When you open the Exchange Management Console (EMC) you may receive an error that the initialization failed and “the operation couldn’t be completed because a change occurred in the remote forest”. This can happen when the Exchange 2010 server you are connecting to has been updated with a Service Pack or Roll Up Update (RU). This happens an awful lot when you are attempting to install the EMC on a Windows 7 machine.

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.

Exchange 2010 EMC Initialization Error

You can check the versions by running the Exchange Management Shell cmdlet below.

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

This checks the file version for the local instance of ExSetup.exe on both the client and the server, by default this is located in C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\bin. You can determine what version by checking the Exchange Server and Update Rollups Builds Numbers article on Technet.

Apply the proper update to the machine you are running the EMC on and you should be good to go.