Exchange Server not available …. W00T?

Experienced something funny and i didn’t even realize what caused the issue after 2 days … I spend a lot of time at the customers and my Outlook is my most precious asset for having proximity with my HQ and collegues (ok, ok call me old fashioned, but then again not everybody is connected to Lync yet at HQ. But we’re working on that :-) )

All of a sudden on Monday my Outlook 2010 client started prompting for my credentials. I first thought there was a connectivity issue (the Wi-Fi connection isn’t that stable at the customer, unfortunately. And unfortunately it’s the only for me to connect to the net). Even funnier: all my MSN contacts started appearing offline.

So first thing you try: Reboot. Dind’t work. Second thing you’re gonna try … reboot again. If that still doesn’t help, you start throwing down your defenses (e.g. Firewall and AV). No success .. :-(

Comming down a little frustrated, I tried following reaply some patches, then repaired Office, re-apply SP1 all without success.

As you can see I was getting quite desperate. What the hell was going on and why so suddenly?

Today, after 2 days of trying and “fooling” around I tried to conncet through VPN to see if I was able to fix it when i was “on-premise” or domain connected. So i juiced up the VPN connection and then it stroke me: the VPN solution warned me of not having the latest AV definitions. Strange because all seemed green … so i thought …

taking a look at the definition date i noticed it was dated last friday of the last update but the definition was dated today. W00t?!? checking the date in the system tray explained everything now to me … the date was 5 days beyond the current date, instead of 23rd of May it stated 18th May.

Changed it back to the real date and all of a sudden everything seemed to work normal again. Figures of course, knowing that Exchange, AD and MSN don’t like out of sync devices :-)

But then there’s the matter: what caused the date chance? My guess, someone on the guest Wi-Fi juiced up an AD with Win32 time services and started broadcasting the wrong date, but then again I can’t be sure about that.

BTW: on my quest for a solution I also consulted the big bad internet and most of the time my queries ended up in this kind of articles like this one and this one (searched for ” “outlook 2010″ credentials prompt ” on (don’t like the other one , but that’s another story :-) )

So to add up: whenever having conncetion issues: check your sys date, you’ll never know you might be out of sync!