OMA error - directory \\.\BackIOfficeStorage\ mydomain.com Does not exist

I can not get OMA to work at all. We have a 5 node Exchange 2003 cluster (4 active 1 passive) SP2 running on Windows 2003 SP1. I brought up a FE server with identical install. OWA works beautifully (after punching several holes in the inside firewall).
The error I keep getting is:
Directory '\\.\BackOfficeStorage\mydomain.gov' does not exist. Failed to start monitoring file changes.
Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

Exception Details: System.Web.HttpException: Directory '\\.\BackOfficeStorage\mydomain.gov'does not exist. Failed to start monitoring file changes.

Source Error:

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.  

Stack Trace:


[HttpException (0x80070003): Directory '\\.\BackOfficeStorage\mydomain.gov' does not exist. Failed to start monitoring file changes.]
   System.Web.FileChangesMonitor.FindDirectoryMonitor(String dir, Boolean addIfNotFound, Boolean throwOnError) +527
   System.Web.FileChangesMonitor.StartMonitoringPath(String alias, FileChangeEventHandler callback) +477
   System.Web.Caching.CacheDependency.Init(Boolean isPublic, Boolean isSensitive, String[] filenamesArg, String[] cachekeysArg, CacheDependency dependency, DateTime utcStart) +1535
   System.Web.Caching.CacheDependency..ctor(Boolean isSensitive, String[] filenames, DateTime utcStart) +50
   System.Web.Configuration.HttpConfigurationSystem.GetCacheDependencies(Hashtable cachedeps, DateTime utcStart) +151
   System.Web.Configuration.HttpConfigurationSystem.ComposeConfig(String reqPath, IHttpMapPath configmap) +760
   System.Web.HttpContext.GetCompleteConfigRecord(String reqpath, IHttpMapPath configmap) +434
   System.Web.HttpContext.GetCompleteConfig() +48
   System.Web.HttpContext.GetConfig(String name) +195
   System.Web.CustomErrors.GetSettings(HttpContext context, Boolean canThrow) +20
   System.Web.HttpResponse.ReportRuntimeError(Exception e, Boolean canThrow) +40
   System.Web.HttpRuntime.FinishRequest(HttpWorkerRequest wr, HttpContext context, Exception e) +480

Yes I do have SSL enabled on the Exchange virtual directory in IIS on the FE along with FBA. Running without either is NOT an option.
How do I get past this? I have read  through all available answers on this and other sites and there never really seems to be a solution. Any help is greatly appreciated

 
royceebSr Systems EngineerAsked:
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
There is a problem with running SSL and FBA and OMA.  This happens as OMA and Exchange Active Sync make direct calls to the back end /exchange directory for logons.

Here is a few options for work arounds.  I have typically used option 3
http://www.petri.co.il/problems_with_forms_based_authentication_and_ssl_in_activesync.htm
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
You can leave FBA and SSL as is after the work around.
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royceebSr Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Matthew,
thanks for the quick response. I was about to run out of hair from pulling it out.
So that I understand this correctly, I am to do this on the front end server only correct? Will here be a need to create additional virual directories on the back end servers?
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
I believe doing this on the front end server should be sufficient.  As long as OWA works between the front end and backend you should be fine.  

I am going to research that a bit more, but I think you should be fine.
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royceebSr Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Matthew,
In the mean time I went ahead and did the steps on the front end server and I am still getting the same results when I try to access OMA locally on the FE server.
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
Can you access OMA on the back-end server?  If you try and log in with an account that is hosted on that backend server does it work?
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royceebSr Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Yes we can do OMA directly to the back end servers without any problems. I can do it from the main network and from the FE server in the perimeter network.

We just can't get past that directory not found error. It is the primary domain that it is referring to.
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
So what is the config that is giving the errors, from what PC or network?  Is this only happening when trying from outside your network?
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
Are you requiring SSL on the backends /exchange directory?  I am thinking you are not since it works internally.  On the FE server, the new virtual directory that you made from the article, you didnt require SSL on that did you?

Here is the MS equivilant to the article above.
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=817379 
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royceebSr Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Ok lst's see if I can answer these in order.
The full blown error comes when trying OMA from a browser on the FE server itself.
When I try it either externally or from an internal segment, I don't get the full error content because I have not modified the web config file to show the error beyond the FE server.

