IIS 6 intermittent 401.1 errors - Restarting IIS fixes the issue temporarily

Posted on 2013-02-05
Last Modified: 2013-03-26
IIS 6 on a Windows 2003 Server. Additional components are FastCGI/PHP 5.2. My websites will load perfectly for a time. Usually at least once a day though the websites become unavailable, the error that IIS reports is HTTP Error 401.1 - Unauthorized: Access is denied due to invalid credentials. I will restart IIS and everything will start working again.

Because it is intermittent I am not sure where to start. Any ideas would be appreciated.

HTTP Error 401.1 - Unauthorized: Access is denied due to invalid credentials.
Internet Information Services (IIS)
Question by:J C
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LVL 10

Accepted Solution

gaurav05 earned 500 total points
ID: 38859009

Please check application pool Identitiy settings

Is it network service or  ApplicationpoolIdentity. ?

Also check IUSER and IIS_IUSR permissions applied to root folder of website.

Let us know.

Author Comment

by:J C
ID: 38859782
Application Pool service is running as "Network Service"

The account used for anonymous access does have read/execute permissions on root level of website.

Author Comment

by:J C
ID: 38859789
I should mention that all websites, there are 4 of them become unavailable and restarting IIS brings them back to life.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 38859957
I would start with the Event logs, both on the IIS server and in AD.  It almost sounds as if an account is being locked out somewhere (or at the very least there's an authentication issue of some sort).

Author Comment

by:J C
ID: 38866804
The event logs do not show anything pertinent. That is where I started. Is there a routine of some sort that runs within a 24 hour period that may be causing this problem? Every morning I check to see if the websites are available they are unavailable, I'll restart IIS and it will stay up for the remained of the day.
LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 38868361
Do you have to restart IIS or can you just recycle the Application Pool(s) for the problem sites?  
Do the problem sites all use the same AppPool?
Is the IIS Service still running when the problem sites are down?  What about all dependent services?
Do the problem sites have anything else in common (all ASP.Net 2.0, ASP.Net 4.0, database connection, IP address, etc)?

Author Comment

by:J C
ID: 38869509
I've tried just recycling the AppPool but that doesn't resolve the problem, I have to do an iisreset. They do share the same AppPool. IIS and all dependencies are running when the sites become unavailable. I have a php website, a coldufison website. A few .net apps. none of the services crash, they are all in a running state at the time of the problem. Boggles my mind. Maybe I need to rebuilding the web server.

Author Comment

by:J C
ID: 38919371
The problem is only with anonymous access/the anonymous user account. I can switch the type of authentication to integrated windows and login to the site and have it display properly.

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