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OWA Outlook Web Access – 500 error, Forms-Based authentication fails to start

In the process of creating a DAG lab i noticed that once the servers were in a DAG cluster, I was not able to log onto OWA, the symptoms were:

  • User could authenticate, if they failed to enter their creds they were asked to try again
  • Once they had¬†successfully¬†authenticated a 500 error was dished out by IIS.

A little digging found that Microsoft Exchange Forms-Based authentication fails to start, a manual start sorted this out in the short term, however for a longer term fix I changed the service behaviour to Automatic (Delayed Start), it now starts of its own accord.

I experienced these symptoms with Exchange 2010, SP2 RU4.