
  • High server CPU and/or context switching
  •  Long running MAPI operations

A few thoughts to keep in mind when debugging latency issues:

  • High disk latencies usually affect multiple users, not just single users
  • If max server latencies are high and cannot be explained by high disk latencies, also check for Jet Log Stalls and high server context switching or CPU usage.
  •  Disconnects and reconnects always start with calls to Logon, so seeing lots of Logon calls from a particular user is a sign of connection problems (in addition to the RPC failures)
  • Outlook/COM add-ins, VBA code, and MAPI code running on the user’s workstation can cause problems that are intermixed with Outlook requests.  Those functions may make expensive calls (like Findrow, SetColumns, SortTable, and IMAIL conversions).  While Outlook from time to time makes expensive calls, 3rd party applications are common culprits.

 

 

Troubleshooting the RPC Dialog Box

First, determine if this issue is occurring for a single user or multiple users. Narrow down the client versions and locations if possible.

  • How long is the pop-up message on the screen? Is the Pop up on screen longer than 5-10 seconds for multiple clients? The pop up can be expected for short periods under even the best conditions. For single client issues it may not be server related.  Reference: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/940226
  • Verify TCP Chimney is disabled on Exchange and GCs.  This is required. Reference:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/948496
  • If clients are online, check critical folder size as this affects overall performance.  The numbers are higher for Exchange 2007/2010, however cached mode is recommended. 
  • Exchange 2007 information: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc535025(EXCHG.80).aspx
  • Outlook users experience poor performance when they work with a folder that contains many items on a server that is running Exchange Server: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/905803
  • Recommended Mailbox Size Limits – Misleading title, it’s really about Item counts. http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2005/03/14/395229.aspx  (impacts Outlook 2003 OSTs, newer versions are not affected)
  • How to troubleshoot the RPC Cancel Request dialog box in Outlook 2003 or in Outlook 2002:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/839862
  • Start Experfwiz on Exchange using all counters for at least 6 hours. 
  • Use an Exchange Performance Troubleshooter (ExTRA) to get a snapshot of performance on Exchange.
  • Capture a concurrent client and server Netmon trace while reproducing the issue.  The only way to track if this is a server or network related issue is to follow any delayed “Response” packets from server to the client.
  • Use PFDavAdmin to get mailbox item count if necessary.
  •  Exmon can be used to determine various items such as cached or online, how many CPU cycles a user is using, etc. Yes, it has been updated for 2010!  Place on Mailbox role…not CAS.

Praveen Kumar

MCTS | Exchange Server

 


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