Exchange 2010 Management Console Error – Initialization Failed

7 April, 2011

Exchange 2010 Management Console Error – Initialization Failed

Today I had a strange error when trying to connect to a remote Exchange 2010 using the Exchange Management Console.



The text of the error is:

Initialization failed.

The following error occurred while configuring Help links:

The operation couldn’t be completed because a change occurred in the remote forest.

Please complete any operations that are in progress, restart the Exchange Management Console, and follow the help instructions to obtain a compatible upgrade.

Needless to say, neither clicking here to retry or restarting the console helped.

It turned out that the version of the management console on this machine was different to the server version. If you manually connect to Exchange you get the correct message. To manually connect:

  1. Right Click on Microsoft Exchange in the left pane and select Add Exchange Forest.
  2. Type in the name of your Exchange server and click OK. You’ll probably need to give your login details.
  3. The new forest, with the friendly name given in step 2, will now appear in the left pane. Now click on this and you will get the real error.




Here you can see that the server is on Update Rollup 2 for Exchange Server 2010 SP1 while the client machine is on Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1.

There’s a list of Exchange version numbers on TechNet.


Richard Willis

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