Outlook Web Access (OWA) displays "Loading....." when opening up.




We have been setting up a front end (FE) server to our Exchange environment.
Outlook web access appears to be giving us an issue.

* BE = Exchange 2003 Server (SP1) / Windows 2003 SP1
* FE = Exchange 2003 Server (SP1) / Windows 2003 SP1
* Forms Authentication is enable on the FE http virtual server, there is no
* Both servers are on the same network segment as suggested by Microsoft.
* FE/BE setup was based on material from Microsoft's best practices white


When the clients logs into OWA (https://owa/exchange) the Outlook Web Access
login screen appears.

The user logs in and when the users mail box is being loaded, it halts with
"Loading...." the mailbox only partially appears.

* When logging in under basic the user can see emails, but cannot read any
emails, the client receives a java script error:

Error: object expected

Research Conducted:

I have spent several days going through the forums and I have come across
this KB article http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=831464 however since I
already have Windows 2003 SP1 I cannot apply this hot fix.

The version on my server for w3core.dll is 6.0.3790.1830, the version in the
hot fix is 6.0.3790.99, so mine is newer.

I attempted a re-install of Windows 2003 SP1, but that did not correct the

Reviewing the event logs show nothing from which I can gain a deeper
understanding of this issue.


My conclusions are one of two items:

1. W3core.dll is still the root cause

2. The FE/BE setup is causing IIS on the FE server to improperly load the
users mailbox. However I have no way of confirming this because I do not
have the tools to see what is going on between the communication between the
FE and BE.

Note: The FE server was being added to an Exchange setup where the current
BE was handling everything (i.e. POP, SMTP, OWA, etc). So I can still
connect to the BE server's OWA http virtual server and load the users mailbox
without any issues. It is only when trying to load the users mailbox from
the FE server that the issue exists.

Any help in this matter would be greatly appreaciated!




After a few more hours of analyzing the front end server and back end server,
I found that the issue had to do with patches.

Specifically on the BE server, the Microsoft KB patch
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=888619 was installed, but this same patch
was not installed on the new front end (FE) server. I installed this patch
and I am now able to login and view the clients mailbox correctly.

What helped me get to this conclusion was the following methodology:

1. At first I felt that this was a permissions issue and I reviewed KB
article http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=280823

2. I worked through the steps and ensured that permissions on the virtual
folders were corrected on both ends, plus I went back through the Microsoft
white paper on a FE/BE strategy.

3. I then analyzed the differences between the two systems at the patch
level and that is when I found that the FE was missing the KB888619 patch.

Looking into the fix iteself I am unsure if indeed what the patch was
suppose tofix was the direct cause of the problem or if it was simply the
fact that the BE and FE were not matching with respect to patches.

I hope this helps anyone else out there that runs in this issue.

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