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I have a Dav server running with PHP SabreDav (code.google.com/p/sabredav/wiki/Windows) on Cherokee at an HTTPS secured URL. It's set to use https, and uses Digest Authentication. I can log in with multiple browsers and a few third party clients (BitKinex and Java AnyClient can connect and browse as well, caveats below).

However, when attempting to log in with Windows 7 (surprise, surprise), it asks for my password twice, then tells me that my folder is invalid.

  • I have verified that the server is using Digest authentication.
  • I've verified multiple times that third party software can connect.
  • I even went out and bought a GoDaddy SSL certificate so my SSL wouldn't be self signed anymore.
  • I've applied the registry hacks here: support.microsoft.com/kb/943280 (Note that the article says the "fix" already exists for Windows 7, I just need magical registry hax to get it to work)
  • I've applied the registry hacks here: support.microsoft.com/kb/941050
  • I've applied the registry hacks here: support.microsoft.com/kb/841215 (Supposedly allows Basic Auth, which shouldn't apply, but why not?)

All to no avail; Windows continues to ask for my password twice, then state that "The folder you entered does not appear to be valid. Please choose another."

Try the command line? Sure:

  • I've attempted to access with NET USE "https://dav.example.com/" password /USER:me (System error 59)
  • I've attempted to access with NET USE "https://dav.example.com/" (System error 1790)
  • I've attempted to access with NET USE "https://dav.example.com/subdir/" password /USER:me (System error 59)
  • I've attempted to access with NET USE "https://dav.example.com/subdir/" (System error 1790)
  • For good luck: ping dav.example.com ... works. And again, web browsers can access the share just fine, so can third party tools.

Best I can tell at this point is "HAHA, NO WEBDAV FOR YOU ON WINDOWS 7" which would be fine except everyone who will be using this application... uses Windows 7. And most are not as persistent or pugnacious as I am.

I feel like I've burned through every random suggestion I've found anywhere in the first 10 pages of Google on every search term I can think of. Any ideas? I need it to be Webdav, I need it to be over HTTPS, and I really do need a method to access it from Windows 7.


However, the "third party" programs I've tried have either been buggy, incomplete, or have silly ... "glitches." For example, BitKinex seems to fixate on any http error codes sent, so if there's a glitch reading a directory, BAM, that directory is always listed empty. Long directory listings also show up as blank, even though the transfer panel shows that directory listing is still taking place.

In any case, BitKinex is useless for development purposes for the reasons above. And besides, I'm building this for people other than myself, people who will want to get this dav share working "the regular way."

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6 Answers 6

WebDAV works great, except for that the windows WebDAV clients are broken. For example, the Windows Mini Redirector's Digest authentication is broken. For some reason, it seems that it is possible to map the client from the command line.

The following page explains this in detail: http://barracudaserver.com/products/BarracudaDrive/tutorials/mapping_windows_drive.lsp

Use another WebDAV client or use a WebDAV server such as BarracudaDrive that implements session URL's. You login using a browser and use the session URL provided by the browser when mapping the drive.

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I hate WebDAV.

I earned this hate during the process of getting WebDAV support onto my File Serving cluster. This is based on Server 2008 / IIS7, with the WebDAV plugin for IIS. It's clunky, and each individual WebDAV client out there expects to be able to talk to the WebDAV server over their own custom mix of the following:

  • Transport mechanism: HTTP or HTTPS
  • Session tracking: Cookies or HTTP-headers
  • Authentication: Basic, Digest, Kerberos, or NTLM authentication
  • Custom-port support may or may not be included.
  • The ability to connect to a root directory may or may not be present; WinXP certainly can't connect to http://davhost.example.com/, it has to connect to http://davhost.example.com/root/

WinXP and Win7 behave differently. Early WinXP versions can't talk HTTPS well at all. Some Windows versions, I forget which at the moment, only did session tracking via HTTP headers. Since I have a lot of OSX in my environment, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, and 10.6 all subtly change what they support in terms of server capabilities. And of course, Gnome has its own requirements which plague our few Linux users.

I. Just. Can't. Win.

Right now I have Windows 7 and WinXP working just fine when serving WebDAV out of IIS7. It took a lot of crow-bar, but it's working. OSX works mostly for newer versions. Everyone else takes their chances.

