Exchange 2013 OAB Download Error (0x80190194) : ‘The operation failed

Recently I had an issue where users could not download the offline address book using any version of outlook. The error users report is Task ‘email’ reported error (0x80190194) : ‘The operation failed

There are many blog posts on the net that give different fixes for this error but in my case the problem still persisted.

I was able to observe the OAB files being updated on the server, I was able to browse the OAB.xml file from the client web browser, Outlook Test Connection returned the correct OABURL in the XML response. There were no errors on the client or server side event logs that suggested any hint of an issue. After a day of frustration I found the cause of the problem through off-piste troubleshooting which turned out to be corrupt arbitration mailboxes.

I should probably state that this environment was a migration from 2007 to 2013 previously so I think that perhaps the migration did not go that smoothly, but exchange quietly hid the issue.

Anyway to fix the issue this is what I did

  1. Download a copy of the exchange 2013 SP1 installer from Microsoft download to the exchange server
  2. Extract the files to a folder on the exchange server
  3. In Active Directory I deleted the Discovery, Federation, Migration and all SystemMailbox{xxx..} and forced AD replication
  4. Opened command prompt on the exchange server (has ADDS RSAT installed) and navigated to the extracted folder of exchange 2013 SP1 and run
    Setup.exe /PrepareAD /IAcceptExchangeServerLicenseTerms
  5. After this completed, forced AD replication once more
  6. Then re-enabled the arbitration and discovery mailboxes using these commands
    Enable-Mailbox -Arbitration "SystemMailbox {bb558c35-97f1-4cb9-8ff7-d53741dc928c}"
    Enable-Mailbox -Arbitration "SystemMailbox {1f05a927-xxxx- xxxx – xxxx -xxxxxxxxxxxx}"
    Enable-Mailbox -Arbitration "SystemMailbox {e0dc1c29-89c3-4034-b678-e6c29d823ed9}"
    Enable-Mailbox -Arbitration "FederatedEmail.4c1f4d8b-8179-4148-93bf-00a95fa1e042"
    Enable-Mailbox -Arbitration "Migration.8f3e7716-2011-43e4-96b1-aba62d229136"
    Enable-Mailbox -Discovery "DiscoverySearchMailbox {D919BA05-46A6-415f-80AD-7E09334BB852}"
  7. Replace xxxx in the system mailbox starting with 1f05 to the one created in your AD as this is unique. The others should be identical to the above command
  8. Once executed we need to specify the Organisation Mailbox to have the OAB Generation persisted capability. We do this by using this command
    Set-Mailbox -Arbitration "SystemMailbox {bb558c35-97f1-4cb9-8ff7-d53741dc928c}" -OABGen $true
  9. I then created a new OAB (probably not required) using this command
    New-OfflineAddressBook -Name "NewOAB" -AddressLists "\Default Global Address List" -VirtualDirectories "EXCH01\OAB (Default Web Site)","EXCH01\OAB (Back End Web Site)"
  10. Once this created I then updated the address book using this command
    Update-OfflineAddressBook -Identity "\NewOAB"
  11. Then I set the Address book as default using this command
    Set-OfflineAddressBook -Identity \NewOAB -IsDefault $true
  12. Then set the new OAB on the mailbox database(s) using this command
    Set-MailboxDatabase <mdb name> -OfflineAddressBook "\NewOAB"
  13. Once this completed I needed to restart some services. Restart the Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Assistants and BITS Services
  14. Then Open IIS Manager and click on Application Pools and recycle the Autodiscover and OAB App Pools
  15. Close the client’s outlook and re-open and the OAB should download successfully

Although this fixed my issue, I tried all the other suggestions before this such as extending read permissions to the OAB virtual directory, not requiring SSL for internal connections etc but none of these worked. This is not to say they will not work for you so I suggest you try these first before attempting my fix.

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