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24 Feb 2011

Exchange 2010: Cannot download Offline Address Book. 500 - Internal Server Error

The problems with downloading an Offline Address Book are very common and can have many sources. If you can't download the OAB using the Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010 this article may be useful for you.
Problem description
When you try to download the OAB using Menu Tools -> Send/Recive -> Download Address Book you don't see the name of OAB in the drop down list.

Diagnostics
Firstly you have to check if the Autodiscover is configured properly. You can use a Test E-mail AutoConfiguration wizard (Hold CTRL and right click the Outlook icon in the System Tray). You should see the list of URL addresses.
  1. If the Autodiscover return an error you have to configure this service correctly (the configuration of the Autodiscover is out of scope of this article)
  2. If the XML is displayed you need to find the OAB URL that looks similar to: https://yourservername.yourdomain.tlddomain/oab/guidnumber. Notice: The OAB address can be found in both "Protocol: Exchange RPC" and "Protocol Exchange HTTP" sections. The first one is for internal clients who are accessing the OAB from LAN and the second is for external clients who are accessing the OAB from the Internet.
  3. If one of the OAB URLs is empty or wrong, correct the configuration using set-OABVritualDirectory cmdlet.
  4. If everything is right then copy the OAB URL and try to open it using your Web Browser
  5. You probably will see the error 500 - Internal Server Error (Figure 1)
Figure 1
In this situation check the following settings:
  1. Is the Web-Based distribution enabled? Organization Configuration -> Mailbox -> Offline Address Book tab -> display your OAB Properties -> Distribution tab -> Enable Web-Based distribution must be enabled. There has to be at least one Client Access Server on the list. If the settings are correct go to the next point.
  2. Using IIS Manager Console check if an OAB subfolder exists and contains a folder which name is a GUID. You should see a lot of files in this GUID subfolder. Check this on each CAS.
  3. Have you created the redirection to simplify the Outlook Web App URL, like in this article http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998359.aspx? If yes go to the next point.
  4. Did you remove the redirection from virtual folders? If yes go to the solution.
Solution
When you configure Http Redirection a web.config file is created in the OAB directory. This file has incorrect permissions. Assign Read and Read & Execute permission to Autheticated Users group then restart IIS using iisreset /noforce.
Now you can try to download the OAB using Outlook. It may be required to download it twice because sometimes the name of the OAB doesn't appear at first try.
Notice: When you are trying to open the OAB URL from Web Browser you will get "403 - Forbidden: Access is denied" error (Figure 2). This is normal. Your OAB is configured properly.
Figure 2
[Update 31.08.2016] Ken reported that it might take a little while to start working. He got 'object not found' error on first couple of tries after applying the solution.



66 comments:

Anonymous said...

You sir, are a god among men. You don't realize how much of a head-ache you just saved me.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

There is almost no information on this particular cause for OAB issues out on Google. This fixed my issue right away. Worth noting, I did not have to restart IIS.

THANK YOU!!!

Anonymous said...

Great Job,

4 hours of searching then I found your article. 4 Minutes later all resolved.

Anonymous said...

HI,

this works fine for a hour or so but then i'm finding the the permissions reset and the authenticated users group no longer has permissions again. Any idea why?

Mike

Marcin Swiatelski said...

Thank you for your comment Mike. Unfortunately I have no idea why the permissions reset automatically after an hour. I have used this procedure many times and it worked for me permanently. Is there any service running which may change the permissions?

Anonymous said...

Great information - saved me hours of diagnostic work.

Anonymous said...

Great article, thanks for writing this one up.

Anonymous said...

Awesome article. It helped me resolved the OAB download issue right away!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. you saved me from a day of troubleshoting

Anonymous said...

Fantastic article. Fix my OAB download.

AdrianG said...

Thank you so much for this article, helped me heaps.

Anonymous said...

Great information. It solved our problem

Anonymous said...

Worked like a charm and saved us lots of time troubleshooting. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks. Right on the money!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Worked here, too.

Anonymous said...

Dear Friend,

Thanks for sharing this info with the Exchange community. Greatly appreciated. After spending hours on this issue, I came across your article and it resolved the issue. AS mentioned by somebody else here, I did not have to restart IIS at all to make it work

Thanks again Buddy!

Anonymous said...

They should erect a statue of you in Redmond!

This issue had me scratching my head until I read your post.

THANK YOU!!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't normally comment on stuff, but I had to take the time and say thank you because you just saved me from throwing my laptop out the window :)
THANK YOU!

ngruetter said...

Great post - helped me also. Thank you!

Jason said...

