How do I create Exchange 2003 Certificate and install in ISA 2004 to access OWA through https:

Posted on 2007-11-18
Last Modified: 2008-11-17
I had a problem in exchange 2003 STD Server and I had to format and reinstall Exchange 2003. I deleted the Certificate ( in fact forgot the password for the .pfx certificate). Now I need to create a new certificate on Exchange and than create a rule on ISA 2004 and show this certificate. Please can you guide me the configuration steps as well as creating a new certificate for ISA.
Also I had a firewall client installed in Exchange 2003 Server which we have removed. We think it was the reason for our Exchange Server hanging very often. So do I need to reinstall the firewall client to access the Exchange Server. My ISA server is in DMZ behind PIX firewall. My exchange server is in private network. My Operating system is Windows 2003  STD edition. Please guide the configuration for both ISA and Exchange
Question by:irfan_sj
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Expert Comment

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There are two ways to obtain SSL certificate for OWA and these

1) buy Commercial Certificate for SSL (e.g and install the certificate - this is an expensive way deploying certificate;
2) install CA authority from Windows 2003 Server - inexpensive way of deplyoing certificate because its free.

The latter is the good choice if you cannot afford to pay for the commercial certificate.

Useful links:
How to install CA in Windows 2003 Server:

Requesting a New Server Certificate from an Online CA (IIS 6.0):

Better still,

Note: You will need to open the port 443 (SSL) in your PIX firewall to be able to access OWA from the public network.


Expert Comment

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ISA 2004: Publishing OWA Sites using ISA Firewall Web Publishing Rules (2004) Version 1.1



Author Comment

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Hello, I did as recommended. Installed CA , created certficate. Copied to c:\ drive of ISA server. Cretaed a new OWA publish rule.

Now when I try t access OWA from Internet the page doesn't open. I get a error on the http:  screen as
"Certificate Error".
When I click on it I get the certificate information
The certificate cannot be verified upto a trusted certification authority.
Issued to
issued by dnsa_kh_hq_ex04
valid from 11/19/2007 to 11/18/2009

Accepted Solution

mcse2007 earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
Before you attempt to access OWA from external, try accessing it first in your LAN.

Are you able to make successful connection to OWA from your LAN? If yes, most likely the issue is coming from ISA - triple check your work base from those links mentioned above. Even one or two simple step omitted is enough to prevent you from accessing OWA from public network.

The reason your CA cannot be verified because it came from a private CA authority, your server (unlike verisign certificates are authorised and pre-loaded into microsoft O/S). Install the certificate into the pc accessing the OWA under the trusted root certificate folder so it will be trusted.

Author Comment

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Hi, Thanks for your feedback. I am able to access OWA from LAN. I am now able to access from internet also the only problem being it refects that there is a certificate error. You mentioned iinstall the certificate into the PC accessing the OWA under the trusted root certificate folder. Can you provide link for this.

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