Domain Admin can login to OWA but regular users cannot

Domain Admins Can Login to OWA but Regular Users Cannot

I ran into an interesting problem this week regarding exchange and OWA.  I had an old domain controller that I needed to retire and an exchange server I installed about 6 months prior was going to take it’s place.  I installed Active Directory on the Exchange server and demoted the old one.  All seemed well until I got a call telling me that some users were unable to login to OWA.  There werer getting the error “You could not be logged on to Outlook Web Access. Make sure that your Username and password are correct, and then try again.”  After further investigation I realized that Domain Admins were the only users able to access their mailboxes using OWA.  With that, I knew it was a rights issue but with what.  I checked authentication settings in IIS and all looked OK.  I then realized that it must be NTFS rights.


I made sure that domain users had read rights to the exchsrvr directory and it’s subdirectories.  Once I made the changes, my users were able to access OWA once more.

What caused this problem?  I can’t say for sure but my theory is that when I promoted the exchange server to a domain controller, the security settings were tightened and the end result was that domain users didn’t have the rights to access their mail through OWA.  Word of precation:  While this was a soluton that worked for me there aren’t any guarentees it will be a solution for anyone else so if you try this, proceed with caution.

2 thoughts on “Domain Admin can login to OWA but regular users cannot

  1. Hi Dave. The exchsrv directory is usually located within c:\program files\ unless otherwise specified when it was installed.

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