Summary: The Exchange Control Panel (ECP) not working issue may arise due to various reasons. In this post, we’ve discussed all the possible solutions that can help you resolve the ECP not working issue. In addition, we’ve mentioned an EDB converter software that can help you export mailboxes from EDB to a live Exchange server.
In older versions of Exchange Server, such as Exchange 2007 and 2010, there is a console that you need to open to manage the Exchange Server. To connect and manage your Exchange Server 2007/2010, you would need to install the Exchange Management Tools to be able to manage it. However, in Exchange Server 2013 and later versions, all you need is a browser as the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) is web-based and you can access it from any device, bringing more portability. Since it is web-based, the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) is heavily dependent on the Internet Information System (IIS), which is the Microsoft web server.
As mentioned, if you’ve an older Microsoft Exchange Server, you need to use the Exchange Control Panel (ECP). The ECP is a management console to manage mailboxes, distribution groups, groups, contracts, and other things in your infrastructure, such as organization levels, journaling, transport rules, delivery reports and everything around the Exchange Server infrastructure.
In this article, we will be going through the issues that could stop an Exchange Admin from using the ECP and the solutions to resolve the problem.
How to Resolve Exchange ECP Not Working Issue?
If the Exchange Control Panel (ECP) doesn’t load, you will not be able to manage your Exchange Server.
The page will just load a blank white page or you will get an IIS error. However, there is no need to panic. In case the Exchange Control Panel (ECP) does not load, as an alternative, you can use the PowerShell commands with the Exchange Management Shell (EMS).
Let’s start with the culprits and how you can resolve the Exchange ECP not working issue.
1. Check if World Wide Web Service Is Running: Since Exchange Server runs heavily on the Internet Information System (IIS), you need to first confirm that the World Wide Web service is running. For this, open Services.msc on your Exchange Server and verify that the service is running.
2. Check Other Exchange Server Related Services: Apart from the World Wide Web Publishing Service, you need to make sure that all the Exchange Server related services are running. You need to check the services which have their Startup Type as Automatic and also check that the Manual or Disabled services are like that. One problem here is the human error. Someone would set a service to Manual or Disabled. It is important to check with the documentation of the server. If not, then document which services should be Automatic, Manual, or Disabled.
3. Check Certificates: Another thing to check is that the certificates – self-signed or purchased from a Certificate Authority – are set correctly and are not expired. This might be the reason why a blank image is loaded. This can be checked from the certificates section in the Internet Information System (IIS) or from your browser.
This could also be an issue when a certificate is changed or renewed. One thing to do here is check the Bindings in the Internet Information System (IIS). For this, right-click on the Default Website and click on Edit Bindings.
Edit the https and make sure that the SSL Certificate is using the right certificate. Restart the Internet Information System (IIS) for the changes to take effect.
4. Check Event Viewer: Another issue that can be the cause of Exchange Control Panel (ECP) is not working is the Event Viewer. In the Event Viewer, you should check for any warnings or error in the Application or System. This might indicate where the problem is.
5. Check Licensing: Another thing to check, which is not usually common, is licensing. The Exchange server may be running with trial (Evaluation) license or the Exchange Server Product Key is incorrect.
6. Check Server Time: You can also check the time on the server and clients. At times, the clock sync issues can also lead to similar issues. This time sync issue can occur if the Exchange Server clock is different from the clients.
What to Do If Nothing Works?
If all fails and still the Exchange Control Panel (ECP) is not working, you can look into re-generating the ECP Virtual Directory. This can be done from the server using PowerShell. This could be a little bit tricky as this could make the situation even worse.
Remove-EcpVirtualDirectory -Identity “ex2016\ecp (Default Web Site)”
New-EcpVirtualDirectory -InternalUrl “https://mail.contoso.local/ecp” -ExternalUrl “https://mail.contoso.local/ecp”
You have to make sure that the path and the URLs match the current one, before deleting the virtual directory. Before going through this, it is suggested to have a backup of the server.
In case that you would need to re-install your Exchange Server and re-import your mailboxes and public folders, it would be a long procedure and restore will take some time with the possibility of data loss, if you restore from the last healthy backup.
In such a situation, you can use Stellar Converter for EDB software that can open EDB file of any Exchange Server version and export the data to PST and other formats. You can also export the EDB directly to a live Exchange Server or Office 365 tenant, with no issues and less impact on the business.