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Web site simply disappeared

We have a W2003 server running IIS6.  It serves many web sites no problem.  Today, I tried to connect with an .aspx project and it can't find the virtual directory where the project is located.  If I go to that URL with a web browser, the site appears no problem.  The files exist on the web server.  But in the IIS Manager, that virtual directory doesn't appear (yet it works with a browser).  I tried re-creating the virtual directory and it says "name must be unique".  We tried a reboot...  I don't get any of this.  Anybody have any clues?  I can't delete and re-create it because it's not there to delete (in IIS manager).

Any help much appreciated.
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MIKEV
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MIKEV
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2 Solutions
 
MIKEVAuthor Commented:
More info...

This is one of many virtual directories under a main web site.  All other virtual directories under that site exist, it's just this one; can't access it through IIS Manager, connect with FrontPage, delete or re-create it.  Yet I can view it with a web browser.  I found an article that talked about the Home Directory "A shrare located on another computer" option but it and the default website are set for a local folder.  Don't know where to start...

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fruhjCommented:
I would start by downloading the IIS resource kit from Microsoft.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=80a1b6e6-829e-49b7-8c02-333d9c148e69&DisplayLang=en

There's a chapter on working with the metabase, I'd start here.
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MIKEVAuthor Commented:
Ok, I have that.  Now what?  I mean, I can use the metabase browser to locate the web site and its virtual directories but it might as well be written in Chinese.  The 'documentation' tells me I can add keys, edit keys etc. but it doesn't tell me why it disappeared or how to make it reappear.
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

Metabase Explorer will allow you to see if the Virtual Directory still exists - in a sense IIS Manager is just a front-end for the Metabase, but the frontend helps make sure nothing goes wrong.

To find the virtual directory, first open IIS Manager, if you select the WebSites folder it will (as you know) display all your sites in the right hand pane, one of the columns should be titled Identifier and is normally a long number (or 1 if you're running under the Default Web Site). This number relates back to the Metabase, if you expand LM and W3SVC you'll see all those numbers again. Expand the folder with the matching number and you should see another folder called ROOT.

Inside (expanding) ROOT you should see a folder which has the same name as your Virtual Directory.

Now directly editing the Metabase is always a pretty serious step - so before doing anything else there head back to IIS Manager, select the server, right click on it, select All Tasks and hit Backup/Restore Configuration. Click Create Backup and give it a name.

Now if we do anything wrong in the Metabase there's a way back (select the Backup and hit restore).

One last step, stop the IIS Service, just in case.

If the Virtual Directory is visible inside the Metabase structure, but not visible inside IIS Manager you can try deleting the folder from the Metabase directly.

Start up the IIS Service again and see if the problem is fixed (if it lets you re-create the directory).

Hope that lot helps.

Chris
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fruhjCommented:
Sorry, I'm replying after Chris-Dent - don't mean to repeat what he said, but in continuing the dialog with Mikev....

Mikev, I don't think you have to know a whole lot about the metabase to use the editor.

You know one virtual directory is hidden, and others are not.
Compare the structure of the two as they appear in the meta base editor - something will likely stand out as different.
It might be easier than you think, and if you fix it this way, you won't need to blow it away and re-create it if it happens again.

There is a lot of merrit to what Chris said though - every IIS admin should take a metabase backup - you can do this from IIS or from the meta edit tool, it's every bit as important as backing up your files.

Also if your site uses SSL, you should have a full backup of both parts of the SSL key - if you don't you won't be able to use the certificate if you ever have to rebuild the machine from ground up. You do this in MMC with the certificates add in - There's good documentation on how to do this at verisign and I'm sure other Cert issuers as well.

- Jack
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MIKEVAuthor Commented:
Chris-Dent:

THANKS.  I deleted the node in the metabase explorer.  I loaded up IIS again and viola, it just shows up.  I don't get that (I didn't have to re-create it) but I can see it in IIS.  But, I still can't open it with FP/VS.  So I backed up and deleted the VD in IIS and re-created it.

Now, I can't apply FP extensions to any of the webs.  *SIGH*

Thanks for the help, that was right on the money as far as that is concerned.

Now for an IIS/FP question...
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MIKEVAuthor Commented:
...and thanks Jack :)
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

Glad I could help :)
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