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HTTP/1.1 503 Service Unavailable Outlook Web Access

SimpsonIS asked
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have setup an Exchange cluster and am running OWA with SSL enabled.  Everything was running fine and I have set up almost 100 users on this new email system.

Whenever some users try to connect to OWA via https://server/exchange they are prompted for the certificate and then asked for their user name and password.  When the name and password are entered correctly they are forwarded to the HTTP/1.1 503 Service Unavailable page.  If they click refresh OWA comes up as it should.  

I've searched for solutions and I could only find one that says to uncheck "Enable anonymous access" for the ExchWeb in IIS.  This appears to have worked but then users would get to the OWA main screen and the email list would freeze on "Loading" or would finally error with

error line: 1038
invalid procedure call or argument

This was only in Internet Explorer, Firefox worked fine.

Please HELP, the boss is not happy :(

Watch Question

Please... Which version of Exchange Enterprise are you using?? Service pack levels/builds, other basic information?

Are you using Form-based authentication for HTTPS, if Exchange 2003?

<< Everything was running fine >>
Then what changed?

Any changes to IIS websites or virtual directories?
Any changes to Recipient Policies?
One thing to try on this is rebuilding the recipient update services.
Go into system manager, then recipients, then recipient update services. Right click on eahc service and go t rebuild. You may have to wait some time, depending on the size of your list before it starts working.



Version = Exchange Enterprise2003 sp2 version:

Form-based authentication = no

I should take that back, I've never had the problem personally and never saw it on test machines.  The last change made to the system was enabling SSL and setting policies for mailbox size limits, those are the only changes before the problem was recognized.

No changes to websites or virtual directories or recipient policies since initial set up.
Have a look at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;[LN];823159

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Thanks Rant32

I followed your link to the microsoft support.  Which definatley helpe because the problem had worsened, the HTTP Virtual Server failed and would not come back online.  I went ahead though and uninstalled IIS, reinstalled IIS, did a reinstall of Exchange 2k3 and ran the upgrade to sp2 again.  All is working great now.  Following Microsoft's instructions may have been faster though.

Very good point about setting the authentication in system manager.  I think that is what broke it in the first place.

Glad it worked out, have a good one. Thanks.