Cannot connect to Exchange 2010 forest: Initialization failed

After installing the Exchange Management Console on my desktop, I could not connect to my Exchange 2010 environment.

The following error occurred:

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. Click here to retry


If you get this error, make sure your version of the Exchange Management Console is equal to, or higher than the Exchange version you’re connecting to. In my case, I was connecting with an EMC 2010 SP0 to an Exchange server with SP1 installed.

You can verify that your version is incompatible by specifying a single server as Exchange forest. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. In your EMC, right click “Microsoft Exchange” (top node) and click “Add Exchange Forest
  2. As a friendly name, type in any name you want. in The FQDN field, type the name of your Exchange server. Click OK.
  3. A new window will prompt you for credentials. Type in a username and corresponding password, that has access to your Exchange organization. For example the Exchange Administrator Account.
  4. In the EMC, click the node you just created. A new error will occur:
  5. Initialization failed
    The following error occurred while attempting to connect to the specified Exchange server ‘servername’:
    Unable to connect to version server using version due to potential compatibility problems. To resolve this issue please remove this sub-node from the console tree and re-add it specifying a server with a matching version. Click here to retry

To resolve this issue, go to Windows Update to upgrade your Exchange Management Console, or install all the patches you also installed on your Exchange server(s).