Users Connecting To Exchange 2010 (SBS 2011) Using Outlook 2010 Getting Password Prompts Randomly

I had an email from a customer recently who has an SBS 2011 server (with Exchange 2010) running virtually on an HP Proliant ML350 G6 server (which I had installed for them) and they were reporting that a couple of users were getting password prompts at random times.  This wasn’t affecting all users, so I knew it wasn’t a server-side issue, especially because I installed a trusted 3rd party SSL certificate from www.exchange-certificates.com so asked a few questions and it seemed that this only happened after the machines had been left idle for a while.

My initial thoughts were that there might be some issues with the Network Card having Power Management enabled on it which allowed the PC to turn off power to the NIC to save energy, so I asked my customer to check the NIC settings and sure enough, the Power Management setting to “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” was enabled.  After disabling this option, the problem went away and has not returned.

Having had someone ask a similar question on http://www.experts-exchange.com and the solution being the same, I felt it rude not to share this discovery so that others might benefit from this discovery.

To disable this option, click on Start> Run> {type} ncpa.cpl {and press enter}, then right-click on your Wired / Wireless Network Card and choose properties.

On the Network Card Properties, click on the Configure Button (see image below)

then click on the Power Management Tab (see image below)

and make sure that the “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power” check box is not ticked.

Once you no longer have the computer turning off the power to the network card, it shouldn’t lose connectivity to the server and thus won’t be prompting you for your credentials when you go to use Outlook again.

 

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SBS 2003 Connect To The Internet Wizard Fails At Firewall Configuration

Today I was working on a problem where an SBS 2003 server was having issues re-running the Connect To The Internet Wizard whereby the Wizard started happily to re-configure the server but then failed at the Firewall configuration.  The server also had ISA Server 2004 installed.

The reason for re-running the wizard was because emails were not flowing properly out of the server and re-running the Internet Connection Wizard was a good place to start troubleshooting.  Because the Wizard was failing, it was a strong possibility that the Firewall / ISA server was causing the issue.

Having examined the ICWLOG.TXT file to see what might be causing the issue (from C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Small Business Server\Support) it showed the following errors:

Error 0x80070003 returned from call to Configuring IIS to listen only on the LAN().
Error 0x80070003 returned from call to CStingrayCommit::DoGeneralConfiguration().
Error 0x80070003 returned from call to Doing general configuration().
Error 0x80070003 returned from call to CStingrayCommit::CommitEx().

Doing some digging on the webs for an answer, I checked a few sites but drew a blank, then I found the following site (http://www.windows-server-answers.com/microsoft/Windows-Server-SBS/32257468/icw-fail-on-firewall-step.aspx) and it pointed me to check the registry for the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SmallBusinessServer\Intranet
the ‘companywebpath’ key showed this value:

IIS://LOCALHOST/W3SVC/4

Opening up IIS Manager, I then checked the IIS Website Identifier Value for the CompanyWeb site (see example image below) :
and saw that it was showing a different value, in this case it was showing ‘448260875’.

Going back to the Registry key, I then changed the ‘companywebpath’ value to 448260875 to mirror the IIS Website Identifier and then closed Regedit.

Upon re-running the Connect To The Internet Wizard again, it completed happily and normal outbound mail-flow resumed.

I am sure that this isn’t the only reason for the wizard failing at the firewall stage, but it is one thing to rule out that isn’t exactly obvious.