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IIS Dead in the Water

Dead as a doornail. Less useful than a pet rock. Internet Information Services (IIS) v5.1 on my Windows XP Professional SP2 (all the latest patches) development box has decided to take a holiday break. Normally this would not be a big deal, but I use it every darn single day to access the OpenWiki running on my machine and Fog Creek’s FogBugz for my bug tracking.

I am almost positive it started with the latest Windows Update. All of a sudden I was getting these “HTTP 403.9 – Access Forbidden: Too many users are connected” errors from IIS when I accessed FogBugz. I checked this error in Google and have all the proper settings in IIS. If I ran IISRESET the problem would go away for a short period of time, then the error would come back. Huge aggravation, but I could still get to my information.

I sent in a support ticket to Fog Creek. They had me follow the documentation on the their handy support site (I already found this before submitting the support ticket), but unfortunately all my settings for IIS and user IDs were just fine. The last instructions were to reinstall FogBugz. I did and now IIS is completely dead. Grrrrreat!

I now get back a completely blank browser when I hit any of the Web site home pages on my machine. The world wide web still works, but all the sites on my machine are nothing. The pages are there and I can use the IIS applet and the Computer Management applet to access the IIS Service, but it will not serve a page.

Running IISRESET now displays this:

Internet services successfully stopped
Attempting start…
Restart attempt failed.
IIS Admin Service is disabled

Looking inside the MMC services, the IIS Admin shows it is started and same with the dependencies. If I use MMC to restart IIS I get “Unexpected error: 0x8ffe2740, Remote Procedure Call Security Account Manager.” (when are errors ever expected??)

I found nothing on the usually very helpful Microsoft Knowledgebase. Googling was not much help either. I did find a couple of interesting Developer Help sites which tease you with alleged expertise, but they want high subscription rates and I am not sure of the quality of the people even monitoring the forums. I have read several threads on forums and they typically die without any posted resolution.

Fog Creek is telling me to reinstall IIS. I thought I would check with the real world experts first. Anyone got a fix for my bind?

If IIS needs to be reinstalled, what is the impact to my current configuration of Web sites I am running (like the Wiki and FogBugz which are both classic ASP apps, and my test configuration for my Web sites I host with ISPs)?

Have I mentioned I hate software when it goes bad? Why can’t things just work together in the sandbox?

3 Responses to “IIS Dead in the Water”

  1. December 21st, 2005 at 20:11 | #1

    Here’s a link that you might want to look at:

    Also, what does your Event Viewer (eventvwr.msc) show as far as error events and such while you are trying to get IIS back to its former self?

    Finally, as far as reinstalling IIS, there’s really not much to it (especially on Windows XP Professional). Depending on how much stuff you tweaked it could be a walk in the park (creating a few virtual directories, changing some permissions, etc.). It would probably be easier than finding the exact cause. Of course, then you won’t know what happened, why it happened, and what the solution really is. And who knows, maybe reinstalling IIS won’t fix the problem… which could just mean more work which I’m sure you already have plenty of.

  2. March 21st, 2006 at 20:46 | #2

    Hi I am hunting around for a solution to this same problem. I haven’t found any suggestions besides re-installing IIS. Is this what you ended up doing?

  3. March 22nd, 2006 at 02:04 | #3

    Yes, it was a corrupt Winsock. Check out: How to determine and recover from Winsock2 corruption (Microsoft KB Article 811259).

    You can find the MS KB at support.microsoft.com.

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