Error “Outlook Web App didn’t initialize. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk.”

Recently, I faced an issue logging in to OWA on our client’s Exchange 2010 server. The error reported was as follows :

Outlook Web App didn’t initialize. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk.
Couldn’t find a base theme (folder name=base)


Initial troubleshooting steps were taken, like restarting the Microsoft Exchange Form Based Authentication service, re-creating OWA virtual directories etc..

Upon further researching on the issue, I found a similar post online where the OWA crashed after installing the Exchange updates..

So, in order to resolve the issue all you need to do is launch Exchange Management Shell, navigate to the location C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Bin and then execute the power shell script UpdateCas.ps1.


This script will find your OWA/ECP virtual directories, update them and make some modifications to metabase etc.. Once completed, you will be able to access your OWA/ECP like before.. 🙂


Reference :-


Error accessing OWA “Microsoft.Exchange.Data.Storage.AccessDeniedException”

A client having Exchange 2013 recently faced a strange issue while logging in to OWA. The error is shown below :


Upon further analyzing the error, it was found that this error can occur due to two reasons:

  • If the attribute msExchVersion value is different for a user
  • Due to insufficient permissions

First, we can check the Exchange version for a particular user who has the issue. For this, execute the below command in EMS:

Get-Mailbox <User_Name>| format-list ExchangeVersion

If the value that returns is less than 0.1, then the Exchange Server will consider this user object only as Read-only. This issue can be resolved by executing the command :

Set-Mailbox <User_Name> -ApplyMandatoryProperties

If you again check the Exchange version it will show a value like eg: 88218628259840 [ for Exchange Server 2013]

You can also check the value of the attribute msExchVersion from attribute editor in ADSIEdit.



If you still face issues when accessing owa or ecp, perform the second step.

  1. Navigate to Active Directory Users and Computers
  2. Find the user and select Properties -> Security -> Advanced
  3. Select Enable inheritance
  4. Add a Principal value like Domain Admins and required access type
  5. Click OK
  6. Check and confirm that OWA or ECP is accessible without any issues






User unable to reset password from Exchange 2010 OWA

Users may face error when trying to reset their mailbox password from OWA. The error reported will be “The password you entered doesn’t meet the minimum security requirements“, even-though you have used a complex password.


This can be resolved by making a small modification in your Domain Controller’s Default Domain Policy. By default, the ‘Minimum Password Age‘ policy will be set for 1 days. This should be changed to 0 days instead. Minimum password age actually determines the period of time (in days) that a password must be used before the user can change it.

Steps are:-

  1. Launch Group Policy Management [gpmc.msc]
  2. Select the Default Domain Policy and edit the same to obtain the Group Policy Management Editor
  3. Navigate to Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Windows Settings ->  Security Settings -> Account Policy -> Password Policy -> Minimum password age


  1. Change the number of days to 0 and save the settings
  2. Update the group policy

Now check and confirm from OWA that the password reset is successful.