Exchange Server

How to Resolve "Server Error in '/OMA' Application" in Exchange 2003 on a Domain Controller

I recently needed to work on a client’s Exchange 2003 servers, where they claimed they could not use Outlook Mobile Access (OMA) on their server.

Each time I opened an IE browser window and browsed to this address:

http://mail.client’s-domain.com/oma

OMA Server Error

After logging on with the Administrator’s credentials I got this error:

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Server Error in ‘/OMA’ Application.
Access to the path “C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322\Temporary ASP.NET Files\oma\4707b1f2\a6dd9810” is denied.

Server Error in ‘/OMA’ Application

I also noticed that Outlook Web Access Administration (OWAAdmin) gave me the same error. However, interestingly, the ActiveSync Admin (MobileAdmin) application worked just fine.

I investigated this for a few moments and found this Microsoft KB article:

XCCC: “Server Error in ‘/OMA’ Application” Error Message When You View the Outlook Mobile Access Web Site
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/818486

The article says:

“This problem occurs when you install the Microsoft .NET Framework on a server that is running Microsoft Windows 2000 or when you install Microsoft ASP.NET on a server that is running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 before you promote the server to the role of domain controller. When you promote the server, the access control list (ACL) permissions that you configured during the .NET Framework or during the ASP.NET installation are modified, and all ASP.NET applications are affected by this change. You must install ASP.NET after you promote the computer to a domain controller for applications that require ASP.NET.”

I turns out that indeed, as the article says, that server had IIS and ASP.NET installed on it, then it was promoted to become a Domain Controller for the client’s domain, and finally, they had Exchange Server 2003 installed on it.

BTW, to initially prevent this from happening, the proper way to install Exchange Server 2003 on a machine that is also a Domain Controller is to install Exchange Server 2003 in the following sequence:

1. Install Windows Server 2003.

2. Promote the server to the role of domain controller.

3. Install ASP.NET.

4. Install Exchange Server 2003.

Getting back to my problem, in order to fix this issue, you need to reset the ASP.NET ACLs. This is done by using the aspnet_regiis.exe command:

1. Click Start, and then click Run.

2. In the Open box, type CMD, and then click OK.

3. Type cd C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322, and then press ENTER.

4. Type aspnet_regiis.exe -i, and then press ENTER.

Resetting the ASP.NET ACLs

After ASP.NET was successfully re-installed, go back and try to browse to the OMA site again:

OMA Error Message

Note that the above message is pretty normal, and it is because I’m trying to get to the OMA site by using an unsupported device – an IE browser.

I clicked on OK and got to the Administrator’s mailbox.

OMA Administrator Mailbox

BTW, the OWA Admin site now also works.

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