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IIS 6 recently popped out an error when I am unable to replicate. I think this will be worth noting here for the sake of those who had the same encounter or who doesn't want to spend too much time debugging a "it should work" problem.

This problem and it's resolution is documented in MSDN here. However, for some reason, the recommended methods did not solve my encounter. Here are the steps to first created this problem, note that subsequently the same steps will no longer reproduce this error.

  1. Create a folder call "TestVD" in your C:/
  2. Create a virtual directory in your IIS6
  3. Point the virtual directory to "C:/TestVD"
  4. Give the virtual directory Anonymous rights access (public accessible)
  5. Create a file called "default.aspx" with any text content and save it into "C:/TestVD"
  6. Open IE and go to http://localhost/TestVD/default.aspx

When the page load, you should rightfully see the content in your "default.aspx" without much problem. Instead, I got this error. It's strange, at least with accordance to my experiences with IIS6, that this failed on my test machine since it has worked many time before.

The documentation mentioned 3 different ways to resolve this:

  1. Change the filepath's name to less than 9 characters long
  2. Add the ASPNET user account rights to the filepaths
  3. Add the Network Service user account rights to the filepaths

For some reasons, all 3 did not work for my case. Here's my resolution:

  1. Add the IUSR_MachineName account rights to the filepath
  2. Add the IIS_WPG account rights to the filepath

IIS_WPG is suppose to be a user group that specifies the minimum set of privileges that is required to start a worker process. There could be some security flaw by giving IIS_WPG rights to that folder, but till someone point that out, I thought I will just leave it there for the time being. Being curious and after giving it some thought, I decided to recreate the problem from scratch and see if the same error pops up.

To my surprise it no longer fails, with or without IIS_WPG, ASPNET and IUSR_MachineName given rights to the folder, the page loads beautifully as expected. So for those of you who might run into the same problem, I hope this post will save you some time in debugging a "should work but for some reason it's not working now" issue.

Posted on Tuesday, December 26, 2006 3:35 PM .Net | Back to top

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