Monday, October 27, 2008

IIS - Microsoft - Guh-wha?

Work up this morning to bad news: a couple of my Windows Server 2003 hosts were not serving.

And not just mine - several other hosts had the same problem.

After a lot of hullaballo and confusion we've got the mess straightened out.


  • One host was missing NIC cards in it's control panel
  • Operators reported being asked to install software
  • Operators reported being asked to run chkdsk
  • Many many services were off
  • Could not view events in Event Viewer - double click on 'em and they just glare at you insolently.
  • Could not launch services in Services Manager
  • Login as an established user and ... greeted with the 'first time login' nonsense
  • The applications - 3rd party non MS stuff - would not launch and claimed they were not registered.

Most of the hosts were fixed by Resting the security settings to default [1]. One host would not boot following this fix and was restored from snapshot.

The only commonality we can find is Server 2003 SP2 and IIS [2] and they were all VMWare ESX guests.

What in the ring-tailed rambling heck?

[2] Amusing conversation with a vendor about that point:

Me: Why does your application require IIS?
Him: Our application doesn't use IIS.
Me: Well it won't install without IIS being on the box.
Him: Ga-wha?
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