How to reset IIS folders on an Exchange 2003 server

Sometimes IIS or IIS permissions go corrupt or just leave the planet for different reasons. When you need to delete and recreate these folders do the following…

  • Back up the IIS Metabase on your Exchange Server:
  • Start IIS Manager.
  • Right click the Default Website, choose All Tasks, and click Save Configuration to a File

Now delete the OWA virtual directories:
 Right click Exadmin and click Delete. When prompted if you are sure click Yes.

Now delete the below listed virtual directories:

    • Exchange
    • ExchWeb
    • Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync
    • OMA
    • Public
  • Close the IIS Manager.
  • Open the command prompt.
  • Change to (driveletter:)\inetpub\adminscripts
  • Type adsutil, and hit Enter.
  • Click Yes when prompted to register CScript as your default host for VBscript and then click OK.
  •  Click start, then run and type services.msc. Hit enter.
  • Right click on Microsoft Exchange System Attendant and choose restart.
  • Note that the MS Information Store and MTA Stacks will also restart. This will cause users to lose temporary connection to Exchange.
  • Make sure that all services (Microsoft System Attendant, Microsoft Information Store, MTA Stacks) have started.
  • I have found that a few times that restarting the System Attendant did not create the virtual directories but a server reboot did.
  • Now start the IIS Manager, right click on the ExchWeb virtual directory, click on properties and click on Directory Security.
  • Click on Authentication and Access Control then click Edit and then verify that Enable anonymous access is checked.
  • Check Integrated Windows Authentication, click OK, click Apply.
  • When the Permission Inheritance box appears, click on select all and then OK.
  • Now open Authentication and Access Control again. Click Edit and uncheck Integrated Windows Authentication.
  • Click OK twice.

Now your IIS Virtual Directories have been recreated. Test OWA. If OWA does not work reboot the server and after you logged in try OWA again as it should work like expected.

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About Tiens van Zyl

I am a Microsoft Exchange Engineer for a local IT Outsource company assisting with 3rd line support to our Enterprise clients and Hosted Exchange Service. I'm a passionate gamer and also a very active musician. View all posts by Tiens van Zyl

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