iPhone Email Error: Exchange account verification failed

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Have you ever tried to configure an iPhone to use an Exchange email account and gotten the dreaded, “Exchange account verification failed” error? Well, this recently happened for me on a Microsoft Windows 2003 SP2 server running Exchange 2007 SP1.  Here is how I resolved the error.

Note: This post assumes you have a valid multi-domain SSL certificate installed.  I won’t go into that process here, but if I get a few questions I can certainly do a post on that as well.

The first thing I needed to do was run some tests on the local IIS server that provides my Exchange services.  In my case, Exchange and IIS were running on the same server, so I logged in to the server, opened Internet Explorer and typed in:

https://<Servername>/Microsoft-Server-Activesync

You should be prompted for credentials using basic authentication, then you should see an “HTTP 501 Not Implemented/HTTP 505 Version Not Supported Error”

501

If you see this, ActiveSync itself, which the iPhone relies on for communication with Exchange, should be working correctly.  I did not see this error.  I saw an HTTP 401 file not found error. Now, with Exchange 2007, I generally try not to do a lot of troubleshooting, it’s just easier to start over and reinstall ActiveSync support.

  1. On the Exchange server, open the Exchange Management Shell, and run (this command may take a minute to output:
  2. Search through the text output and look for the line that starts with, Identity, copy/paste the corresponding value into notepad.  It may be something like,  SERVERNAME\Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync (Default Web Site)
  3. In Exchange Management Shell, run the command

    1. When prompted, paste in the Identity value you copied in step 2.
    2. Verify that you want to remove ActiveSync
  4. Refresh your IIS Admin window to make sure the Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync virtual directory is no longer there.
  5. In Exchange Management Shell, run the command
  6. Refresh your IIS Admin window to make sure the Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync virtual directory is back.
  7. Close any open Internet Explorer windows and then access https://<Servername>/Microsoft-Server-Activesync again.
  8. Hopefully you see the “HTTP 501 Not Implemented/HTTP 505 Version Not Supported” error now.  If you do, your iPhone should be ready to go.  This error means the correct files are there, but that your web request doesn’t include the data that ActiveSync is looking for.

If you didn’t get the 501/505 error, then it’s back to the drawing board.  Post a comment below and I’ll see if I can help out.

Also, check out the link below, it’s a very slick troubleshooting tool from Microsoft that can be used to troubleshoot Exchange 2003/2007 servers for remote connectivity services like Autodiscover, ActiveSync, RPC over HTTP, and many other tests for Exchanged based services.  Its very easy to use and provides detailed test results regarding what works and what doesn’t.

https://www.testexchangeconnectivity.com/

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