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OWA HTTP 404 Error on a Front End Server

Posted on 2007-03-22
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Last Modified: 2008-08-19
I am having a problem with Outlook Web Access.  I have a user account that when he logs in, he gets a web page with two frames that both have HTTP 404 Errors.  The really odd thing is...I have no issues with other user accounts (that I am aware of).  This error occurs when i try to access OWA via my front end server.

The even odder thing is that if I access the account directly from the backend server...OWA seems to work just fine.

I have tried restarting IIS and the mailstore...no luck.

What would cause a user account to not be accessible via OWA from the front end server but work fine from the back end server???
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Question by:kfrankovich
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by:MATTHEW_L
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try going to http://frontendserver/exchange/user

Does that give the same 404?
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by:MATTHEW_L
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Also, is this user have the same email address such as @domain.com as all your other users?
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by:kfrankovich
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MATTHEW,

Thank you for the reply.  Let me clarify a couple of things:

1.  The front end server is actually a load balanced cluster...so I cannot really test that URL because I always get redirected.  However, if I do put the user name in the original URL and then log in...I still get a 404 Error.

2.  The user has the exact same address as all other users.  We have a single AD Domain and Forest.  Nothing fancy about it.

3.  I believe at one point that OWA worked for this user.  I will clarify that.  I am not certain when this isse started.

4.  There are no other users experiencing this issue that I am aware of.

5.  I can log in to this users account using OWA if I connect directly to the back-end server.

Everything is running Exchange 2003 SP2 on Win2k3 R2.  The front end is an NLB Cluster and the back end is a MS Cluster.

Thank you for any further suggestions.
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by:MATTHEW_L
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You may try in Exchange features disable OWA and then re-enable.  Otherwise if it is just with this user, you may try use exmerge to exmerge their mailbox out, then delete their mailbox and re-create.
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by:kfrankovich
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MATTHEW,

I have tried the enable/disable thing.  When I disable and try and log in...I get an access denied error.  So I know that takes.

I already tried to delete the mailbox/email addresses and recreate them...that did not work.

Any further suggestions?  I don't want to delete the entire user account and recreate it...but unless I can figure out what is going on I am not sure I have any other options!!!

Do you have anything else I could check?

Thanks!
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by:MATTHEW_L
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Here is a MS KB, down toward the bottom are some things to check for 404 errors.  
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2000/support/trowae2k.mspx

I would have really though that the user would have had a different smtp domain for email as this will cause that problem.

You could also try to reset your Exchange virtual directories and see if that changes anything.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/883380
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by:kfrankovich
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MATTHEW,

I have double and triple checked that user account...it is valid on our domain and I can send email to it.  I looked up the exchange virtual directory article and that seems over the top for something like this.  I don't the problem lies there.  If it does...I need to understand why it only affects that one account.

Thank you for all your help so far.
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by:MATTHEW_L
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I would probably agree.  Since it is the one user account I would just re-create it.
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by:kfrankovich
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MATTHEW,

We just found out that it is more than one user account.

Also...it appears that any new accounts I create are also affected by this problem.

The only thing that has changed was that we updated our recipient policies...but we did not change the primary ADDRESS.

Can you suggest any other possible reasons/solutions?

Thank you.
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by:kfrankovich
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I solved the problem.  It turns out the Exchange System Attendant was disabled.  This worked fine with existing accounts..but apparently it needs to be on for certain updates to happen.  I read somewhere that this service wasn't necessary for the web front end to function...so it was disabled.  However it appears that in a dynamic environment it does need to be on.  I would be curious what the System Attendant does on a front end server that would cause the the issue I was seeing to occur?  I'd like to offer the 250 points to someone who can explain this in detail.

Thank you for all your help.
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MATTHEW_L earned 250 total points
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The system attendant service isn't required on Front End servers all the time.  It is mainly required when making changes to the system that it must be running.  Here is an article that describes some of this process about the System Attendant on a Front End Server.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/daeb37de-43f5-4403-aa29-237d0d9672b2.aspx
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