Users Connecting To Exchange 2010 (SBS 2011) Using Outlook 2010 Getting Password Prompts Randomly

I had an email from a customer recently who has an SBS 2011 server (with Exchange 2010) running virtually on an HP Proliant ML350 G6 server (which I had installed for them) and they were reporting that a couple of users were getting password prompts at random times.  This wasn’t affecting all users, so I knew it wasn’t a server-side issue, especially because I installed a trusted 3rd party SSL certificate from www.exchange-certificates.com so asked a few questions and it seemed that this only happened after the machines had been left idle for a while.

My initial thoughts were that there might be some issues with the Network Card having Power Management enabled on it which allowed the PC to turn off power to the NIC to save energy, so I asked my customer to check the NIC settings and sure enough, the Power Management setting to “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” was enabled.  After disabling this option, the problem went away and has not returned.

Having had someone ask a similar question on http://www.experts-exchange.com and the solution being the same, I felt it rude not to share this discovery so that others might benefit from this discovery.

To disable this option, click on Start> Run> {type} ncpa.cpl {and press enter}, then right-click on your Wired / Wireless Network Card and choose properties.

On the Network Card Properties, click on the Configure Button (see image below)

then click on the Power Management Tab (see image below)

and make sure that the “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” check box is not ticked.

Once you no longer have the computer turning off the power to the network card, it shouldn’t lose connectivity to the server and thus won’t be prompting you for your credentials when you go to use Outlook again.

 

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