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SYMPTOMS

When you browse to an existing Active Server Pages (ASP) page, the browser may return the "HTTP 500 - Internal server error" or "Server Application Error" error message. If you review the server's System Event Log after you receive the error message, two entries appear:
Source: W3SVC
Error: Configured identity is incorrect
-and-
Source: DCOM
Error: Unable to logon IWAM_ComputerName
If you enable only Basic Authentication for the application and set the Application Protection to Low, the application starts to work again as expected. In addition, if you create a new ASP application after you receive this error, you can browse to it without any errors.

Related Error Messages

You may also receive the following error messages:

In your browser:
HTTP 500 - Internal server error
-or-
Server Application Error
The server has encountered an error while loading an application during the processing of your request. Please refer to the event log for more detail information. Please contact the server administrator for assistance.
In the System Event Log:
Source: DCOM
Error: DCOM got error "Logon Failure: unknown username or bad password" Unable to logon .\IWAM_SERVERNAME in order to run the server.
-and-
Source: W3SVC
Error: "The server failed to load application '/LM/W3SVC/1/Root/op.' The error was 'The server process could not be started because the configured identity is incorrect. Check the username and password.
-or-
Source: W3SVC Error: "The server failed to load application '/LM/W3SVC/4/Root'. The error was 'c000003b'."
-and-
Source: W3SVC Error: "The COM Application '{3D14228D-FBE1-11d0-995D-00C04FD919C1}' at '/LM/W3SVC/4/Root' failed to activate out of process."
Note The error message is seen in Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0 (IIS 6.0) if the Run WWW service in IIS 5.0 isolation mode check box is selected. See the "More Information" section of this article for steps to select the Run WWW service in IIS 5.0 isolation mode check box.

CAUSE

User names and passwords for the IUSR_ComputerName and IWAM_ComputerName accounts are stored in three locations:

  • Internet Information Server (IIS) metabase
  • User Manager for Domains (Windows NT) or Local Users and Groups (Windows 2000)
  • Microsoft Transaction Server (Windows NT) or Component Services (Windows 2000)
If the user names and/or passwords are not synchronized among these three locations, you receive the above-mentioned error messages.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this problem, you must make sure that the passwords for the IUSR and IWAM accounts are synchronized in all three of the above-mentioned locations. There are two ways to achieve this: you can set the password for IWAM and IUSR accounts in User Manager (Windows NT) or Users and Groups (Windows 2000) and change the passwords in IIS metabase to reflect the same password, or vice versa. Use one of the following methods to synchronize the passwords.

Note Please refer to the "More Information" section for instructions on how to use the Administration Script Utility (Adsutil.vbs) and how to change the password in Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) or Component Services.

Method 1: Change the Passwords in User Manager or Users and Groups to Match the IIS Metabase Password

  1. In the Command window, locate the folder that contains the Adsutil.vbs file. Use the Adsutil.vbs tool to obtain the passwords for the IWAM and IUSR accounts from the IIS metabase.
  2. To change the IUSR and/or IWAM passwords in Windows NT, follow these steps:

    1. From the Start menu, point to Programs point to Administrative Tools, and then click User Manager for Domains. In User Manager for Domains, you can change the account information for all Windows NT user accounts and groups.
    2. Double-click the IUSR_ComputerName and/or IWAM_ComputerName users, and modify the passwords so that they reflect the IIS metabase password that you obtained in step 1.
    To change the IUSR and/or IWAM passwords in Windows 2000, follow these steps:
    1. From the Start menu, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Computer Management.
    2. Under the System Tools node, click to expand the Local Users and Groups and Users nodes. In the User node, you can change the account information for all Windows 2000 user accounts and groups.
    3. Right-click the IUSR_ComputerName and/or IWAM_ComputerName accounts, and then click Set Password.
    4. Modify the passwords so that they reflect the IIS metabase password that you obtained in step 1.
  3. Browse to the ASP page that returned the error message to check if the problem has been resolved.

Method 2: Change the IIS Metabase to Match the IUSR and/or IWAM Passwords

  1. To change the IUSR and/or IWAM password in Windows NT, follow these steps:

    1. From the Start menu, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click User Manager for Domains. In User Manager for Domains, you can change the account information for all Windows NT user accounts and groups.
    2. Double-click the IUSR_ComputerName and/or IWAM_ComputerName accounts, and type new passwords.
    To change the IUSR and/or IWAM password in Windows 2000, follow these steps:
    1. From the Start menu, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Computer Management.
    2. Under the System Tools node, click to expand the Local Users and Groups and Users nodes. In the User node, you can change the account information for all Windows 2000 user accounts and groups.
    3. Right-click the IUSR_ComputerName and/or IWAM_ComputerName accounts, and then click Set Password. Type new passwords.
  2. In the Command window, locate the folder that contains the Adsutil.vbs file. Use the Adsutil.vbs utility to set the passwords for the IWAM and IUSR accounts in the IIS metabase.
  3. Browse to the ASP page that returned the error message to check if the problem has been resolved.
Note Although the passwords in Microsoft Transaction Server (Windows NT) and Component Services (Windows 2000) usually match the IIS metabase, update the IWAM password in Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) or Component Services if the problem still occurs. For more information, see the "How to Change the Password in MTS or Component Services" portion of the "More Information" section.

