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

I get this question on a regular basis so I wanted to post a quick note about it here. When opening the Exchange Management Console (EMC) you may receive an error stating that initialization failed and “the operation couldn’t be completed because a change occurred in the remote forest”. You may also find that while EMC does not work, you are able to launch the Exchange Management Shell (EMS) without any issues.

This can happen when the server you are connecting to has been updated with a Service Pack or Roll Up Update (RU). For example, the screen shot above is from a Windows 7 workstation running the Exchange 2010 SP1 Management Tools. The server I am trying to connect to is running Exchange 2010 SP1 RU2. To resolve the issue, I need to install RU2 on the workstation to update the tools to the same version as the server.

Now, there is a possibility that this error may not always indicate a version mismatch between the tools on the client and the RU level of the server, so how can you confirm this is actually the issue? As shown in this Exchange Team blog post, you can confirm the versions do not match by running the following command on both the client and the server from the shell:

Get-Command EXSetup | %{$_.FileVersionInfo}

Here’s the result from the above command on a Windows 7 box running the Exchange 2010 SP1 Management Tools:

And here’s the result running the command on a server running Exchange 2010 SP1 RU2:

This command is checking the file version information for the local instance of ExSetup.exe on both the client and the server installed by default in C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\bin\

As you can see, the version number is higher on the server than it is on the Windows 7 machine. Now that I’ve got this information, I can check the Exchange Server and Update Rollups Builds Numbers on TechNet Wiki which has a detailed list of Exchange Server versions and Update Rollups with release dates and KB articles. After confirming the version numbers, I know that I need to update the tools on my client machine and install RU2 to resolve the issue.

8 comments… add one

  • Nostratomas January 20, 2012, 9:47 am

    Put a little more effort into what the heck RU2 is, drop us a KB or a link or something. Just searching for RU2 isn’t very fruitful.

  • Mike Pfeiffer January 20, 2012, 3:50 pm

    Huh? You might want to re-read the (entire) post.

  • bashomow January 23, 2012, 3:49 pm

    I thought his article was pretty clear… “Roll Up Update (RU)”, put a little more effort into learning how to use google, try searching for “exchange 2010 sp1 roll up 2″…

  • Jeremy March 17, 2012, 12:04 pm

    recently had a issue with my backupexec there support said it would be a good idea to install the EMC if your backing up exchange. needless to say my backups are working fine with out but might as well… another point to manage exchange and just do what there support says.

    so i installed EMC got the error you posted. installed the roll up 2. still getting the error. I checked your last link for the version numbers and I don’t see what im running on my exchange…

    On the Exchange Server
    [PS] C:\Windows\system32>Get-Command EXSetup | %{$_.FileVersionInfo}
    ProductVersion FileVersion FileName
    ————– ———– ——–
    14.01.0355.002 14.01.0355.002 C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\bin\ExSetup.exe

    BackupExec Server
    [PS] C:\Windows\system32>Get-Command EXSetup | %{$_.FileVersionInfo}
    ProductVersion FileVersion FileName
    ————– ———– ——–
    14.01.0270.001 14.01.0270.001 C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\bin\ExSetup.exe

    nothing fancy installed on my exchange servers just windows updates…

    any idea what i am missing?

  • Jeremy March 17, 2012, 12:22 pm

    Noticed… I have KB2608646 and KB2529939 installed on my boxes.
    Guess ill remove the one i just installed and give it a shot.

  • Jeremy March 17, 2012, 12:45 pm

    KB2608646 worked

    ty

  • Chris December 13, 2012, 7:26 am

    Thank you, this article was very helpful.

  • Derek D March 1, 2013, 11:05 am

    Thank you very much. This was exactly what my issue was and it has now been resolved.

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