Outlook Web Access did not initialize error message after a new Exchange Server 2007 installation

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 Hello folks,

I got the following error last week at Microsoft Exchange Technet Brazil forum. By the way, the user tried several times to install Exchange Server 2007 from scratch and in the both cases he got the same error, as it follows:

Event Viewer error: 

The Outlook Web Access web application failed to initialize.

Failed to parse file “themeinfo.xml” in theme folder “base”. There was an error parsing the XML file. Line 0, Position 0.

OWA client side:

Outlook Web Access did not initialize. An event has been logged so that the system administrator can resolve the issue. Please contact technical support for your organization.
Invalid theme info file in folder ‘base’. Line 0 Position 0. XML parser error. Root element is missing.

Url: https://<server-name>:443/owa/auth/error.aspx
User host address: <ip-address>

Exception type: Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa.Core.OwaThemeManagerInitializationException
Exception message: Invalid theme info file in folder ‘base’. Line 0 Position 0. XML parser error. Root element is missing.

Call stack
Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa.Core.Theme.ThrowParserException(XmlTextReader reader, String folderName, String description, EventTuple tuple, Object[] eventMessageArgs) Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa.Core.Theme.ParseThemeInfoFile(String themeInfoFilePath, String folderName, String& displayName, IDs& localizedDisplayName) Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa.Core.Theme.Load(String folderPath)
Microsoft.Exchange.Clients.Owa.Core.Global.ExecuteApplicationStart(Object sender, EventArgs

If you are getting the same error you have two options to fix it:

  • Change your Exchange Server 2007 media because this error may occur due the media failure
  • replace the theme and subdirectories from machine from the same files located in the exchange media (default path is SetupServerRolesClientAccessowaversion)

If you get the same problem and resolve in a different way, please let us know and write your solution in the comments of this post.

Best Regards,
Anderson Patricio

Written by Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio is a Canadian Exchange Server MVP and MCSM (Solutions Master) and he contributes to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor at MSExchange.org, ITPROCentral.com and AndersonPatricio.org (Portuguese).