One day, it may come as a huge surprise – and shock – to you when you open Exchange Management Console and see this screen:

If you open Exchange PowerShell, you will get the same error.  What’s more, Remote Web Workplace (RWW) and OWA stop working as well.

So what happened, and how do you fix it?

The answer to the first question has two parts.  What is causing the error is that the Default web site has stopped.  Why it has stopped is the second part of the first question.  To fix the problem, all you need to do is to restart the Default web site.  In order to do that, you have to understand why it stopped in the first place.

A possible cause is that a new web site was created and started whose bindings conflict with the Default site.  A way to unknowingly have this happen is to create a new SharePoint web site in Central Administration and not give it unique bindings.  You can spot this from two different places:

  • IIS Manager – If the Default web site is stopped, try restarting it. If it starts correctly, then for some reason it stopped, and with it restarted, your Kerberos error should disappear.  If it didn’t start, and the reason is a port conflict, then follow the instructions in the following sections of this post.
  • SharePoint Central Administration – From the main page, Application Management, click on Manage web applications.  The default applications are SharePoint Central Administration v4 (for SharePoint Foundation 2010) and SBS SharePoint.  If you have another, check the port and make sure it is not port 80.

Of course, it is possible that you modified the bindings on the Default web site and it is not using port 80.  This is not at all recommended.

If starting the Default web site fails with other than a port conflict, you will have to determine that error and correct it.  If it is because of a port conflict, follow these steps:

  1. In IIS Manager, expand the server, then click on Application Pools.  Make sure all the application pools are started.  If not, try starting any that are stopped.  If they start correctly, proceed.  If not, check for the error that is preventing them from starting and try again.
  2. Expand Sites in IIS Manager. Click on each site and in the right had Actions Pane, take a look at the bindings under Browse Web Site, or better still, click Bindings…. under Edit site.
  3. If you find a binding that has no host name and uses port 80 for a site that is not the Default web site, stop that site.  You can stop the site from Manage Web Site in the Actions pane.
  4. With the conflicting site stopped, try starting the Default site again.

If this solves the problem, you can then focus on the conflicting site.  How did it get there in the first place?  A common culprit might be SharePoint Central Administration if a new site were not properly created.  Or someone attempted to add a public web site but didn’t configure the bindings properly.  I am creating a separate post for how to set the bindings for a public web site in SBS.


  1. tillwood says:

    I don´t know how i found you – but I found you.
    I´ve had exact this problem – and have read many threads regarding problems which sounded alike in German (and that was then part of problem: transferring it back to English).
    A lot of wise-guys recommended most of the time to reinstall the SBS… and made more comments on how way much better a full Windows Server would be..
    Not very helpful. And having spent hours I am _extremely_ grateful for your explanation: THANKS!


  2. Ich kann nur sprechen, schreiben und lesen ein wenig Deutsch, und es ist sehr schlect! Besser in Englisch für dich und mich. I was President of Nantucket – we made and sold Cllipper and had an office in Cologne. I remember giving a speech in German; it was a disaster as it was filled with technical terms, most of which I butchered.

    In any language, however. I am glad to have helped you. Some issues are pretty exotic, and I try hard to capture them accurately and provide a solution that is a step-by-step resolution.

    Bis spater.


  3. hi
    i have the same problem with my sbs2010, kindly help me


  4. Open IIS and see if all the application pools and the default web site are started. If not, first try starting them. If you start the defualt web site, look to see if another web site stops. If so, there is a confilct in the bindings (probably) between those two web sites. Correct the other web site.

    It is possible some other condition is preventing Exchange services from starting properly. Check the Application Event Log.


  5. Hi

    i check through your comment still i am facing the same problem

    please help me


  6. What did you find in the event logs? Are all the Exchange sevices started with no errors recoorded?


  7. TOMAS says:

    Thank you!!! Great JOB!!!


  8. jimmy d. fish says:

    good shit—this helped me fix sbs 2011 OWA and EMC.


  9. Glad to hear it!


  10. Sarath Ganesan says:

    I have a client who deleted the spfarm and spsearch user in the active directory for reasons unknown and it has in turn affected the sharepoint setup. Have you come across this case and can advise on any solutions that may help.


  11. short of having a good backup and restoring, I can’t think of anything at the moment


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