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IIS6 changes not taking effect and service won't restart

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
We noticed a couple of months ago that some simple changes like adding host header lookup entries to sites on our primary IIS6 server were not taking effect. After digging deeper, it turns out that no changes at all in IIS are taking effect. Otherwise the server seems to be performing well. The changes seem to apply in IIS and the metabase okay. I can even back up the metabase and restore it on a different server and the changes are there – it just doesn’t make it out to the running sites.

Additionally, if I try to stop or pause any of the sites, app pools, etc, inside IIS it fails with the “The service did not respond to the start or control request in a timely fashion.” error. I get the same result if I try to stop any of the IIS services through the Services manager or net stop. Ultimately I have to restart the server and the changes take.

The server has less than 15 sites – each in their own App Pool. It has been at pretty much the same load for 2 years when it went up – in fact maybe a little less.  That being said, it seems like it may be load related because if I reboot the box on a Friday night I can usually make changes that will take effect all weekend long when load is very low but Monday under load I’m back to the problem again.

I have also given up to 2 weeks on some changes to see if they would eventualy cycle through, but it never does.

Any thoughts on what might be causing this?
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Question by:FirstResearch
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Expert Comment

by:pcsmitpra
ID: 34960049
How much memory you have on your system? Also what is the free space on disk size? It seems to be a memory problem with your hardware. You can configure your IIS to restart every night at time when load is negligible, But probably you need to increase RAM.
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b_levitt earned 500 total points
ID: 34960433

Can you reset the individual app pools (see iisapp /? if you want to do it from the command line)?  If yes, can you narrow it down to a particular app pool?

If that route fails, my first thought for IIS instability is fileversion mismatch (some files from the RTM cd, some from sp1, some from sp2 etc).  I would reinstall sp2 and see if that helps.  You could also see the following script that loops thru and checks the files:
http://blogs.iis.net/webtopics/archive/2009/12/18/sample-script-to-verify-iis-file-versions-for-kb973917.aspx

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Author Comment

by:FirstResearch
ID: 34960576
Thanks for the responses.

pcsmitpra - Disk space looks good. The C drive is a 20gb partition with over 6gb remaining, but it hasn't been defragged in a while. The other 2 drives are 60gb partitions with over 50gb remaining. RAM is 4gb (32bit) and typically runs at about 1.25. I've never seen it over 2.

Unfortunately once it gets to the point that I am having this issue, which is usually just on day under load, the only option is a full system reboot.

b_levitt - I cannot restart any of the app pools individually once it starts. Not even a separate test site app pool that only I use. Whatever is happening effects everything in IIS.

Reinstalling SP2 seems like a good start. I will check the files here shortly and may look at an SP2 reinstall tonight.
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Author Comment

by:FirstResearch
ID: 34962356
I ran the file checking script and it came back clean for SP2 files. No errors or missing files.

Do you think I should still reapply SP2?
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by:b_levitt
ID: 35009033
I appologize, I didn't see that you had replied.

You could still try sp2.  It might help but who knows.

If it doesn't we need to get a little bit diagnostic.  Unfortunately the error you're posted mostly brings back help when sites won't start which is not your problem so we need some more keywords to go on.

Please try:
Please include the error number for the error you are getting when:
- Stopping a site
- Restarting an app pool
- Doing an IISReset
- Restarting the IIS services individually
 * smtpsvc
 * w3svc
 * iisadmin

List the memory usage for each app-pool

Note if any of the app pools PIDs are changing often (indicating a pool restart).

Try running the IIS management tool from another machine.

See if there are any entries in the event log that might help.

Check your httperr log.
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Author Comment

by:FirstResearch
ID: 35009639
Thanks for the reply. I actually reapplied SP2 and rebooted Saturday morning and so far everything seems normal. IIS is accepting my changes and I can restart services, etc.

Usually when I reboot on a weekend the problems start back up on Monday so this is already the longest it’s gone. I am going to give it a few days to see what happens. If it makes it all week, that will be a positive sign. I will post back by the end of the week either way.
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Expert Comment

by:b_levitt
ID: 35016956
Great to hear and I look forward to your update.
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Author Closing Comment

by:FirstResearch
ID: 35038023
Re-applying SP2 seems to have solved the problem. Thanks.
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