Q

Why doesn't my inbox finish loading in Exchange 5.5 OWA?

I am having a problem with Exchange 5.5 OWA (Outlook Web Access). The problem is that the inbox never finishes

loading (no error box displays) -- I just never completely get the full inbox. That is to say that I can see the messages, but the top toolbar never completely loads (sometimes if I wait a few minutes, it will appear). Also, if I try to click on a message, the message box comes up, but nothing ever displays in the message box. More interesting is that all of the other functions, including calendar and contacts, seem to work great -- all their top toolbars load, and I can see all of the details when I click on one.

Additionally, if I am sitting at the server (it is an old SBS 4.5 machine, on which proxy 2.0 has been removed), I can get the inbox and messages to display very quickly and properly. I now remember seeing something about proxy servers and OWA problems -- I wonder if there are some pieces of Proxy 2.0 still lying around. I have found a lot of Usenet posts of people experiencing the same problems, but it seems that there are no answers. Can you shed some light?

Server Specs: NT4 SP6a, Exchange 5.5 SP4, IIS 4.0

There is no firewall installed on the server/workstations. I can't find any evidence that IISLockDown/URLScan has ever been installed on the server. The users are not using PSTs, and I have tried this on a mailbox with only a few messages. Any ideas?
If things are loading properly when you access the mailbox directly on the OWA server, then it sounds like the problem is on the workstation side of things. It would be strange for vestiges of a proxy client to only block access to their Inbox. But it never hurts to check.

First, verify that Proxy 2.0 is no longer listed in Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs. If it is, try removing it. If it is not, look at the remaining Control Panel applets. Do you have WSP (Winsock Proxy) Client listed? If so, see if you can launch and disable it. Next, check the browser configuration settings. Launch "Internet Options" in Control Panel and go to the Connections tab. Click "LAN Settings" and uncheck all boxes. If all of them are unchecked, then Internet Explorer is not using a proxy. Next, go to a command prompt and do an IPCONFIG /ALL. This will display the network settings. Verify name resolution and default gateway information. If this is a Windows 2000 or later client, you might also run netdiag and verify network health that way, too.

If none of this helps, check the IIS (Internet Information Server) log files and see if they show any HTTP reply codes that indicate some sort of error. Be sure to also check the security log on your server (if you have auditing enabled). Finally, if all else fails, run Network Monitor and examine the packets between the client and server to locate the failure or communication breakdown.

This was first published in August 2003

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