Fixing OWA / Recreating Exchange 2003 Virtual Directories

March 27, 2008

The other day, one of they guys I work with at the office was troubleshooting a smart phone issue with Exchange 2003 at a client and asked me for some help.  Well, I setup the server initially to be able to do syncing with smart phones and PDA’s so natrually, I should be able to troubleshoot it.  Nope…  This one was a bear.  The IIS Admin service would shut off by itself (no errors in the event log) as well as the World Wide Web service.  Very strange.  Then finally, I noticed that the Microsoft Exchange Routing Engine service was off as well, so I tried starting it….didn’t work because one of its dependencies is IIS Admin, so I tried starting IIS Admin and I finally got an error.  Something about the metabase.bin file being currupt.  So I tried searching for this file….(IT DOESN’T EXIST).  Metabase.xml does though so I went with that one.  Turns out it became corrupt somehow and I remembered a post on Daniel Petri’s website on how to fix it.  That site is here.  The following is a quick guide for fixing the solution (copied from Daniel Petri’s webisite):

  1. Download and install the IIS6 Resource Kit from Microsoft here.
  2. Make a backup of the web site configuration with IIS Manager.
  3. Delete the Exchange Virtual Directories (Exadmin, Exchange, Exchweb,  Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync, OMA, and Public) There are 6 total.
  4. Open “Metabase Explorer” from the IIS6 Resource Kit and delete the DS2MB key.
  5. Restart Microsoft Echange System Attendant to recreate the virtual directories.
  6. Reset permissions on the ExchWeb virtual directory in IIS Manager.  Ensure that Anonymous and Integrated authentication are checked.  Click OK to accept, and Ok on any dialog boxes that pop up.
  7. Remote anonymous authentication from the ExchWeb virtual directory (I know that sounds funny to do after you just check it but trust me)

Everything at this point is 100% default as if you just installed Exchange 2003 for the first time.  This took care of the Mobile Access issues that were happening before and somehow sped up Outlook Web Access.  ??  Well, I hope this helps in some fashion, I know for me, It’ll help me remember how to find Daniel Petri’s website for this particular issue which brings me to another issue.  I use Daniel Petri’s website 2-3 times a month or more because the content on his pages are awesome.  I’ve been going to there for a few years now and it never fails to somehow point me in the right direction.  Thank you Daniel Petri.  Here’s a link to his website.

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