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OWA fine after server reboot, 2 hours later doesn't work.  Repeat.

Posted on 2004-08-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-03-10
I have an NT 4.0 server that i just inherited.  It has Exchange 5.5 and OWA on it.
Peridoically the OWA times out.  If I reboot the server, everything works fine for about 2 to 2.5 hours.
After that, OWA times out again untilt he next reboot.  Can't stop and start IIS either eithout rebooting.
Stops, but won't restart unless reboot occurs.
Question by:jolder
  • 5
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 11792090
Hi Jolder

A few questions so that we can narrow down where the problem lies:

Do you have trouble accessing OWA both from the Internet and inside the network?

In other words, try accessing OWA from a PC that's on the same LAN & subnet as the Exchange server.
This will eliminate any problems with firewalls or routers.

Do the event logs on the server reveal anything?

Is there anything else hosted by IIS on this server?  I've encountered problems in the past where some troublesome web apps that were hosted on a server were causing IIS to lock up.

Can you also confirm that you don't have any trouble accessing the Exchange server using Outlook?

The answers to these should point us in the right direction :-)



Author Comment

ID: 11792519

In answer to the questions...

1.  Yes, when it starts to act flaky, we experience trouble inside and outside.

2.  No, the server logs are not reporting anything at all.  I wish that they would.  It would help.

3.  No, the OWA is the only IIS application on the server.

4.  When the OWA is acting up, we still can access the Exchange email through Outlook without any trouble.


LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 11792806

This sounds more like an IIS problem than an OWA one.

To test this, I suggest that you put a HTML file on the server (in the default Web would be fine) that has nothing at all to do with OWA.

Make sure that you can access this page from a local PC when OWA is working normally.
Wait until you encounter the problem, and then try to access the page.

I suspect that you'll be unable to and will get a timeout.

This would confirm that there's something causing IIS to fail.  You mentioned that the IIS service is still running when you get this timeout?  

I suggest that you check what level of logging is configured on the IIS server, and where the logs are being written to.  Check that there's plenty of disk space in that location.

Also, do you know when this problem started to happen?

Let me know what the above tests reveal, while I ponder about this further.

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Author Comment

ID: 11792905
Okay, I will try that.  It is running now.  I am sure that in a few hours - it won't be.

The disk space on the server is okay.

The problem started about 1 week ago.  Our McAfee GroupShield antivirus was nailed by a virus 2 weeks ago.
(I am not a McAfee fan, but inhereited this setup about 2 months ago).  I had to remove it and reload it to get
it functioning again.  The server does not report any viruses or Spyware - with either McAfee or Symantec.
Have tried Adware and Spy Sweeper as well.  It reports clean.  But I wonder.

Thanks.  I am increasing the points.  I thinkt hat this one is fairly complex.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 11793533
Ah - this is starting to make more sense now.

Was this server itself hit by the virus?
Which virus was it?

I think that this is the cause of the problem.  The solution may be a little tricker?

Was it IIS that you reinstalled?
Did you get any error messages when you did that?


Author Comment

ID: 11793653
Yes.  But it didn't appear to impact anything but the GroupShield.
I only reinstalled the GroupShield.  Nothing else.  

Since then I have performed an on-demand scan of the Exchange mail, ran McAfee as well as Symantec
virus scanning.  The McAfee nevers finds very much.  Symantec found 200 viruses.  All were cleaned.
There could still be something, but I can't find it.  It would make sense however, as the server seems to run
fin for awhile and then the OWA goes South.  Everything else works fine.  Nothing strange shows up in Task Manager.  The registry is clean of the usual suspects.  Spyware programs don't find anything.  

I did not reinstall the IIS.

I suspect that I may need to reinstall OWA.    But you think maybe it is IIS?
LVL 15

Accepted Solution

scampgb earned 1400 total points
ID: 11793900
I think it's worth eliminating IIS from the enquiries :-)

If OWA goes south and then you can't access that simple HTML page, it points to it being IIS.

If you can access the page, then OWA is playing up.

I suggest that you wait and see which one it is, and then do a reinstall.
I'm not sure of the implications of reinstalling IIS on a machine that has OWA installed, so you might end up reinstalling them both anyway.

On a related note, is the server properly patched-up?


Author Comment

ID: 11794018
Grade B?  I am sorry.  Your efforts were worth an A.  This is the first time I have given a grade....
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 11794160
Hi Jolder

I'm glad we got there in the end! :-)

I'd quite have liked a grade A - I'm still new to this myself.

You can ask a moderator to change it, look at http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi18
You need to post a 0 point question in Community Support if you want to do this.


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