Friday, October 8, 2010

Roaming user and lotus notes 8.5.2 problems

Something is not right with the 8.5.2 client and roaming. Here is the scenario:

I have a user that has a desktop pc and a laptop. At this point neither names.nsf or bookmark.nsf have the same replica ID. So I go to upgrade the user to use roaming with the admin client. Next I get a pop up on the desktop pc:

Note: I've noticed that you can only have one client open at a time to see the roaming user message.

So I click 'Ok' to Convert to roaming now. I get the following screen:

After the roaming upgrade process is finished and the databases have been replicated to the server I log out of the Lotus Notes client on the pc. Next I go to the laptop and sign in and I get the following message:

I click ok and Lotus Notes shuts down. Then Lotus Notes automatically starts again and prompts me for the password:

However there is something different about this login screen. Notice there is no drop down for location and id. So before I input my password I checked the data folder:

Notice the highlighted files with the .000 extensions. The names.nsf doesn't exist at this point. So I go back to my login screen and type my password and I get this:

At this point my notes client cannot see my server and it makes sense. In my DNS I do not have an entry for 'Traveler01' and the names.nsf is renamed to names.000 so the connection document will not work. So click 'No' to the prompt above. There are two ways to get around this.

1. Enter the domino server name ( in this case traveler01 ) in DNS and point it to your Lotus Domino server IP. Lotus Notes will always check that first part of the domino server name first in DNS ( this is also the reason why when Lotus Notes is configured and you do not have a connection document for your domino server, this is already configured in DNS ). So if you domino name is test123/test/US, the DNS record needs to be test123.

2. Use the hosts file to temporarily add this entry and remove it after it is done.

Lets go with option 2. So on most XP and Vista ( and Windows 7? ) machines the hosts file is contain under

The hosts file does not have an extension. Also if you have user access control security turned on ( Vista and Windows 7 only ), you must Launch notepad using 'run as administrator'

to be able to open, edit, and save the file. Otherwise when you go to save the file, it will ask you where to save as. So add a new line to the hosts file, with the syntax of 'IP [tab] name'. So since my domino server name is 'traveler01/tob', and my traveler01/tob ip is, I need to make an entry for '          traveler01' like so

Now launch Lotus Notes again it will work:

Also check out the data folder after the roaming configuration:

Notice the new .nsf files appended on the end. The original .nsf files are now .000 files can be renamed to .nsf if you need to access them at another time. Next choose the location from the names.nsf pulled from the server:

Last and most importantly remove the entry for the traveler01 server from the hosts file and save.

I hope IBM decides to cache the connection document in future releases. Here is a good website for troubleshooting roaming issues:


  1. Chris, thank you for a great post. We are having a similar issue but the difference is that we have our Domino servers in DNS (and always had), yet we were seeing some users having this problem recently. I discovered that in our case it is not related to 8.5.2 vs the older releases, but rather to Windows 7 vs Windows XP. There must have been a change in Win 7 in how the unqualified names are resolved, and having just a primary DNS suffix specified in Computer properties (worked in XP) is no longer enough in Win 7. The only way around this that I found so far is to have user add a connection specific DNS suffix in network settings. And of course the hosts file is an option as well. I plan to blog about this some more on my blog at


  2. Yes I found this with an old version of notes 7.0.3. (I know just haven't got everyone updated yet.), It appeared with Window 7. I also found that I just need to close notes. Rename the .000 files to their proper extension, then load notes again. Notes now works as needed.
    Still have not discovered what triggered the files to be renamed.