Home » Archives for January 2009

Month: January 2009

Exchange 2007 OWA stops working with “reason=0” error

Outlook Web Access on Exchange Server 2007 may stop working after an Update Rollup is applied.  Users who connect to OWA may receive a browser script error or a blank page with a URL of:

 

https://mail.yourdomain.com/owa/auth/logon.aspx?url=https://mail.yourdomain.com/owa/&reason=0

This problem can be caused by either of these conditions:

Cause #1

The Update Rollup was applied while the %systemdrive%\ExchangeSetupLogs folder was missing.

Resolution #1

Replace or restore the ExchangeSetupLogs folder and run the Update Rollup again.

Cause #2

The Update Rollup was applied while IIS services were stopped or disabled.  This will be apparent when you inspect the %systemdrive%\ExchangeSetupLogs\UpdateOwa.log file and find entries with the following text:

 

Getting all Exchange 2007 OWA Virtual Directories
There are no Exchange 2007 OWA Virtual Directories.  Aborting.

owapdatelog

Resolution #2

Enable and start the IIS services (which are required for the Client Access Server role) and run the Update Rollup again.

owapdatelog2

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.

Things that should never appear in IE on a server

Microsoft, please make this go away. Your website is slow enough already when I’m managing a remote server without you trying to make it even richer.

silverlight

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.

Exchange 2007 OWA stops working with “reason=0” error

Outlook Web Access on Exchange Server 2007 may stop working after an Update Rollup is applied.  Users who connect to OWA may receive a browser script error or a blank page with a URL of:

 

https://mail.yourdomain.com/owa/auth/logon.aspx?url=https://mail.yourdomain.com/owa/&reason=0

This problem can be caused by either of these conditions:

Cause #1

The Update Rollup was applied while the %systemdrive%ExchangeSetupLogs folder was missing.

Resolution #1

Replace or restore the ExchangeSetupLogs folder and run the Update Rollup again.

Cause #2

The Update Rollup was applied while IIS services were stopped or disabled.  This will be apparent when you inspect the %systemdrive%ExchangeSetupLogsUpdateOwa.log file and find entries with the following text:

 

Getting all Exchange 2007 OWA Virtual Directories
There are no Exchange 2007 OWA Virtual Directories.  Aborting.

owapdatelog

Resolution #2

Enable and start the IIS services (which are required for the Client Access Server role) and run the Update Rollup again.

owapdatelog2

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.

MS08-037 causes port conflicts with DNS and IAS services

You may encounter an issue with servers running both the DNS and IAS services that have installed update MS08-037 (Vulnerabilities in DNS could allow spoofing – 953230).  The IAS services will fail to start and any authentication that relies on IAS (such as VPNs) will fail.

When connecting to the IAS server with the IAS management console the following errors may appear:

An error occurred while trying to make a connection to the datastore

There was an error getting connection to the data store. The handle is invalid.

Event ID 7023 will appear in the System event log of the IAS server.

 

Event Type:    Error
Event Source:    Service Control Manager
Event Category:    None
Event ID:    7023
Date:        28/01/2009
Time:        9:15:17 AM
User:        N/A
Computer:    SERVER
Description:

The Internet Authentication Service service terminated with the following error:

Only one usage of each sock address (protocol/network address/port) is normally permitted.

The cause of the issue is explained in KB956188:

 

You experience issues with UDP-dependent network services after you install DNS Server service security update 953230 (MS08-037)

This issue occurs because the service cannot obtain the port that it requires to function correctly. This issue occurs because of changes to the port allocation in the DNS Service after security update 953230 is installed.

Read full article

The solution is to reserve the IAS ports from the ephemeral port range to ensure that the DNS Server service does not dynamically allocate those ports to itself.  To determine which ports are being used by IAS open the IAS management console, right-click the server name and select Properties.

iasconfig01

Navigate to the Ports tab and note the port numbers in use.

iasconfig02

Follow the instructions in KB812873 (How to reserve a range of ephemeral ports on a computer that is running Windows Server 2003) and enter the correct ports in the registry key like this.

regconfig

The server must be restarted for the change to take effect.  After the restart the DNS Server will no longer allocate the IAS ports to itself, which will allow IAS to start properly.

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.

Exchange 2007 mailbox users with incorrect language settings

Users may report that their Exchange mailbox displays in an incorrect foreign language in Outlook and Outlook Web Access.  This issue may occur when the Languages attribute of the mailbox is incorrectly set.

You can view the language of a mailbox using the Get-Mailbox cmdlet.

To see all mailboxes that do not match the language you are expecting you can use this PowerShell command, where “en-AU” is the expected language in this example:

To set a user mailbox to the language you desire use the Set-Mailbox cmdlet.

Link: How to change the languages for a user mailbox

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.

