Outlook takes a long time to load Auto Complete entries

Today a blog about some unusual stuff in Outlook/Exchange.

I had a customer who experienced slow performance whenever a user started to type any mail address which should be “auto completed” by Outlook. The user had to wait more than 1 minute (!) before the addresses would show up as suggestions by Outlook.

Everything on the Outlook side seemed OK as there weren’t any performance issues with Outlook itself and when you tried to open the address book all was well.

Now this took me to the Exchange Server where I started checking the mailbox databases which where all “Mounted” and “Healthy”.

Now for all the Exchange service mailboxes I checked the monitoring and arbitration mailboxes:

get-mailbox -Monitoring | where {$_.Database -eq $null}
get-mailbox -Arbitration | where {$_.Database -eq $null}

There where a few mailboxes which didn’t have the Database parameter set which (of course) means that they are orphaned and Exchange Health Manager can’t write any information to it, as well as Exchange not being able to use the other service accounts.

To correct this issue you can either:

– Correct the HomeMDB attribute in AD (via ADSI edit) and copy the HomeMDB from a other user, like below:

$corrupt=get-mailbox -monitoring | where {$_.Database -eq $null}
$corrupt+=(get-mailbox arbitration | where {$_.Database -eq $null}}
foreach ($mailbox in $corrupt) {Set-ADUser $mailbox.UserPrincipalName -Replace @{HomeMDB="CN=DATABASE,CN=Databases,CN=First Administrative Group,CN=Administrative Groups,CN=
ORG,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=domain,DC=com"}}

– Or stop the Exchange Health Manager service, remove the accounts from AD and use a copy of the Exchange Server installation media to run setup.exe /preparead /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms

Now to give a little twist to this, there where also some old addresses showing up in the users Auto Complete after it did load, so GAL not up-to-date right?

Yep, and it was even a bit bigger than that.

I tried updating the address lists and then the problem immediately showed it’s true colors:

get-addresslist | Update-AddressList

Their where old entries in the address list of Public Folders and old Exchange attributes:

These objects have been in the list since the old 2007 Exchange Server and now started to give issues. Deleting these objects from AD (by following the paths in the error messages) did the trick!

Now to sum it all up, when you have this type of issues be sure to check the following is OK:

  • Are your system mailboxes in order? (Monitoring and Arbitration)
  • Do you have any old objects in your GAL/address lists?
    • Use the update-addresslist and update-globaladdresslist commands to be sure
  • Do you receive any errors after these commands? Then also take note of the accounts which are being displayed and correct any corruption or incorrect values.
  • Outlook also makes use of the OAB in cached mode so you also need to run update-offlineaddressbook and have this one checked out.

So after correcting these incorrect address list entries by removing the “legacy” accounts we had a healthy address list and GAL which solved our problem!

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