Server 2012 R2 Essentials Integration Error with Office 365 - Failed to activate password sync
Server 2012 Essentials and Server 2012 R2 Essentials Office 365 Integration Configuration Issue
Working today on our Server 2012 R2 Essentials server has been a lot of fun but not without some issues. Of course, in a perfect world, everything would just install and work correctly out of the box but if that were the case I wouldn’t have a job and everyone would be able to just run their own server. For all you tech people out there, I found this tidbit of information that may help you avoid calling Microsoft support.
After installing my Server 2012 R2 Essentials server in an Hyper V environment I started the process of getting it all hooked up with our Office 365 subscription. Now I’ve done this hundreds of times for clients, but this is the first time I’ve run across this issue. Bear in mind, we usually don’t use Essentials because the environments we work in are usually larger or close to the 25 user mark or they are for customers that don’t quite fit the Essentials model. I’ve never run across the error in Server 2012 standard.
On the Windows Server 2012 Essentials Dashboard, under the Services tab I was using the “Integrate with Microsoft Office 365” wizard. When using our company Global Administrator (the very first Office 365 account that is created when making the account) as the username and password to connect the service to the server I got the following error:
There was an issue configuring the integration
It gave me a suggestion to make sure all the updates were run on the server (which they were) and to try rebooting the server. I rebooted the server and got the same error. Because the error screen gave zero information like an error code, what was failing or what to do to fix it I started the usual investigative digging. I found that there is a log file that is created when running the integration wizard and that log file is at:
The error was:
 150522.151237.0277: GettingStartedWizard: error page exception : O365ConfigurationFault = Unexpected
Microsoft.WindowsServerSolutions.O365Integration.O365ConfigureException: Failed to activate password sync
Upon researching I found a post on the Microsoft Communities that was started literally 20 minutes ago. That never happens. The result of that thread stated:
“Navigate to "C:\Program Files\Windows Server\Bin" on a working Essentials server and copy the "PCNS.zip" file from there to the Essentials sever experiencing the issue. After doing so, I was immediately able to activate the Office 365 Integration.”
“The steps are you navigate to the location, rename the old .ZIP file and the PCNS folder (do NOT delete them). The place the new .ZIP file into the same directory, unzip it then try to re-run the integration wizard with the FIRST Office 365 account that you created. I was trying it with a second account, that had Global Admin rights, but not Tenant Admin rights.”
I’ve linked the PCNS.zip file that the Microsoft rep gave to the user below. I’ve done a virus scan on the zip file and nothing was out of the ordinary. It also did fix my issue.
After this was done, I was able to integrate my Office 365 account with the Server 2012 R2 Essentials server and work with the services like intended.
I hope this fixes someone’s issues.
Link to the thread where I found the fix:
Link to the PCNS.zip file that fixed my issue