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Resolving SharePoint Application Authentication Error: Login Failed

Written By: MJ Ferdous -- 3/31/2011 -- join -- contribute -- (2) comments -- printer friendly version

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Categories: Configurations, MOSS 2007, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010, System Administration, WSS3

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Problem

If you try to log in to the SharePoint web application (http://site.company.com) using host header on the server itself, your windows credential doesn’t work but you can access the same site from outside. The problem happens when you create a SharePoint web application with a host header (site.company.com) on the SharePoint Server (Server Name: company.com) which is installed on Windows Server 2008. This is a known issue with SharePoint 2007 or SharePoint 2010 on the Windows Server 2008 platform and this problem is happening even with the recent patches.

Solution

I had the same problem before when I put the host header in for my production site and I was unable to login from production server itself. The main reason for this issue is that Windows includes a loopback security check feature that helps prevent reflection attacks on your computer. Therefore, authentication fails if the FQDN or the custom host header that you use does not match the local computer name, as the system blocks the authentication procedure while resolving the host header given to the web application. Additionally, you always get the following prompt even though you put correct username and password.

To proof the previous statement, you have to go to the event viewer. If you check the event viewer logs on the “Security” category, you will see something like the one below under the Audit Failure Keyword

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