STATUS

This behavior is by design.

MORE INFORMATION

How to Use Adsutil.vbs

IIS provides a script file named Adsutil.vbs that you can use to obtain or set the passwords of the IUSR and IWAM accounts to or from the IIS metabase. In Windows NT 4.0, Adsutil.vbs is usually located in the <Drive>\WINNT\System32\Inetsrv\Adminsamples folder. In Windows 2000, Adsutil.vbs is located in the <Drive>\Inetpub\Adminscripts folder.

The following table lists the syntax for different functions of the Adsutil.vbs utility:

Collapse this tableExpand this table
FunctionSyntax
Obtain the IUSR account passwordcscript.exe adsutil.vbs get w3svc/anonymoususerpass
Obtain the IWAM account passwordcscript.exe adsutil.vbs get w3svc/wamuserpass
Set the IUSR account passwordcscript.exe adsutil.vbs set w3svc/anonymoususerpass "password"
Change the IUSR account cscript.exe adsutil.vbs set w3svc/anonymoususername "username"
Set the IWAM account passwordcscript.exe adsutil.vbs set w3svc/wamuserpass "password"
Change the IWAM account cscript.exe adsutil.vbs set w3svc/WAMusername "username"

Note When you try to obtain the password in Windows NT 4.0, the password appears as clear text; however, the password appears as asterisks in Windows 2000. To obtain the password in clear text in Windows 2000, you must modify Adsutil.vbs so that it displays the unmasked password. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. In Notepad, open Adsutil.vbs.
  2. On the Edit menu, click Find, type IsSecureProperty = True, and then click Find Next.
  3. Change "IsSecureProperty = True" to "IsSecureProperty = False".
  4. Save the changes to Adsutil.vbs, and then close Notepad.

How to Change the Password in MTS or Component Services

Windows 2000

IIS 5.0 provides the Synciwam.vbs file to update the starting identity of all IIS COM+ application packages that run out-of-process. The Synciwam.vbs script is located in the <Drive>\Inetpub\AdminScripts folder. You can use CScript or WScript to run Synciwam.vbs.

To use Synciwam.vbs, type the following command at a command prompt:
cscript.exe synciwam.vbs -v
You may need to restart IIS for all changes to take effect. To restart IIS, from the Start menu, click Run, type iisreset, and then click OK.

Note Using Synciwam.vbs resets all out-of-process applications (Medium and High isolation) to IWAM_ComputerName.

Windows NT 4.0

IIS 4.0 does not supply any tools such as Synciwam.vbs script. You must use MTS Explorer to manually change the IWAM password for each of your applications that are running in Separate Memory Process. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. From the Windows Start menu, point to Programs, point to Windows NT Option Pack 4, click Microsoft Transaction Server, and then click Transaction Server Explorer.
  2. In the Transaction Server Explorer, click to expand the Microsoft Transaction Server, Computers, My Computer, and Packages Installed nodes.
  3. Right-click one of the installed packages, and then click Properties.
  4. On the Identity tab, if the package is running under the IWAM_ComputerName User identity, type the password to match the IIS metabase, and then click OK.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each of the packages installed.
  6. Restart IIS for these changes to take effect. To do this, follow these steps:
    1. From the Windows Start menu, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
    2. At a command prompt, type the following commands sequentially:
      • net stop iisadmin /y
      • net start w3svc
      • net start msftpsvc (Use this command if you are running FTP Server)
      • net start smtpsvc (Use this command if you are running SMTP Server)
      • net start cisvc (Use this command if you are running Index Server)

Run the IIS 6.0 WWW Service in IIS 5.0 Isolation Mode

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type inetmgr, and then click OK.
  3. In the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager window, right-click the Web Sites folder, and then click Properties.
  4. On the Service tab of the Web Sites Properties dialog box, click to select Run WWW service in IIS 5.0 isolation mode.
  5. Click OK to close the Web Sites Properties dialog box.
  6. Close the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager window.

REFERENCES

For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
255770 PRB: Logon Failure: Unknown User Name or Bad Password When You Run Out-Of-Process Webs
240225 Description of Adsutil and MetaEdit Utilities Used to Modify the Metabase
240941 An Introduction to the IIS Metabase

Properties

Article ID: 297989 - Last Review: December 3, 2007 - Revision: 5.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Internet Information Server 4.0
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services 5.0
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services 6.0
Keywords: 
kbprb kbsecurity kbserver kbsysadmin kbwebserver KB297989

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