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Lync Factor: It’s a Mystery

Editor’s Note: Trainer Chris Ward recently earned Microsoft Lync Server certification. This is the 11th in a series of posts during which he’ll share his experiences and advice. 

I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.Chris_LyncServerSeries_EMAIL

What is “it?”

“It” is the mysterious curse that follows me wherever I go in the IT field:

Whytheheckwontitworklikeitissupposedto disease!

Do you suffer from that as well? Do you grimace and threaten to go “Office Space” on your devices, as they cheerfully inform you that the command you just issued doesn’t work, even though it did 30 seconds ago on the same build, same machine, same everything? Do you feel the blood drain from your face as your company’s chief operating officer looks over your shoulder and an error code pops up that you’ve never even heard of before?

Maybe I’m the only one, but I doubt it. I’m sure you could burn my ears off with tales of horror, blood, sweat, and sleepless nights. Whytheheckwontitworklikeitissupposedto is not something we like to suffer from!

In the world of Lync 2013, I’m slowly getting up to speed on a few quirks that tend to pop up. The number one reason you get the email, phone call, IM, text message from the end user? “It’s not working.” Talking with a few of you more advanced Lync administrators, I’ve found a cure to 95 percent of what ails us: services.


I was building a pilot group to test for a friend and run it on my home lab. Obviously being a bit new to the Lync environment, I didn’t want to blow anything up in production and especially on their VMs. After doing everything I’ve done a hundred times now in building the environment, I fired up the front-end server and it worked flawlessly. Awesome. Then I moved over to my first two test machines to run the client. Can’t connect.

In the words of Dave the Minion, “Whaaaaaaaat????”

The screen urbanely told me that the Lync Server couldn’t be found, even though I could ping it, resolve the FQDN, etc. I went to go get my baseball bat.

Thankfully the walk to the garage and back allowed the calmer side of my personality to intervene. Remember what the instructor said when you were learning this? Check the services!!!

I popped open the services. Lo and behold the front-end service had stopped. This baffled me as ALL THE OTHER SERVICES were running. I tried to start it up, and it flared to life and then went right back to stopping. I rebooted the FE, and again the service wouldn’t hold on. I was flummoxed, flabbergasted, and bewildered. Then I did something that just popped in my head. I opened up the Lync Server Control Panel, clicked on “Topology” and then “Status.” I chose the server that was having problems (the only one in my topology, but you might have several in your pool), and I chose “Action – Start All Services.”

By the way, I could have used the following PowerShell command to do this, and I believe it might have been just as successful:


Or if you wanted to get really particular and just start only the ones that weren’t running, like in my case with the FE service, use:

Get-CsWindowsService | Where-Object {$_.Status -ne “Running”} | Start-CsWindowsService

The command first calls the Get-CsWindowsService cmdlet to return a collection of all the Lync Server services. This collection is then piped to the Where-Object cmdlet, which selects only those services where the Status property is not equal to Running. This filtered collection is then piped to the Start-CsWindowsService cmdlet, which starts each service in the collection.

So there you have it. Embrace the mystery my friends, and embrace the need to keep those services running. It’s been my experience that this will fix the majority of your issues. We’ll talk about the other issue, DNS and Autodiscovery, in my next blog post!

Lync on, my friends!


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