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Microsoft KB Archive/252494

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Knowledge Base

XWEB: Attachments Cannot Be Opened in OWA 5.5 SP3

Article ID: 252494

Article Last Modified on 10/6/2005


  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 Service Pack 3

This article was previously published under Q252494


After Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 Service Pack 3 (SP3) is applied to your Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) server, you cannot open many attachments, such as Microsoft Office documents, when you access OWA from a Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 browser. When you attempt to open an attachment, you are prompted for a username and password. What happens subsequently depends on whether you have administrator privileges on the OWA server:

  • If you have administrator privileges, you browser opens a blank window instead of the attachment.
  • If you do not have administrator privileges, you keep getting prompted for credentials until you cancel.

However, you are able to open attachments with the following file extensions: *.gif, *.htm, *.html, *.jpg, *.txt and *.xbm.


Service Pack 3 modified the Webdata\CountryAbbreviation\Attach\Read.asp file so that Internet Explorer 5 can render certain file types that it considers to be "inline" (or in native format). However, a logic mistake causes all file types to be passed to Internet Explorer 5 as inline. Because Internet Explorer 5 cannot process non-native formats inline, you receive the errors described in the "Symptoms" section.


A supported fix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem that is described in this article. Apply it only to computers that are experiencing this specific problem. This fix may receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, Microsoft recommends that you wait for the next Microsoft Exchange Server version 5.5 service pack that contains this hotfix.

To resolve this problem immediately, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the fix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

NOTE: In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The typical support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.

The English version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later:

Component: OWA

File name Date
Read.asp 3/22/2000


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 Service Pack 3.

Additional query words: in-line *.doc *.xls *.mdb *.ppt IE IE5

Keywords: kbbug kbfix kbqfe kbhotfixserver KB252494