Exchange 2007 mailbox users with incorrect language settings

Users may report that their Exchange mailbox displays in an incorrect foreign language in Outlook and Outlook Web Access.  This issue may occur when the Languages attribute of the mailbox is incorrectly set.

You can view the language of a mailbox using the Get-Mailbox cmdlet.

To see all mailboxes that do not match the language you are expecting you can use this PowerShell command, where “en-AU” is the expected language in this example:

To set a user mailbox to the language you desire use the Set-Mailbox cmdlet.

Link: How to change the languages for a user mailbox

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.

This one isn’t iSCSI’s fault

I’m sure Netlimiter is a fine application for throttling your Bittorrent client so you can steal music and movies while still leaving enough bandwidth to watch Youtube clips and IM your friends about what music and movies you’re stealing and which Youtube clips you’re LOLing at.

But it does not belong on Exchange servers.  Or any servers for that matter.

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.

Exchange 14 details starting to emerge

Microsoft has been working on the next version of Exchange Server (E14) for a few years TAP customers and their Live@edu program, and are now starting to bring details of the upcoming version to the public.

The first interesting detail is the continued move towards the “software as a service” model (eg Hosted Exchange) to give customers more flexibility in choosing a hosted or on-premises Exchange solution.

 

Today, more than 3.5 million people (students, faculty, staff, alumni) in more than 1,500 schools are using E14 through Exchange Labs, and we are adding more every day.

We haven’t lost the focus on the on-premise product, however – more to the point, deploying the service helps us understand at a very intimate level what exactly the pain points are in Exchange deployment & administration & more[2] that we need to be improving for on-premise Exchange admins. So at the same time, we’re also working with our TAP customers to test and deploy E14 in on-premise and heterogeneous IT environments. Having that first-hand experience running the service is what’s letting us build the most scalable version of Exchange yet.

Read more

The Exchange team has also released this introductory video which takes a brief look at the features of E14 that are deployed in the Live@edu program.

As a side note, someone needs to buy these guys a copy of Camtasia.

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.

Avoiding the Apple iTunes Tax

itunes Apple’s recent announcement that the iTunes Music Store is going DRM-free has enjoyed mixed reactions from the public.  Most people are happy that all iTunes music purchased will be DRM-free from the end of Q1 2009, with about 80% being DRM-free now.  Many people (myself included) bought iTunes music prior to (or despite) the availability of Amazon’s MP3 store that has been DRM-free since launch (although only available to US customers).

Techcrunch notes that going DRM-free may net Apple and the record companies a cool $1.8 billion dollars thanks to the 30c upgrade fee.

 

Anyone who wants to upgrade their entire existing iTunes Library to DRM-free versions of the same songs, can conveniently do so with one click. But it is going to cost you 30 cents a track to do so. That’s right, you have to pay again for songs you already bought. Let’s see, 6 billion songs X 30 cents = $1.8 billion in potential upgrade fees. That’s a music tax, plain and simple. No wonder the music companies finally relented.

Of course there have always been options available for converting iTunes DRM-protected music to DRM-free simply by using the “burn and rip method” or use a program like TuneClone which creates a virtual CD burner for converting music to DRM-free MP3 files.

The advantage of paying the 30c upgrade fee is you receive a higher bit rate version of the song compared to a “burn and rip” conversion.  For people who notice the difference and enjoy high quality audio this may be worth the cost.  Then again these people probably already ripped higher bit rate songs from CDs they purchased, or bought most of their music from Amazon instead.

I own maybe 10 or 20 purchased songs so paying the few dollars to upgrade might just be easier.

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.

Test your Exchange Server remote connectivity

When deploying or troubleshooting Exchange servers I regularly encounter the need to jump onto a host outside of the customer network to perform remote access testing.  Over the years I’ve gotten into the habit of maintaining a host running 24/7 on my home internet connection that I can RDP to and perform these test.  While this has been useful in the past it is also a massive pain (not to mention costs me electricity) to manage this host and keep it running so that it is always available when I need it.

A few days ago I learned about the Microsoft Exchange Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer, and this morning I had cause to give it a try for the first time.

exchangeremoteconntest

The Microsoft Exchange Server Remote Connectivity Analyzer lets you perform useful tests such as ActiveSync, Autodiscover, Outlook Anywhere, and inbound SMTP.  I ran through the ActiveSync test to verify for one of our remote staff that it was working properly.

The test required valid network credentials in order to perform its analysis.  Though the site is owned and run by Microsoft and the credentials are transmitted via SSL if you had any security or privacy concerns you could simply create a temporary account for the tests and then change its password or delete it immediately afterwards.

In summary, a great tool and one that goes a long way to solving the headache of properly testing new Exchange Server deployments at customer networks.

Paul is a Microsoft MVP for Office Servers and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul is a co-author of Office 365 for IT Pros and several other books, and is also a Pluralsight author.