Exchange 2003 OWA Issue

Posted on 2006-10-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-14

We have a single Exch2k3 FE server and two Exch2k3 BE servers.  The second BE server was just added today.  We moved 2 mailboxes over and we're now experiencing a weird issue with OWA for these users.

They can hit our FE server but once the FE talks to AD to find out what BE server they're on then sets up the communicaton, the OWA page has weird graphics.  They're very large and you see the "Loading...." sit in the middle.  It's unusuable and was wondering if anyone has seen this before?  It's obvioulsy isolated to the new BE server because everyone else on the other BE server can hit the FE and view OWA fine.

Question by:msadexchman
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 17820849
I have seen it.  Generally it is when someone has changed the permissions, in IIS, on the BE or FE server.  The easiest way to reset these is to
on the BE, check the FE box to make it an FE server, select Apply and OK, uncheck it to make it a BE server.
on the FE, uncheck the FE box to make it a BE server, select Apply and OK, check the FE box to make it an FE server.

This is a pretty easy way to reset the permissions on the folders.  I think it is the exchweb/bin folder that gets messed up.

Expert Comment

ID: 17821886
It also might be a weird caching issue try to remove your temporary IE cache on those clients.

Accepted Solution

mmudry earned 200 total points
ID: 17822457
I have had this issue quite a few times.  And its an easy fix.

Go to Program Files\Exchsrvr\exchweb on both servers and compare the folder versions in each.  For instance you should see the following:

Server A
6.5.7226.0 folder
6.5.6944.0 folder

Server B
6.5.6944.0 folder

If that is the case just copy the folder 6.5.7226.0 or the folder with the newest version number and its entire contents to the same location on Server B.

*Note you may have more than just two folders.  You only need to copy the newest folder to each additional exchange server.

Hope this helps!
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Expert Comment

ID: 17823110

Your solution will work. But the right way to fix the issue is to identify the Exchange hotfixes that are missing in the FE but present in the new BE and install them on the FE.

LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 17824597
Agreed with vasanth...
The different folkders are indicative of the Service Pack Level.  See a listing of the Exchange version and SP level below.

Users receive a "Loading" message when they use OWA to access their mailbox after you apply a hotfix or a service pack to Exchange Server 2003
Note - The KB provides information regarding what mmudry and vasanthgnb have mentioned.

The FE and BE servers should have the same Service Pack level and HotFix level.  Essentially the FE servers have to have the same or newer patches than the BE servers.  That is one of the many reasons why the FE servers should have their SP level updated first.

Exchange 2003 and SP level...
Exchange 2003 6.5.6944 or 6.5.6944.0
Exchange 2003 Post Release Patch 6.5.6980.3
Exchange 2003 SP1 6.5.7226 or 6.5.7226.0
Exchange 2003 SP2 6.5.7638 or 6.5.7638.2


Author Comment

ID: 17827318
This was exactly it!  The new backend server we just introduced never had SP1 installed.  We put Exch2k3 then SP2 while the FE servers had SP1 then SP2.  I found the KB article which spoke about checking the versions in \exchsrvr\exweb folder and noticed that the BE server in question had a folder which the FE's didnt.  I simply copy/pasted that source folder to the two FE's and bingo.


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