BUG: "Server Application Unavailable" Error Message from ASP.NET After You Install the MS03-032 Security Update

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Article ID: 827641 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

Microsoft has identified a bug in the recent MS03-32 Security Update for Internet Explorer security patch when you apply the patch on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP and has Microsoft ASP.NET 1.0 installed. This patch can be installed manually or by obtaining recent critical updates from the Windows Update Web site.

After you install the patch, you receive the following error message when any request is made to ASP.NET:
Server Application Unavailable
This bug affects only computers that are running ASP.NET 1.0 on Windows XP. It does not affect computers that are running Microsoft Windows 2000 or Microsoft Windows Server 2003. This bug also does not affect computers that are running Windows XP and have ASP.NET 1.1 installed.

The following table lists the operating systems and the versions of the Microsoft .NET Framework that are affected by this bug:
Collapse this tableExpand this table
.NET Framework VersionOperating SystemAffected
1.0Windows 2000 ProfessionalNo
1.0Windows 2000 ServerNo
1.0Windows XP ProfessionalYes
1.0Windows Server 2003No
1.1Windows 2000 ProfessionalNo
1.1Windows 2000 ServerNo
1.1Windows XP ProfessionalNo
1.1Windows Server 2003No

WORKAROUND

To work around this bug, run the batch file that is described in the "Batch File" section of this article. This batch file does the following:
  1. Stops the IIS and the ASP.NET state services.
  2. Deletes and then re-creates the ASPNET account by using a known temporary password.
  3. Uses the Windows runas command to start an executable that creates an ASPNET user profile. An ASPNET user profile works around the issue.
  4. Reregisters ASP.NET. This step creates a new random password for the account and applies default ASP.NET access control settings for the account.
  5. Restarts the Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) service.
The batch file contains a hard-coded temporary password of "1pass@word". You will be prompted to enter this password for the runas command when the batch file runs. After the runas command has completed, the ASPNET account password is re-created by using a strong random value.

Important Notes

  • The batch file may fail if the hard-coded password does not meet the password complexity requirements in your environment. If this problem occurs, you can change the password to another value that is appropriate for your environment.
  • If you have added custom access control settings or database account permissions for the ASPNET account, you must re-create these settings or permissions after this batch file has completed. This is because a new security identifier (SID) is assigned to this account when the account is re-created.
  • If you are running the ASP.NET worker process by using a custom account that is different from the ASPNET account, do not run this batch file. Instead, you must log on to the computer interactively or you must use the runas command with that custom account. This procedure creates a user profile for the custom account.
To use the batch file, follow these steps.

Note Your account must be a member of the Administrators group.
  1. Start Notepad. Verify that Word Wrap is turned off.
  2. Paste the batch file code in Notepad.
  3. Save the file as c:\fixup.cmd.
  4. Click Start, and then click Run.
  5. Type cmd.exe, and then press ENTER.
  6. At the command prompt, type c:\fixup.cmd, and then press ENTER.
  7. When you are prompted for a password, type 1pass@word.

    A second command prompt window appears.
  8. After you apply the patch, type exit in the second command prompt window, and then press ENTER.
  9. If you previously configured custom access control settings or database account permissions for the ASPNET account, you must now reapply these settings.

Batch File

REM Start Batch File
REM This batch file addresses issues that exist with the MS03-32 
REM Security Update when you run ASP.NET 1.0 on Windows XP.
REM If you have any other configuration, do not run this file.
@echo off 

if exist %SystemRoot%\microsoft.net\framework\v1.1* goto v11_installed

REM Change to the .NET Framework installation directory.
cd /d %SystemRoot%\microsoft.net\framework\v1.0.3705 

echo "Stopping IIS."
iisreset /stop 
echo "----------------------"

echo "Stopping the ASP.NET state service if it is running."
net stop aspnet_state
echo "----------------------"

echo "Deleting the ASPNET account."
net user ASPNET /delete 
echo "----------------------"

echo "Creating a new ASPNET account with a temporary password."
net user ASPNET 1pass@word /add 
echo "----------------------"

echo "Launching runas to create a profile."
echo "You see a command window being created."
echo "Type 1pass@word when you are prompted for the temporary password." 
runas /profile /user:ASPNET cmd.exe 
echo "----------------------"

echo "Reregistering ASP.NET and the ASPNET account."
aspnet_regiis -i 
echo "A new random password has been autocreated for the ASPNET account."
echo "----------------------"

echo "Restarting IIS."
iisreset /start 
echo "----------------------"

echo "The workaround has been applied."
echo "Try to access an ASP.NET page."
echo "If you have any custom access controls settings for the ASPNET account,"
echo "you must re-create them."
echo "If you were running the ASP.NET state service, you must restart it."
goto done

:v11_installed
echo "Version 1.1 appears to be installed. Do not run this file."

:done
REM End of batch file.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a bug in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

Properties

Article ID: 827641 - Last Review: January 21, 2004 - Revision: 3.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft ASP.NET 1.0, when used with:
    • the operating system: Microsoft Windows XP
Keywords: 
kbbug KB827641

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