SP1 GAL Issue: Coudln't find a global address list for user '(null)'

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Anthony Spiteri

Can't be sure if this was pre or post SP1 for Exchange 2010, but bascially users can't display the GAL from outlook and the corresponding event log is shown below.

Process Microsoft.Exchange.AddressBook.Service.exe (PID=5512). Coudn't find a global address list for user '(null)' (SID='S-1-5-21-1794053138-2783547011-1360826804-2150')

Any help would be appriciated.

Michel de Rooij

1. Which Outlook version?

2. Check services are running (System Attendant Service, Exchange File Distribution Service)

3. In EMC, Org > Database > Properties, is there a Offline Address Book listed? If there a default Public Folder DB listed?

4. In EMC, Org > Offline Address Book > Default .. is does Address Lists include default GAL? Is web-based distribution enabled?

5. Have you migrated from Exchange 2003 and - if so - have PF replicas moved properly and you switched default Public Folder consulted (see 3)
Michel de Rooij,
MCITP Ent.Msg 2007+2010| MCTS W2008, Ex2007+2010 Conf, OCS2007 Conf | MCSE+Msg2k3 | MCSE+Inet2k3 | Prince2 Fnd | ITIL
I blog on http://eightwone.wordpress.com/ and tweet on http://twitter.com/mderooij


don't think this is an outlook issue, since it is an Exchange process, can you verify that you have the correct permissions and run setup.com /preparead again and verify that you don't have any replication issue, if not then try creating a new GALRegards, Mahmoud Magdy Watch Arabic Level 300 Videos about Exchange 2010 here: http://vimeo.com/user3271816 Read pretty advanced Exchange stuff I post here: http://www.enowconsulting.com/ese/blog.asp, follow my blog: http://autodiscover.wordpress.com , corp blog: http://ingazat.wordpress.com and if you Liked my post please mark it as helpful and accept it as an answer


Hi Anthony,

Any updates on your issue?

Can you run the cmdlet: Update-GlobalAddressList -Identity GlobalAddressList ?

Please use ADSIEDIT.MSC to check whether the inheritable permissions is selected on the Globle address list or not.

cn=Configuration,DC=domain,DC=com->CN=services->cn=Microsoft Exchange->cn=Org name->cn=Address Lists Container->cn=All Global Address Lists->cn=Default Global Address List

Frank Wang

Gulab Mallah

I Agree with Frank, let us know the status of the issue after following the steps.


Anthony Spiteri

Hey Frank.

I am about to have a look at the permissions.

I just installed and configured another CAS frontend to add to the farm and the same issues is popping up. Should be known this is a Hosted environment and we have made some modifications to the container permissions...but just looking back at my other hosted setup's I didn't usually have a need to touch the GAL container.

Will get back with results shortly.

Anthony Spiteri

So, no luck on the the permissions of the object. Got to say as well that the OAB and AL seem to be doing their job in that the user can download the correct OAB based off the AL.

I've been reading around and it seems like I am not the only one with this issue.
Mellachi said:

Hi, first off thanks for al the hard work. The update went as expected. There is just one problem. Some users have an empty global address list in outlook 2007. They can't search it or anything. In OWA the addressbook seems fine. When I disable offline mode the addresslist is still empty. No static port was set prior to sp1. Someone seen this issue and was able to resolve it?

September 3, 2010 2:57 AM

Looks like it's a bug.(er)

Need this resolved pretty quick.

mitch roberson

I have seen this because the address lists and GAL have not been converted then the old system is removed. Turn on OWA logging and set it to expert it will help you find the problem

the command is set-eventloglevel

Mitch Roberson |MCITP:Enterprise Server Admin, Messaging 2007, 2010 |MCTS:OCS with Voice Achievement |MCT |MCSE 2000\2003 |MCSE Messaging 2000\2003

Anthony Spiteri

Hey Mitch...no, that's not the issue...this was a fresh install of 2010 with GAL's created by 2010. OWA logging won't help...no issue with OWA.
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