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Exchange 2003 OWA problems caused by iPhones/Droids?

Posted on 2011-02-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have been fighting with random OWA weirdness on my Exchange Server.. I think it's related to a couple of iPhone/Android users..  The service will randomly go offline and I have to iisreset /restart to get it back up.  Then it'll stay up for a while and go down again.  The environment consists of 2 old servers, both running Win2K3; one runs ADS+Exchange, the other is acting as an ADS server only (and it can barely do that, real old hardware).

Here is what I see in the App and System log every time, right as it goes down:

Application Log, I see this error 2-3 times in a row:

Event Type:      Error
Event Source:      Server ActiveSync
Event Category:      None
Event ID:      3005
Date:            2/24/2011
Time:            8:08:38 AM
User:            COSMOS\iPhoneUser
Computer:      SERVER
Description:
Unexpected Exchange mailbox Server error: Server: [server.mydomain.org] User: [iPhoneUser@mydomain.org] HTTP status code: [503]. Verify that the Exchange mailbox Server is working correctly.

Then in the System Log, I see:

Event Type:      Error
Event Source:      SAM
Event Category:      None
Event ID:      12294
Date:            2/24/2011
Time:            8:09:23 AM
User:            COSMOS\IUSR_SERVER
Computer:      SERVER
Description:
The SAM database was unable to lockout the account of IUSR_SERVER due to a resource error, such as a hard disk write failure (the specific error code is in the error data) . Accounts are locked after a certain number of bad passwords are provided so please consider resetting the password of the account mentioned above.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: c00002a5

I have 2 remote iPhone users and also myself using Android... I always see that App log error referencing one of the 3 of us, right as OWA goes offline...  It sure seems to me like the phones are having authentication issues to the server (or something) and causing IIS to barf on itself.

I am in the midst of setting up a new Exchange 2010 server, but it's not going live for another couple months.. and I hate having to babysit OWA and restart IIS all the time... :(  I don't really want to cut off the phone users either... any idea on where I should start troubleshooting?

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Question by:aconway
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Expert Comment

by:KCarney81
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Does the particular iPhone user have a jailbroken phone?  Sometimes that can adversely effect exchange among other things.  Do a factory reset on the offending handset if that is not the case.
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Author Comment

by:aconway
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The iPhones are not jailbroken, to my knowledge.. however, my Droid is rooted and using Touchdown Exchange to connect to OWA.

I guess I could just shut my Droid down for a few days and see if OWA still goes offline..



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Expert Comment

by:KCarney81
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Test it out and see what happens.  Have you rebooted the exchange server since the problem began?
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Author Comment

by:aconway
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Yes, a few times... but not today.. I will reboot it again tonight and keep my Droid offline for a few days and report back...
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by:KCarney81
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Hopefully it works out, good luck
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MegaNuk3 earned 500 total points
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Install this hotfix, which contains many other ActiveSync fixes
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/957191
See if IIS stabilises after that.
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Author Comment

by:aconway
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^^^  that might be very related to my problem.. I DO see Japanese characters in some of the System log errors (in the "data" field).


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Expert Comment

by:MegaNuk3
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Are you making fun of my suggestion ? ;-) seriously if your ActiveSync issue is not resolved after installing that hotfix then I will be quite surprised.
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Author Comment

by:aconway
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lol no I was totally serious.. when I view the event log errors, in the 'data' field, I see:

For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: a5 02 00 c0               ¥..À    

I admit I don't know Japanese, but isn't "¥" a Japanese character?

Definitely applying this hotfiix tonight and will report back tomorrow.


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Expert Comment

by:MegaNuk3
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Ok, fingers crossed
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Author Closing Comment

by:aconway
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Applied the Hotfix and it ran over the weekend with zero problems... this seems to be the exact fix I needed!
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Expert Comment

by:MegaNuk3
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Glad to hear it. You could of left the question open all week though to verify server stability, I don't mind.
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Author Comment

by:aconway
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Well, perhaps I did award points too soon.  I had over a month of 100% stability, then last week, OWA started crashing again with the same errors!  ARG!  It was working great up until I applied this last round of MS patches, then like 2 days later it started going down again.. I am going to try to reapply the hotfix again, but I might just say forget about it because I'm about 3 weeks away from rolling out our new Exchange 2010 server..
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by:MegaNuk3
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Yep, re-apply that hotfix and then if it doesn't work install kb972220
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by:MegaNuk3
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