Dec 3, 2013

Posted by in Tech Tips | 1 Comment

WAC update for PowerPoint in Lync 2013 with Windows 8.1

I’ve been having some fun recently with WAC on some customer deployments with TMG being unable to publish WAC correctly & causing problems when doing PowerPoint sharing. Most of these issues I worked around by deploying IIS ARR in place of TMG but it didn’t help that part way through my troubleshooting I figured out that Windows 8.1 wasn’t supported for PowerPoint sharing with the Lync 2013 client.

At first I thought this must be a client side issue as I’d been seeing some GPO settings for IE affecting PowerPoint sharing, but recently Microsoft released a hotfix for WAC that brings compatibility for IE11.

The full quote from MS Support is:

Assume that Microsoft Lync 2013 is installed on a computer that is running Windows 8.1 or that has Windows Internet Explorer 11 installed. The computer is in an environment that uses an on-premises deployment of Office Web Apps Server 2013. When you try to share or view a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation in Lync 2013, the Loading indicator is displayed for longer than expected. Or, you receive the following error message:

Sorry, we ran into a problem displaying the presentation. Please try again.

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You can find and download the update from MS Support – http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2837634/en-us

Be warned it’s a very large hotfix at 726mb & follows the tradition with WAC patches that it’s actually a cumulative update for WAC so at least you only need to do the initial install, then apply the latest update.

The TechNet guide for how to update a WAC server deployment is here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj966220.aspx

The process of installing it isn’t great as you are basically required to remove & reinstall WAC from scratch.

This post assumes a single WAC server but if you have a load-balanced setup you need to take extra care and remove one server from the NLB, patch it, point users to the updated server then patch & re-create the NLB pair with the rest. Like I said it’s not a simple process.A

  • First of all check & note your current configuration using “get-OfficeWebAppsFarm”
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    • The values to play close attention to are:
      • InternalURL
      • ExternalURL
      • CertificateName
  • Next WAC from the server using “Remove-OfficeWebAppMachine
  • Confirm WAC has been removed using “Get-OfficeWebAppsFarm” and you should get an error
  • Next run the patch installer
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    • reboot if prompted
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  • After the server is back online re-configure WAC using Powershell
  • The command will be the same as when you first deployed it but is essentially
    • New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -internalurl "<internalURL from above>" -ExternalURL "<ExternalURL from above>" -CertificateName "CertificateName"
    • Interestingly we also use “-Editingenabled” as True because we use WAC with our internal SharePoint & it seems that WAC now reminds you that you require a license for this feature
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  • After the configuration check the status of WAC using “Get-OfficeWebAppMachine”
  • It can take WAC 20 minutes or so to settle down and be ready for client responses so keep this in-mind when planning your patching window
  • After the update check PowerPoint sharing from Lync and hopefully you will be up and running from 8.1
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Good luck and happy WAC’ing

  1. Hi,

    I followed all the instructions above (tried about 5 times already).
    I also upgraded to Skype for Business (Server and Client) but the same error appears with S4B client on Windows 8.1.

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