WebDrive unable to connect to sharepoint 503 service unavailable

Mark
Mark used Ask the Experts™
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HELP! Our Windows backoffice server 2003 is no longer connecting to sharepoint. The server gets the error:

WebDrive - Unable to connect to Site Sharepoint, HTTP Error response received from server, error=503 (4516), Operation: Connecting to Server, Server error: 503 Service Unavailable.

Our ISP changed our IP address, and I spent the afternoon changing the network settings, etc. in order to get us back on the Internet, but that all didn't fix this problem. Our previous Windows sysadmin's last day was yesterday. I didn't set up Sharepoint and have absolutely no idea where to start on this problem. Urgent to get working by Monday!
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Author

Commented:
I have partially solved my problem. The partial solution can be found at the Microsoft Support article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/823552

The explanation of the "Service Unavailable" message for Sharepoint reads in part:

This issue may occur if the application pool for the virtual server is
configured incorrectly in Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS)
6.0. This issue may occur if one or more of the following conditions are
true:

o The application pool is not running.
o The application pool account uses an incorrect password.
o The application pool account is not a member of both the IIS_WPG
  group and the STS_WPG group on the server.

The second item,"The application pool account uses an incorrect password" was the problem.  Part of the explanation goes on to say that "IIS does not automatically poll password changes in Active Directory directory service."

With the departure of the previous sysadmin, someone in the company changed the Administrator password. Apparently, this is the password also used by the application pool account. Putting the old Administrator password back did the trick and Sharepoint was then accessible.

Now, for the prize, I need to know how to set the "application pool account" password? We *do* want the change the existing Administrator password, both for current security reasons and simply that this will need to be changeable in the future.

I can easily change the Administrator password, but I am not yet skilled enough to know how to change the application pool account password. HOW DO I DO THIS?

Author

Commented:
I tried that link, but I got stuck. I need some unsticking. I changed the Administrator password to something new and, again, got that "WebDrive - Unable to connect to Site Sharepoint, ..." message I mentioned in my first posting. So, there is definitely something related to the Admin password.

I followed the instructions in the link and got as far as right-clicking on the application pool, then clicking on 'Properties', then 'Identity'. I got the screen shown below.

I'm stuck there. The password is greyed-out in predefined mode. If I click on Configurable, it will let me change the password, but I'd like some reassurance that this is what I should do. I have no way of knowing what this password is if I need to put it back. Do I?

I am assuming it is the same as the old Admin password since sharepoint fails to run if I change the admin password. Is this a fair assumption?
applicationPool.jpg
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Sure is, but I'd be keener to make a custom user account for this purpose than run administrator at all...

Author

Commented:
We lost our last sysadmin who set all this up in the first place. Your suggestion may be the right approach, but it is beyond my knowledge level at this point. I'm just trying to get things working according to the status quo. My first marching orders are to change the Administrator password, but I can't do that without killing Sharepoint.

So, what do you think? Should I just go ahead and change the application pool password to the same as the Administrator password and see what happens?
hmm, ok then, but I then start to wonder about what else is set up from that account also..

Have a look here to create another account for this purpose..
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc263445.aspx

I'd try it, no change in re-breaking it again, so ...

I also don't know the requirements for that HPRS Application pool, so maybe it need admin..

Author

Commented:
Well, I tried changing first the MSSharePointAppPool password, then all of the Application Pool passwords. Still no go. When I changed back to the old Administrator password, Sharepoint came up again ... even though the application pools now have different passwords. So, it would seem that the application pool passwords are not responsible for my '503 Service Unavailable', yet somehow, this error is tied to the Administrator password.

Any ideas?
local administrator account possibly?
did you define the account with the domain name beforehand?
Like \\DOMAIN\Account ?

Author

Commented:
All of this stuff was set up and defined before I existed. I'm just trying to feel my way around.

The account names in the system do have the basic format you mention, e.g. hprs\mark, although people just sign in using e.g. "mark".

The only certain bit of info I have is that if I change the Administrator password Sharepoint won't run. Perhaps this has something to do with how it is launched when the system boots?
or the replication of passwords..

Author

Commented:
Thanks for you help, but the company decided to bring the old sysadmin back for a couple of hours to wave his wand and fix it; which he did, but no documentation or other info as to what he did. So, I'll probably be back with questions!
I'm wondering if you look at the system services, if any have explicitly defined administrator accounts to run,

I usually go into Computer Management -> Services -> Standard View
Look in the column for account, you may see that some services are running as Administrator.

Its not ideal, but a common practice unfortunately.

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