Outlook Web Access users get "The Local Security Authority cannot be contacted" if they mistype password
Posted on 2006-07-03
I've got a strange situation here with Outlook Web Access on a new Exchange server I've just set up. When a user logs in to Outlook Web Access with their correct username and password, they're allowed into their email. If they mistype their username, they're prompted again to enter the correct username. However, if they get their username correct by mistype their password, the get stuck with a "The Local Security Authority cannot be contacted" page. At this point the browser (any browser) considers the log in successful and thinks the user is logged into the site so the user cannot retry their password without closing all browser windows and exitting the browser. So somehow, the IIS server is returning an authentication succeeded message to the browser though the authentication is incorrect, and the OWA app won't load.
This is a brand new Exchange 2003 Enterprise Edition (SP2) server running on Windows 2003 Standard R2. It's a standalone Exchange server so there are not separate front end and back end servers. This is the only other server in the domain (which is also new) besides the domain controller itself. I also have another domain in the same forest running Exchange in a similar configuration (though it's older) and it does not have this problem.
While I wish I could just advise my users to be careful entering passwords, it is irritating for them when they do make a mistake because they have to close all of their browser windows. Additionally, I am afraid this may mean there is another configuration issue causing this that might manifest itself in other, more terrible ways in the future. However, there are no symptoms of problems whether the users connect to the Exchange server with Outlook (over regular Exchange protocol or RPC over HTTPS). The only other symptom I can think might be related is that Internet Explorers cannot use the password changing form (IISADMPWD) to change their passwords, but Firefox users can. IE users get an "Object Required" error. I don't know if this is related but it is curious.