Windows expects certain WebDAV verbs to be available. Check what your Win7 clients are getting when they attempt to connect and backtrack the error. If they're not getting one, it's a sign that the Windows host doesn't like the environment for some reason; perhaps you need to change session-tracking methods or you need to ensure your DAV hosts are in the correct IE Security Zone. Looking at the access logs is what allowed me to backtrack what Windows was expecting from a WebDAV server.

You'd think that doing WebDAV out of IIS to Windows clients would be simple, but you'd be mistaken like me.

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I've added even more logging to the PHP Dav script, and best I can tell, Windows 7 isn't even getting through the authentication of the webserver... I swear, it looks like Windows isn't even sending any authentication headers at all and just fails to try to access the server. The question then is... where might I find Windows 7's access logs so I can see what it's up to... or not, as the case may be. –  AutoDMC Nov 29 '10 at 14:03
@AutoDMC Windows doesn't keep access logs for that kind of thing. At least not where I've found. That would be useful. Another test I found useful was attempting to browse the WebDAV source from IE (not FF, IE). Sometimes that gives better error reporting than WebDAV does, as Windows uses the IE engine to drive WebDAV. –  sysadmin1138 Nov 29 '10 at 15:11
Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not generally an IE user. It looks like "Open as Web Folder" is gone as of IE7, 8, and 9, which of course are the only versions I have on any boxes anywhere (blogs.msdn.com/b/askie/archive/2009/03/20/…) Is there a different method you were intending I troubleshoot with? .......... I can connect to the webdav through Internet Explorer in web-view-mode just fine, but that's a display mode of the PHP site, not an actual interactive dragndrop shell, which is what I need. –  AutoDMC Nov 29 '10 at 15:49
@AutoDMC That webview mode is kind of what I was thinking of. It proves that Win7 can authenticate in some way at all. The next step is figuring out what auth/session differences exist between that view and php-webdav, and finding a flavor Win7 likes. –  sysadmin1138 Nov 29 '10 at 17:25
When I say I can see the "web view," as a non-IE user, SabreDAV has it's own "html view driver." This works in all browsers. If there's a special IE mode what allows you to browse a DAV share, I don't know if it. It appears that the "Web Folder" option under "File > Open" has been removed in IE7 and better. ........... IE can authenticate with Digest auth to display the html view generated by SabreDAV, but I've not been able to find a direct method to access the share with IE. –  AutoDMC Nov 29 '10 at 18:40

There is a kb on microsoft.com that says if there is a child directory in the url such as https://www.example.com/webdav that is a webdav but the parent is not a webdav win7 and win server 08 will try to authenticate against the parent that is NOT a webdav. the fix is here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2560598

I confirmed that it does work as intended if setup this way. I think the other option would be to use a webdav subdomain such as https://webdav.example.com that points to your webdav directory.

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I ran into the same problem and got it resolved. To put simply, there are several common causes of the issue.

  1. dav response namespace issue
  2. connection issue

I explained this problem in details at: http://dark9t.github.io/blog/2014/06/02/why-digest-authentication-fails-in-windows-7-mini-redirector/

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BitKinex is the only program I have found that will do webdav to a self signed certificate on windows 7. I had some hopes for Cyberduck but found it has the same problem, prompts for password twice more and dies. Apparently the BitKinex folks have discovered some deep dark secret of win7 webdav with self signed that is only let out to certain members of the secret societies. LOL BitKinex does the job awesome and has schedulers and everything.

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I tried both basic and digest authentication (over https) and could get nothing to work with a Windows 7 client.

The only way I have found so far of getting this working on Windows 7 without a third-party client was to ditch username/password authentication and replace it with client certificate authentication. My directory stanza now looks like this:

<Directory /dav/dir>
AllowOverride None
Options Indexes -Includes FollowSymLinks
DirectoryIndex None
SSLVerifyClient require
SSLVerifyDepth 10
SSLRequire %{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_O} eq "Org 1" or \
  (%{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_O} eq "Org 2" and %{SSL_CLIENT_S_DN_OU} eq "Org Unit 1")

The SSLRequire stanza should be modified as per your own requirements.

Once this is done, install a certificate on the client side. I generate and distribute my own certificates using TinyCA2. Or simply use a third-party certificate authority.

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