RPC over HTTP not working on Small Business Server 2003

Posted on 2008-11-19
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi guys,

We have been battling a recent Exchange deployment trying to get RPC over HTTP to work.  

Client-side, I am not able to establish a connection to the Exchange server via RPC-HTTP.  I have installed the certificate, configured the exchange account to point to "", configured the HTTP proxy to point to the same domain, set up mutual SSL authentication (, enabled basic authentication.  When I run "outlook /rpcdiag", it prompts for login credentials twice, tries to establish a connection, and then displays an error that "the connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable."

I have triple-checked that the server is configured correctly and I've run the CEICW wizard multiple times.  The firewall is allowing ports 80 & 443 to pass to the SBS box.  OWA works great.

The server is running Small Business Server 2003, SP2.

The workstation is Windows XP Pro, SP1  with Office 2003, SP3.

I have read countless articles for configuring RPC-HTTP including TechNet articles and troubleshooting steps.  Still, I am unable to find the issue.  I would really appreciate a few tips or maybe some things I've overlooked.

Question by:jtgerdes
    LVL 63

    Expert Comment

    Anything in the event logs or IIS logs on the server/ Client

    I hope this helps !
    LVL 35

    Assisted Solution

    by:Jian An Lim
    my suggestion is to setup Remote workplace

    go through your CEICW wizard again
    make sure you tick remote workplace and outlook via the internet

    goto https://<SBSserver>/remote and there are instruction there how to do it .

    make sure you save your certificate to your PC (if you open your IE, you must not get a certificate error)
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    Are you using a trusted certificate or the home grown SBS cert? Best of my knowledge you need a trusted cert to configure RPC over HTTP on SBS.

    LVL 3

    Assisted Solution

    the self cert setup by the ceicw works fine and although it generates a warning in ie to the effect its not a truely trusted source it causes no problems to do so. as i have many sbs  servers configured for exactly this scenario.

    ensure the certificate is saved into the "trusted root certificate " store manually when you save it from within IE and that it  matches the domain name (it shouldnt let you save the certificate if its not)

    as per limjianan the remote web workplace link for rpc configuration instructions is actually generated from your configuration so it would show the wrong instructions if you have mis configured it anywhere.

    LVL 9

    Expert Comment


    I am refering specifically to RPC over http not working with the home growen certificate.


    Author Comment

    I am using the certificate that the server generated when I ran the CEICW wizard.  The domain name on the certificate does match the domain name I'm trying to access.  I have already installed it manually in the trusted root certificates.

    When I try to view the RWW, I get an error that "Directory listing denied."  I can access the main "company" website on the SBS.

    Nothing in particular in the event viewer....

    Accepted Solution

    Hi all.

    I have found a solution to the issue!  I've changed so many settings and tried so many things over the last 4 days that I'm surprised it ended up configured correctly .... except for one small thing on the client side.  I had the exchange server address as "," not the INTERNAL NetBIOS name of the server.  Once I changed the Exchange server address to the internal address and set the RPC proxy address to the "," I was able to connect successfully.

    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    Glad your sorted.


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