Thanks Marcin,

Something to note is the redirect is kind of a hack and MS doesn't support it that well. If you run Exchange updates you'll find that either the redirect doesn't work anymore or you have to apply the security perms to web.config again or both.

Thanks again for the article,
JC

Anonymous said...

You are a master, thanks a lot¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

Anonymous said...

Working as a consultant and engage with client to troubleshoot OAB tried everything but no luck and after consult with this post and follow step by step procedures, issue was resolved!!

Friend, Literally, i have no words to thanks.
Syed Atif

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Works perfectly.

Anonymous said...

Great article. Help with diagnosis excellent and fix is spot on.

Anonymous said...

You are the man, I spent 6 hours working on this and then came accross your article and it worked perfectly!

Lunch is on me!

Carel said...

Thank you so much! After moving to exchange 2010 after 1 year you have solved my issue!!!

Anonymous said...

thank you so much -
such a life saver - very organized steps

Anonymous said...

This one solved our issues after several days of frustration. Great post...dzięki!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Permission change solved the issue this time.

Anonymous said...

A BIG thanks from me as well. Spent ages looking for a fix until your article was found.

Anonymous said...

I had to add Authenticate Users R,W permissions to the top level directory of Exchange. So at c:\program files\Microsoft\Exchange\V14, it had authenticated users listed. However it was not applied to all folders and sub folders, it was only applied to folders. I added apply to all folders and sub folders. The permissions stayed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank You!! This was absolutely correct!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! Resolved in 3 minutes. Had to restart IIS unlike some others.

Joe Navarro said...

Thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

good, issue resolved, i only wonder how Marcin get to solution

Anonymous said...

The only solution that worked for me. Thank you so much for posting this.

Curt Loesch said...

Very glad that I found this article. The permissions on the Web.config fixed it right up. I'd have never found that. Thank you.

Curt Loesch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oscar Pedroza said...

Tks man you solve my problem.

Anonymous said...

Awesome. We entirely scratched our head to find a solution on this. Finally this settings fixed the issue. Thanks for this.

Anonymous said...

Well, that just saved us a ton of grief. Thanks!

Jan said...

Another satified customer, means IT Admin :) thanks Marcin for this solution!

Gavin Palmer said...

WHAT AN ABSOLUTE LEGEND!!!!! fixed in 2 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Worked great! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow, just like everyone else...I spent hours trying to figure this out and this blog posting was spot on. Thank you so much

Anonymous said...

I've spent DAYS trying to figure this out. I never thought to the Outlook Test AutoConfiguration! Thanks!

Angie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Awesome! Worked for me as well. Saved many hours of troubleshooting.

Anonymous said...

Your a Genius Man

Anonymous said...

Saved me many hours.
Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! This was awesomely helpful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this. Never thought to check the permissions of the file.

chris wong said...

What happens if there is an empty OAB folder?

Anonymous said...

Very helpful. Thank you - it fixed my problem with OAB.

Anonymous said...

Been scratching my head for days about this. 5min later all sorted.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

claudiu gheorghe said...

OMG, this worked like a charm.

Thank you sooooo much.

Lapiduse said...

Fantastic!
THANK YOU for the great article from Ukraine!!!

Ken Lammertyn said...

Marcin, you beautiful human beeing!

Good lord, this took me a day to troubleshoot, two weeks ago the actual GUID folder lost the same permissions for a dark and mysterious reason.

Thank you SO very much!

In case you still get to read this, adding to the post that it might take a little while to function via outlook might help some more people, I got an "object not found" error on my first couple of tests :P.

Cheers and all the best!

Marcin Swiatelski said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks for your comment. I will update the post as you suggested. I am glad that this old post still helps people.

Anonymous said...

You da man!! Added Authenticated Users with read and execute permissions and now Outlook GAL updating like a boss!!!!

slylabs13 said...

And while this article is the best I've seen, can we please all get together and march on Microsoft HQ with fire and pitchforks demanding they toss the idiot out on his ass to face our wrath for making offline address books this incredibly anal to support?

Anonymous said...

Many Thanks!!! This article was perfect!!!

Andelko Tolusic said...

Thank you much this solved me to not to recreate OAB again

Assign Read and Read & Execute permission to Autheticated Users

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, I trawled through loads of forums threads about similar issues but none of the other solutions worked for me.
Thanks
Scott

Anonymous said...

I spoke too soon, this was the only thing that worked but then after 10 minutes I started to get a different error:
Task name@domain.com reported error [0x80190194] The operation failed
Any help would be greatly appreciated
Thanks
Scott

Luis Angel said...

This saved me a lot of time. Thank you!