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Exchange 2010 Outlook Web App didn’t initialize Couldn’t find a base theme (folder name=base)

I had this issue on a new SBS2011 install although after researching it you can have this issue on all implementations of Exchange 2010 from a fresh install or even after running a service pack.

When you attempt to connect to OWA either internally or externally users are treated to the following error.

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

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

This is an issue where the base theme of exchange 2010 has not installed correctly. We need to reinstall the base theme for owa 2010. To do so drop to Exchange 2010 power shell and run the following commands.
Note: the command below presumes that you have installed Exchange to the default path. Modify the path in accordance with your Exchange 2010 install.

C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Bin\UpdateCas.ps1

Then we need to reset IIS


This script re installs the base theme for OWA 2010. When you connect you will now be prompted with the correct OWA log in screen.

This is now complete.

Tags: 2010, Exchange, OWA, sysadmin

Allen White

Allen is an IT Consultant and holds the following accreditations. MCSA, MCSE, MCTS, MCITP, CCA, CCSP, VCP 4,5, 6 and HP ASE, AIS - Network Infrastructure.

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