Attempts to access the PWA site return an error page

Posted By Posted by: EPM Partners on November 18, 2010




Attempts to access the PWA site return an error page. Further investigation revealed that a recent Windows security update failed last Thursday evening (11/11/2010) – Windows Security Update KB968389 “Extended Protection for Authentication” (



Approach taken to recover system:


The last known good state of the Application server (MPOS2) was retrieved from backup and restored to a test virtual host. The failed production server was shutdown on the production virtual host and the newly restored App server was started and the application confirmed to be accessible with the integrity expected within the test environment.

After initial issues with re-adding this virtual server to the domain were overcome, a snapshot was taken of this virtual server. An attempt then was made to install all Windows Updates similar to the attempt made last Thursday evening – except this time excluding the failed update KB 968389 – however this failed with other unhealthing server behaviour (erratic local IE behaviour). This suggests the underlying Windows OS has issues and rules out confidence in applying all suggested Windows updates from Microsoft until an exhaustive investigation is made into which particular update(s) are to blame. The inherent dependencies amongst these updates complicates matters.


Current position:


The application server (MOPS2) has been successfully restored on the test virtual host and believed to be operating as expected, except for a consequential issue with Data Analysis not working due to a failed OLAP Cube build. There are many references to fixes to this issue caused by running multiple instances of PWA across test/prod in a typical DR scenario:

It is recommended that this server not be accessed by business users until a plan is decided upon for this environment.


Suggested path forward:


Migrate restored app server (MOPS2) from test to prod virtual hosts and make accessible to business users, without applying security updates. This will allow users to return to BAU and offer time for decision to be made regarding the treatment of the underlying OS health. To avoid exhaustive Windows Update combination attempts to identify problematic update(s), it is recommended that a parellel virtual environment be provisioned to host a new Project Server 2007 or Project Server 2010 environment – at which point a planned and controlled migration can be made out of business hours to minimise downtime for business users.


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