IIS6 worker process: does anybody know what these W3WP exit codes mean?

Hello Experts,

I am experiencing problems with w3wp, resulting in a few exit codes, in particualr -2, -3, 128 and -2146233082. I assume -2 is the natural exit code when recycling the application pool, but I'm not sure. The other exit codes however appeared during crashes or other unnatural terminations of the process. Do you know what these codes stand for?

Thanks!


Identify1Asked:
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Dave_DietzCommented:
After extensive research and some arm twisting:

An exit code of -3 (or 0xFFFFFFFD) means that the Worker process was terminated by the Web Admin service.  This would generally indicate that there was a problem with the w3wp.exe and the IISAdmin service whacked it.

By the way, a -2 does indeed mean the worker process exited normally.

Hope this helps.

Dave Dietz
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Dave_DietzCommented:
-2146233082 = Execution Engine Failure - possibly a problem with an ISAPI extension or COM component

-2 and -3 don't correlate to any known failure condition - these do indeed appear to be w3wp recycle codes

128 looks more like a WINERROR message and means "There are no child processes to wait for"

Not sure how much help that is, but there you go.  :-)

Dave Dietz

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Identify1Author Commented:
I appreciate the information regarding -2146233082 and 128.

I am still puzzled with -3 though: after running several tests, I can say that an exit code of -3 definitely indicates problems. The web application is down, and only restarting the IIS Admin service revives it.

Also, can you elaborate more on 128 in the context of IIS6? Who can are the child processes and who is the parent process?

Thanks
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Dave_DietzCommented:
I have never personally seen any of these codes come out of w3wp.exe.

Generally if I see that w3wp.exe is crashing I capture a crash dump and figure out what is causing the crash.  

For my previous post I just translated the winerror message and hresult codes.  :)

Dave Dietz

Dave Dietz
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Identify1Author Commented:
Thanks Dave. Somebody must have invented the -3 code for a reason (or am I being naive?...), and since it gives me a hard time, I really want to know the meaning of it, in parallel to investigating the problem in additional channels.

Does anybody have first hand experience with the -3 exit code in W3WP or any additional insight about them?
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Identify1Author Commented:
I raised the bounty to 300, and I'll raise it more for an answer to my last comment (reserving Dave's share of course:) ). Please help with this!
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Identify1Author Commented:
Thanks Dave, this helped a lot.
To summarize for future generations' sake:

-2 = normal exit code for recycling
-3 = the Worker process was terminated by the Web Admin service
-2146233082 = Execution Engine Failure - possibly a problem with an ISAPI extension or COM component
128 = There are no child processes to wait for
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