Monday, October 26, 2009

Get outlook web access OWA working without reboot on II6 Exchange 2003

The system service with a process id of 4 on 2003 servers listens on port 80 and 443. I checked this with another 2003 exchange email server to be close to sure of that being correct. It too has the system service, not an IIS service, with process id of 4 listening on 80 and 443.

I changed the port the default web site uses on the problem outlook web acess (OWA) web server to 81, restarted the services. Still couldn't connect with localserver:81 but now telnetting to port 80 worked. Just get a blank line is displayed when telnetting to port 80 (II6) unlike smtp that sends some text. Before the change to 81 for the default web site, the error returned by telnetting to port 80 was "connection refused". Changed the IIS default web site back to 80 saved, restarted the IIS service again and the default page loads and the OWA page also loads. As of now, no reboot of the server is required. Hope the fix holds.

Could try this solution on other servers that have IIS not responding and of course leads to OWA not working. Don't know if the same solution applies to 2008 server with exchange 2007 or 2003 server with exchange 2007 but some varient of the steps might just do the same.

This exchange 2003 server's access via port 80 (default web browser port) was working fine then suddenly IIS and OWA stopped working. I've seen this all too often over the years and ussually meant the server had to be rebooted.

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