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Exchange 2013 - Forms based authentication

Posted on 2015-02-16
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Last Modified: 2015-03-05
Hello!

We have a small DAG with 3 member servers and one witness servers. Some time ago our forms-based authentication stopped working and we had to move back to basic authentication to allow for OWA to work. This works fine, but we would like to get the "pretty login page" back online.

We had a case open with Microsoft, requesting numerous traces/logs but so far we had no luck figuring out the issue. We have been trying different IIS settings as well. The only thing that was done at some point before the issue started was new certificates were applied to our servers.

We did also apply a CU7, which I assume re-installs the whole Exchange pretty much, but it did not clear the issue.

What we are seeing while the forms-based authentication enabled is the inability to log in. Putting the credentials in and hitting the Enter key re-loads the page and we are back to the login screen. Putting incorrect credentials works - the error stating that username/password is incorrect is properly generated.    


Thanks!
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Question by:rr2r
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 40612671
Seen this a couple of times. Sometimes entering a wrong password allows you to enter the correct one and get logged in.

Which authentication method are you using within FBA? Have you tried changing them at all?
Anything odd about the usernames? I seem to have the most problems when there are odd characters involved. Had one site that gave huge grief because the login was an employee number "#1234" - Exchange did not like that one bit.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:rr2r
ID: 40612773
We are pretty sure that it does not work for anyone - most of our facility are production folks who use OWA and we had numerous users report this behavior. We have been changing the authentication methods around, yes. Right now the one we are using is "basic". The default before was "forms based authentication".  Here is what works:

what-works.JPG
...and here is what we would like to work (but currently does not):

what-we-want.JPG
Perhaps we are not setting this up properly, in case one authentication method requires or collides with another... ?
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Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 40612978
That wasn't what I was expecting.
When you enable FBA you three authentication options - domain/username, UPN or username only (with a default domain specified). Have you tried all three options.

Have you reset the virtual directories at all? If not, I would reset them back to the default.
Then test again without making any changes to the configuration.
If that then works, switch to FBA with domain\username as the first option. Remember to iisreset after making the change.

Unusual for a problem like this to continue after installation of the Cumulative Update.

If it still fails, I would have to start looking at IIS being the possible cause.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:rr2r
ID: 40613098
Yes, the virtual directory was recreated as one of the steps with went over with MS. They also collected IIS logs as well. Waiting now for their 2nd level support to make contact with us...
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Author Comment

by:rr2r
ID: 40615855
@all

I will not be able to work on this till Monday.... Thanks!
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Accepted Solution

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rr2r earned 0 total points
ID: 40637288
The final resolution, which we worked toward with Microsoft was to actually acquire a new certificate and apply that. Something was off with the one that we received the first time OR it was not applied properly the first time. According to Microsoft the SSL "handshake" was not working properly and so the secure connection was not being opened after the login info was provided by the user.
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Author Closing Comment

by:rr2r
ID: 40646474
Solution was provided outside of these forums.
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