Exchange 2003 and OWA

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by PTNL, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. PTNL

    PTNL [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm having a problem troubleshooting an error after the logon page for "Outlook Web Access" (OWA) for Exchange 2003. We are running Active Directory on Windows Server 2003 Standard.

    The OWA default logon page pulls up fine, I enter my "Domain\Username" account with password, and then I get a blank page stating "Unspecified error" with the OWA DLL file in the path. This happens both internally and externally to the network. My AD account is in the "Administrators" group.

    Has anyone ever experienced this before? We have a few hundred users all using Outlook 2003 connected to this Exchange 2003 box without problems, and I'd like to open this extra option up for users trying to access from home (though, after they would authenticate over VPN first).

    TIA !!
     
  2. Gambit

    Gambit Gawd

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    A specific error would help in tracking down the problem
     
  3. annaconda

    annaconda [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Google is your friend.
     
  4. PTNL

    PTNL [H]ardness Supreme

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    See the line in the OP that says "and then I get a blank page stating "Unspecified error" with the OWA DLL file in the path".
    A screenshot wouldn't give any more information.


    Google is my friend, but it has not been kind to me today. This post was made after various searches using any combination of the following terms:
    - owaauth.dll
    - "Unspecified error" (with the double-quotes)
    - exchange
    - 2003
    - OWA
    - logon.asp
    - owalogon.asp

    Microsoft's TechNet site has also not been so kind, either.



    Alright ... now that the "Tier-1 troubleshooting" has been disclosed, any further questions?
     
  5. gigabyte1024

    gigabyte1024 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Did you try HTTPS ?
    Does Outlook work properly?
    Do other users get this error?
    Is there anything in the event log of the server? client?
    Is there a Proxy or ISA server in the mix?
    Does it work without forms based auth?
    Is your exchange box also your DC?
     
  6. JayAre

    JayAre Limp Gawd

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  7. PTNL

    PTNL [H]ardness Supreme

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    - Outlook works fine from what I can tell.
    - Everyone gets this error, regardless of authentication or domain user/group priviliges.
    - Nothing noted in Event Viewer or my machine.
    - No proxy or ISA, both my machine and the server (as well as everyone else within the company) is on the same network. No VLAN's or other subnets.
    - Yes, the previous network admin had a Url setup so that the user was prompted to enter a username/password to logon. I don't have any way to reach the former network admin, though (without violating any HR stuff, just assume that it's complicated and not feasible).
    - Our Exchange box is (unfortunately) also our DC.


    I didn't see any of those links through my searches, so I'll give them a look. Thanks!
     
  8. KaosDG

    KaosDG [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Check your IIS logs as well, not just the event viewer
     
  9. mctwin2kman

    mctwin2kman 2[H]4U

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  10. Gambit

    Gambit Gawd

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    Yes, I did see that. I wasn't sure if the page only said "Unspecified error <file path>" or if it had *any* other information. Having said that, what prompted you to look up the files:

    - owaauth.dll
    - logon.asp
    - owalogon.asp

    ?
     
  11. PTNL

    PTNL [H]ardness Supreme

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    The Url for the Outlook Web Access is from this format:
    Code:
    http://exchange.MyDomain.com/ExchWeb/bin/auth/owalogon.asp
    Looking at the ASP code, it does a user country code check, then does a Server.Transfer to the country folder and the containing logon.asp:
    Code:
    http://exchange.MyDomain.com/ExchWeb/bin/auth/usa/logon.asp
    After attempting to authentice (regardless of whether the user exists, was valid, etc.), the user is redirected to this Url:
    Code:
    http://exchange.MyDomain.com/exchweb/bin/auth/owaauth.dll
     
  12. JayAre

    JayAre Limp Gawd

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  13. PTNL

    PTNL [H]ardness Supreme

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    To follow-up with everyone that helped on this ...

    First of all, thank you!

    I regenerated the IIS folders, but that alone did not solve the problem. It may have been still part of the solution, but there were some Exchange and IIS configuration changes necessary still. The areas that needed changing were as follows:

    1 - Set the Exchange server to allow Forms Based Authentication from the Exchange System Manager
    2 - Add a registry DWORD entry called "AllowRetailHTTPAuth", and set it to "1"
    3 - Set an ASP page from a subdomain (called owa.MyDomain.com), and have it redirect users to the nested "owalogon.asp" page
    4 - Various IIS restarts

    Also, I found a VERY useful book on Exchange 2003 at Borders -- "Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Advanced Administration" by Jim McBee (Sybex books). The chapter on OWA alone was incredible, offering several real world scenarios (single server, FE/BE, etc.), and many hidden "gotchas". If the rest of the chapters are half as good as the one on OWA, then this book is worth its weight in gold.

    Again, thanks to all that helped. Your suggestions definitely gave me additional starting points in my searches for a solution.