Installing Office Web Apps Server (OWAS) 2013 should be a straight forward endeavour, however installing to a non-system drive was a pain in the butt to say the least. I did a lot of reading and testing. Despite what is out there on the Web it is indeed possible, but there are some tweaks that need to be applied in order for the farm to work.

  1. If VMWare is running the OWAS visual image make sure to turn of the HotAdd/HotPlug capability on the removal drives. The HotAdd/HotPlug capability defect can cause a wide variety of issue. I was experiencing was the NT AuthoritySystem or Local System Account not being able to access executables on the non-system drive. Instructions on this defect can be found on the Office Web Apps Support blog and the VWare fix instructions.
  2. Install prerequisite software for OWAS by running one of the following commands from the PowerShell prompt:
    • Windows Server 2008
      Import-Module ServerManager
      Add-WindowsFeature Web-Server,Web-WebServer,Web-Common-Http,Web-Static-Content,Web-App-Dev,Web-Asp-Net,Web-Net-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Includes,Web-Security,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-Filtering,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Dyn-Compression,Web-Mgmt-Console,Ink-Handwriting,IH-Ink-Support, NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45,IIS-ASPNET45
    • Windows Server 2012
      Import-Module ServerManager
      Add-WindowsFeature Web-Server,Web-Mgmt-Tools,Web-Mgmt-Console,Web-WebServer,Web-Common-Http,Web-Default-Doc,Web-Static-Content,Web-Performance,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Dyn-Compression,Web-Security,Web-Filtering,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-App-Dev,Web-Net-Ext45,Web-Asp-Net45,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Includes,InkandHandwritingServices,NET-Framework-Features,NET-Framework-Core,NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45,IIS-ASPNET45
  3. Install OWAS 2013 by downloading installation files from the Microsoft Download Center. The link to the OWAS 2013 installation files is
  4. Be sure in the installation paths to pick a non-system drive such as D: .
  5. Next install any language packs required for you organization. The language packs can be found on the Microsoft Download Center (
  6. Be sure to install any updates for Office Web Apps Server 2013 files from the Microsoft Download Center (
  7. On security hardened drives the “CREATOR OWNER” & “SERVERNAMEusers” need permissions may not be installed on the non-system drive.
  8. For whatever reason the OneNoteMerge directory gets installed on the system drive at “C:Program FilesMicrosoft Office Web AppsOneNoteMerge”. Copy the directory to the new installation drive (D:). If the directory is not copy the following error will appear in the Event Viewer:

    WebOneNoteWatchdog reported status for OneNoteMerge in category ‘Ping’. Reported status: OneNote Merge Ping test failed due to unhandled exception System.ServiceModel.CommunicationObjectFaultedException: The communication object, System.ServiceModel.Channels.ServiceChannel, cannot be used for communication because it is in the Faulted state.

  9. Next, deploy the Office Web Apps Server from the PowerShell prompt. I updated the cache and log file paths in the command line so it would not install on the default system location (C:). The following is an example PowerShell command line:
    New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -InternalUrl "" -ExternalUrl "" -CertificateName "" -LogLocation "D:ProgramDataMicrosoftOfficeWebAppsDataLogsULS" -CacheLocation "D:ProgramDataMicrosoftOfficeWebAppsWorkingd" -RenderingLocalCacheLocation "D:ProgramDataMicrosoftOfficeWebAppsWorkingwaccache" -EditingEnabled
  10. OWAS needs to know which URLs and machines names are able to access the OWAS functionality. To add URLs and machines names run New-OfficeWebAppsHost.
  11. To verify if the OWAS farm was built correctly, type the following URL in Internet Explorer browser to see an XML file of WOPI settings.
  12. To check on the health of the OWAS farm by running the PowerShell command Get-OfficeWebAppsMachine. There are tasks that run in the background. The environment may not be healthy right away. Grab a coffee and try again. Also look at the Event Viewer for the server to ensure no errors are being reported by OWAS.
  13. To connect SharePoint 2013 to the OWAS farm, open the SharePoint Management Shell as an administrator and run the New-SPWOPIBinding and Set-SPWopiZone commands.
    New-SPWOPIBinding -ServerName
    Set-SPWopiZone –zone

For more information on how to deploy Office Web Apps Server 2013 read TechNet article “Deploy Office Web Apps Server” and for more information on Office Web Apps Server PowerShell commands read TechNet article “Windows PowerShell for Office Web Apps Server“.

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About Author

Christine Weaver has been the technical lead on projects designing, developing, deploying, supporting, and delivering solutions for SharePoint since 2003. Christine’s knowledge and experience leans heavily on her 10+ years as a software consultant and from being a Microsoft certified professional. Christine has been a regular presenter at TechDays Canada and runs the Halifax SharePoint User Group.

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