Killing an Active Office 365 Session

There is one key administrative feature that seems to be missing from Microsoft Office 365 – the “kill switch” that disables an Office 365 account and kills all active sessions (browser, ActiveSync, etc.).  Without official guidance from Microsoft, there has been speculation from Office 365 Admins on the best approach for disabling access to an Office 365 account in the event of a breach or security issue.

We wanted to share a best practice for killing active Office 365 sessions that we learned through our contacts at Microsoft and feedback from the UC Davis Office 365 email list.

  1. Change the password on the mailbox
  2. Remove the mailbox using the “Remove-Mailbox” command
    • For example:
      Remove-Mailbox -Identity "John Rodman"
  3. Wait 15 minutes
  4. Restore the mailbox

Restoring the mailbox is an important step in this process, since the mailbox will be automatically deleted if you do not restore it within 30 days.

Advanced Office 365 ProPlus Troubleshooting

In our previous blog post, we provided you with advice for troubleshooting Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus login and activation issues.

We wanted to share some advanced troubleshooting techniques from Microsoft Support Engineer Keith Cronsell.

If you turn on logging while troubleshooting as issue, don’t forget to turn it off after you have resolved the problem.

Troubleshooting Authentication/Sign-in/Activation Errors

The following steps will enable logging.  Once you have logging enabled, you should try to compare a “working” attempt against a “non-working” attempt to compare the results.

Set the following regkey to enable TCOTrace logs.

To do this, launch cmd as administrator and run the following command:

reg add HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Debug /v TCOTrace /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Then try the activation process again from the Sign-In screen. Once the error occurs collect the following:

  1. Collect logs from %temp%
    • Office.log
    • <appname>.exe.log (where <appname> is the name of the application used for the Sign-In attempt, for example, Excel.exe.log or Winword.exe.log)
  2. Remove the regkey added.  To do this, launch cmd as administrator and run the following command:
    • reg delete HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Debug /v TCOTrace /f

Troubleshooting Office 365 Install/Update Failures

The following steps show you how to enable verbose logging to help you troubleshooting Office 365 install/update failures.

To enable verbose logging, launch cmd as administrator and run the following command:

reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ClickToRun\OverRide /v LogLevel /t REG_DWORD /d 3

ULS log file is created both in the %temp% folder and the %windir%\temp folder.  The file name is of the following format:

<machinename>-<date>-<time>.log

For example Keith-201420141610-1434.log.  Once these logs have been retrieved and analyzed, verbose logging should be disabled by running the following command from an administrative command-prompt:

reg delete HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ClickToRun\OverRide /v LogLevel /f

The log output is in ULS format.  Opening the log file in Excel will help you with filtering the data.  First, you want to look for is the term “unexpected”.  You can look for “Fail” and /or “Error”

When Attempting to Install Office 365 Directly from the Office Portal

Most end user issues with installing/activating Microsoft Office 365 from the Office Portal are proxy/firewall related.  Follow the steps above to review log files.

Fiddler and Process Monitor are also great tools to use for troubleshooting Office 365 ProPlus installation and activation errors.

If possible, try to test using a less restricted proxy/firewall.  If the activation is successful on another network, you may need make adjustments to your proxy/firewall settings.

The following article can help you with determining the IP address and URL exceptions you might need to add:

Start by white listing or adding exceptions for the IP addresses and URLs under “Office 365 ProPlus”.  If you continue to have problems, add the URLs under the “Office 365 portal and identity” section.

If still have problems, try the following:

Open the command prompt (run as administrator), and use the following command to import the manual proxy settings from IE:

netsh winhttp import proxy source=ie

Now rerun the install/update

To reset winhttp back, run the following command:

netsh winhttp reset proxy

Most failed installs directly from the Office portal that are proxy related, usually fail pretty quick and usually with an error like this:

“Sorry, we ran into a problem Go online for additional help. Error Code: 30174-4.”

Or When attempting to update a client that is looking to the Office portal for updates will get something like this:

“Something went Wrong: We’re sorry, we ran into a problem while downloading updates for Office. Please check your network connection and try again later. Error Code: 30088-28 or 30088-27”

Additional Help

IDM Integration has experience with all aspects of helping organizations roll out Office 365 including SSO integration with ADFS and Shibboleth, developing rollout and migration plans, and troubleshooting Office 365 issues.  Contact us if you’d like help with your Office 365 implementation.

Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus Troubleshooting Guide

When Microsoft released Office 365 ProPlus to students as part of their Student Advantage program, it seemed like Microsoft forgot to provide IT support staff with a troubleshooting guide.

With Office 365 ProPlus becoming available as a free download for faculty and staff, it’s even more critical for IT support staff to understand how to troubleshoot end user authentication and activation issues.

We wanted to share some tips to help you with troubleshooting Office 365 ProPlus and to help you achieve a successful Office 365 ProPlus rollout.

Supported Platforms

Make sure your end users understand which platforms are supported by Office 365 ProPlus.  This will help you cut down on calls from folks trying to install Office ProPlus on unsupported platforms like Windows Vista.

Office Online might be an option for unsupported operating systems, but make sure to use an Office 365 supported browser.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • The first troubleshooting step, especially for mobile devices like tablets or laptops, is to check the system clock.  If your organization uses ADFS for authentication, and the device’s system time is not syncing with NTP, chances are good you will see an activation error.
  • Use Microsoft’s Remote Connectivity Analyzer tool to help narrow down issues that might be related to a specific ISP.  Connectivity issues can also be a factor in authentication and activation issues.
  • Microsoft has published a good support resource for troubleshooting Office 365 ProPlus error messages.  This resource can be provided to end users as a self-help guide.
  • Use Microsoft’s “Fix It” tool to completely remove Office 365.  This tool is especially important for Macs, where users often try to remove Office by deleting files from the Applications folder.
  • Being able to see the error from the end user’s perspective is essential for troubleshooting Office ProPlus issues.  We  recommend using a remote desktop access software solution, which can help you perform advanced troubleshooting procedures.
  • Not everyone can afford it, but Microsoft Premier Support is highly recommended to get the best possible support from Microsoft.
  • If you can’t afford Microsoft Premier Support, you can still engage with Microsoft experts on the public Yammer network for Office 365.  If you are in higher-ed, the UC Davis Office 365 email list is an excellent resource.

Additional Help

IDM Integration has experience with all aspects of helping organizations roll out Office 365 including SSO integration with ADFS and Shibboleth, developing rollout and migration plans, and troubleshooting Office 365 issues.  Contact us if you’d like help with your Office 365 implementation.