Step-by-Step Guide

Step-by-Step Guide: How to repair Exchange-related IIS virtual directories

Exchange Server depends on Internet Information Server (IIS) virtual directories for a number of functions related to Outlook Web Access, Outlook Mobile Access and ActiveSync. IIS virtual directories are generally stable, but can become corrupted or damaged by inappropriate administrative action.

You can delete damaged Exchange-related directories -- but Exchange Server won't recreate them. The exception to the rule is Exchange 2000, which will automatically recreate virtual directories used by Outlook Web Access if you restart the Exchange System Attendant.

Microsoft didn't remove this feature from Exchange 2003, but it doesn't work properly -- information left behind in the IIS metabase prevents the virtual directories from being regenerated. In this article, I will show you a technique to get around this problem.

When I refer to Exchange-related IIS virtual directories, I am talking about Exadmin, Exchange, ExchWeb, Microsoft-Server-Active-Sync, OMA, and Public. We can't really assume anything about the state of these virtual directories, so I will show you how to recreate them rather than repair them.


 Home: Introduction
 Step 1:

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Back up existing Exchange-related IIS virtual directories
 Step 2: Remove damaged Exchange-related IIS virtual directories
 Step 3: Create new Exchange-related IIS virtual directories
 Step 4: Reset permissions on the ExchWeb directory

Brien M. Posey, MCSE
Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Exchange Server, and has previously received Microsoft's MVP award for Windows Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at

This was first published in February 2006

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