Wednesday, February 1, 2012

SBS 2011 Remote Web Workplace "Login attempt failed" bug

Spent a few hours of my life that I never should have, figuring out this little gem. I had a freshly installed SBS 2011 server, with exchange mailboxes migrated and most of the migration wizard completed, when suddenly I noticed I could no longer use the remote web workplace to remote control any of my workstations or servers from the outside. I would get the login credentials box correctly identifying the server i was connecting to, but after entering my username and password it would come back indicating "The logon attempt failed." It worked just fine in tests earlier on, so something in the setup and migration wizard must have incorrectly tweaked something.

Turns out, it was an IIS configuration issue that appeared most likely after running the Network Preparation / Outlook Anywhere wizards. I opened IIS, expanded the default website, and inspected the authentication options for RPC and RPC with cert... both had only 'basic authentication' checked, which I was fairly certain would not work with Remote Desktop web access services. Enabling 'Windows Authentication' and performing an iisreset did the trick... but after a few minutes, it got set back to disabled! An event in the logs from "MSExchange RPC Over HTTP Autoconfig" source indicated that the settings for Outlook Anywhere had been updated, setting it back to Basic only!

The fix that eventually worked (and stuck) was to make the following change in the Exchange Management Shell:


Get-OutlookAnywhere | Set-OutlookAnywhere –IISAuthenticationMethods: Basic, ntlm


After making that change, it may not show up in IIS right away... wait a few minutes, and that same Autoconfig service will update IIS for you, this time adding both Basic and Windows authentication. Voila!

28 comments:

  1. Thank you very much, you solved a nasty problem I had on a SBS 2011 machine.

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  2. Nice one.

    I work in the same sort of role, based in a different country. The EMS command didn't work for me, but it did prompt me to examine the authentication methods.

    Thanks a lot.

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  3. "Spent a few hours of my life that I never should have, figuring out this little gem" Wow, that's for sure!

    All I can say is Aaaargh! and thank you for this post, it has save me from total loss of sanity. I have experienced quite a few gems myself during an SBS 2K3 to 2K11 migration.

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  4. Unbelievable how many people including myself have lost dozens of hours on this. I have rebuilt a server a server from scratch until I found this post. Thanks a million. Shame on you Microsoft. Why isnt this on their KB anywhere, or resolved with a patch?

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  5. Thank you sooo much... This one had me going in circles until I found your post. Life saver!@

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  6. Amazing - thank you sir - worked for me :)

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  7. I have the exact same issue but this fix didn't solve it. I suspect a security update or something needs to be applied and the problem will go away. When I did the fix you suggested it stuck, but the problem didn't go away. Which is odd.

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  8. I just worked for me.

    Thank you.

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  9. just wanted to say thanks, after tearing my hair out while setting up outlook anywhere, i must have changed this setting without realising

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    1. Glad it helped! This is actually caused by running the outlook anywhere wizard... not sure if this was ever fixed or not... but by the continued flood of comments here I guess not!

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  10. Hey this is awesome, thank you so much.

    Honestly I think this happens if people (myself included) deviate from the SBS wizards. You are a lifesaver?

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  11. Thanks a lot, still helping people to this day!

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  12. Legend Andrew! Thanks for the help.

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  13. Thanks for this topic, shame i also wasted several hours before finding this solution!

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  14. Thanks for the fix!

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  15. Hi Andrew. Just and FYI, this issue is documented for SBS 2008 on the SBS Blog site, http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2009/06/19/common-remote-web-workplace-rww-connect-to-a-computer-issues-in-sbs-2008.aspx

    I like your blog, lots of great stuff on here. Keep up the good work. If you wish to view mine (mostly SBS/Exchange deep technical issues) it is at http://blog.korteksolutions.com

    Lyle Epstein

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  16. worked for me. Thanks!!

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  17. Thx man, solved my problem. Indeed I enabled Outlook Anywhere a few days ago and users ran in to this problem.

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  18. Worked for me too - thanks!

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  19. worked for me. did the non-commandline version.

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  20. Replies
    1. P.S. how do we do non-command line version? I couldn't find it so I just did it on command line. Thanks again!!!

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