As to SSL - no it is not running on the back end servers.
The new VD I did not enable SSL. I followed the directions in the earlier article.

What did I miss?
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
Did you restart issadmin?
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royceebSr Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
several times along with System Attendant
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
What is the path for the oma virtual directory inside of IIS:

should be something similar to D:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\OMA\Browse
You can also check inside of ESM under servers, protocols, http, virtual server, oma and see what the exchange path is.  Should be your domianname (default).
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royceebSr Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Everything is as you stated except for difference in drive letter.
Domain name is correct for OMA exchange path.

Are we running out of options?


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MATTHEW_LCommented:
You could try turning off the SSL to see if that is a potential issue.  It would be nice to at least find out the cause.

Maybe someone else has a good idea, because I am running out, one of these usually resolves these OMA issues.
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royceebSr Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Matthew,
I appreciate all your efforts. I'm sorry we're the one case that does not solve easily.

Well this is getting sad. Even with SSL not required and turning off FBA, I still get the same error,
\\.\BackOfficeStorage\mydomain.gov does not exist.
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
Unless someone else has some good ideas Microsoft PSS would be a good idea to contact if you have a support contract.
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royceebSr Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
I wish we had PSS, I hate dealing with the off shore support. The languge barrier drives me nuts, especially the Exchange team. I have usually solved my issues before they come up with a solution.
Hopefully someone will come on this thread with something.

Thanks again.
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SembeeCommented:
I have seen this before with FE/BE scenarios.
It is caused by an authentication mismatch.

The usual problem is on the backend.

Ensure that you do NOT have SSL installed, nor have forms based authentication enabled. That should also mean that require SSL is not enabled anywhere on the backend server. Check each of the folders.
On the /exchange virtual directory ensure that both basic and integrated authentication is enabled.

You shouldn't need to do any of the workarounds for co-existing FBA/SSL as you are using a fe/be scenario. If you look at MS KB 817379 you will find that their preferred work around is a fe/be.

If it continues to be a problem, then I would look at an OWA folder reset, probably on a backend server. Once reset you shouldn't touch OWA on the backend servers at all, as the only thing accessing them is the frontend.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=883380

Simon.
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royceebSr Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
Simon,
I checked all the authentication methods and they are as you described.
SSL is not enabled on the back end nor is FBA.

I am concerned about doing the OWA folder reset on the back end as it is a 5 node cluster. That will have to wait until our next maintenance window which will be next month. I can not arbitrarily recycle the SA outside of that window unless it is an absolute emergency (Government agency you know).
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royceebSr Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
I aslo forgot to mention that I can do OMA directly to the backend servers from the inside segments and even from the FE server. So I know it is not a communications issue or firewall issue. It is just isolated to the FE server not finding the "directory"
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
so you can do OMA when directly logged on to the fe but not if you try from a different pc throught the fe?
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royceebSr Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
sorry if I confused you.
I can do OMA to the back end servers from the FE server. I can do it from my workstation  directly to the back end servers.
I can NOT do it from the FE server to the FE server.
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
Ah, ok.  Cleared up.  Sorry.
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royceebSr Systems EngineerAuthor Commented:
I wanted to share what tured out to be the solution to the problem.
I did finally open a support call to MS and painfully sat on hold for almost 2 hours before giving up and sending an e-mail in response to the acknowledgement of my case.
Now that I got the MS bashing done.
Despite all the documentation and lessons in setting up a front end server, they mention that the Information store service is not required to be running since it has no stores that is going to mount.
After working with the tech that strongly suggested focusing on Active-Sync (since OMA goes away in 2007) we circled back to OMA since management here really wants that as an option for now.

It turns out that what we had to do was in fact start the Information Store service, create and mount both a public and private store. Suddenly OMA works on the FE server and every where else.
Then we dismounted the stores but left the service running. Still OMA is working. The tech in the end mentions the IS service needs to run to translate the calls to the back end servers. I have not tried stopping the service yet, but if I do decide to try I will let everyone know.

Matthew and Sembee thanks for your efforts. You should still get the points
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MATTHEW_LCommented:
Glad you got it resolved.
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