To W2K3 : Application Pool Identity setting in IIS 6.0

I thought I was over the hump in setting up a website in W2K3 Server IIS 6.0, as several posts in a September 2003 “To W2K3” series timeframe will attest.  But that was on a W2K3 Server at HQ; today's W2K3 IIS 6.0 issue was on the first W2K3 Server of my home office network.

Configuration Objective:  Create an IIS Site with its own Application Pool with that Application Pool's Identity being set to a local user.  Not a problem...

Service Unavailable

I went into the Local User Policies and did what I did months ago at HQ: adding the account to the “Login as Service” and “Logon Local...” user policy groups.  Restarted IIS. Restarted the app pool. Rebooted.  nothin.

Then I found this most excellent TechNet article: Configuring Worker Process Identities.  How I got by without having to employ the steps listed in this article months ago when I configured several sites similarly on the HQ W2K3 servers is an unknown.  I'll have to investigate.

The specific steps which liberated me from the [worthless-and-why-can't-MS-give-a-clue-when-this-happens] “Service Unavailable” message were:

  1. Adding the user account to the IIS_WPG group of the server
  2. Assign to this account two user rights to start CGI processes: Adjust memory quotas for a process and Replace a process level token.
  3. Give the IIS_WPG group Read & Execute, List Folder Contents, and Read permissions to the Web site directories

Definitely an excellent TechNet article.  Whoever wrote it, thanks!


  • crap! I've been googling for an hour to solve a problem. Someone said "change the account for your application pool". I thought "whatever THAT means". So back to google and what do I find... This post!! Hooray.

    Let's see if I can do this now. Same problem new win2k3 server and iis6 and can't access my database with the built in account. Aargh

  • Funny, I just ran into this again tonight on a W2K3 server while setting up its first IIS site and application pool. Thanks for the reminder of this post, Julie! I used it to fix my own problem.

  • I´ve been trying for days to make infopath, sharepoint and web services work together in windows 2003. When I tried to access the web services from within infopath, even to define the secondary data sources, it came with the message "InfoPath cannot find or access the specified Web service description". Finnaly I found that the cause was that the Application Pool was set to MSSharePointAppPool and it must be set to DefaultAppPool. The problem is that The documentation that explains InfoPath and Sharepoint integration (Enhanced Status Report) says you must set the Application Pool to MSSharePointAppPool. I´ll see what I´ll do from now on, but at least InfoPath is finding the Web Services now.

  • Dear ALL,

    I have a problem that my IIS 6.0 still send message "SERVICE UNAVAILABLE" if my browser request any file on my site's folder.

    Best Regards,

    - brenk -

  • Dear, I have the same problem with a Web SIte that receive more than 25gb data transfer daily.

    I need some help with a configuration.

  • TomCat Dear, did you go through the above 3 steps? I've done this a number of times since posting this note and things always kick in as they should. Regards!

  • We have a fresh IIS 6.0 installation using limited Network Service account. When we fresh the home page like 10 times (quickly) it activates the IIS restart process. We're using .NET and we make SQL queries to an SQL 2000 DB on each visit to the home page (to query for news stories)


  • Webmaster, Not related. Google on exact phrase "IIS restart." Good luck.

  • I got the same error in IIS 6.0 on W2K3.I have reinstalled the IIS with only required services and started working.

  • Thanks Alexandre,
    I figured out that my problem was resolved by providing the "Scripts and Executables" option in the [Execute Permissions] on the Home Directory Tab of the site Properties.

    Hope this helps to someone in need.

  • that new link is useless

  • Thanks for the information. The steps work like a charm.

  • I tried doing above steps and no luck, I have Win2K server and IIS version 6.0.3790.1830, did above mentioned three steps but no luck.

    Any further help is greatly appreciated.

  • Above steps did solved my problem, in addition to the above steps I had to reboot my server

    I think you need to restart IIS and application pools after these assignments to take effects.

    Please try that... Thank you for good article and web site who offered this.

  • Hi Frns,

    My deployment server has IIS 6.0 installed on it and its a windows 2003 server.

    Can someone help me out with the below queries with regard to the above 3 steps:

    1. Which user account you are referring here? Is it the "IWAM_" account or the "IUSR_" account?

    2. Then how do I add the 2 user rights to that specific account?

    I'm new to this IIS setup and configuration. please help me. Thanks in advance.

  • Hi Frns,

    I even unistalled and re-installed IIS 6.0.
    Still I'm getting this "Service Unavailable" error.
    Please clarify my questions in the above comment...

    Kindly help...

  • which account is "the account"?

  • Thanks man, your solution worked like a charm.

  • How can I do this under IIS 7.0?

  • Good post. Saved me lots of time. Thanks!

  • root cause: difference version of
    step 1. create application pool
    ex. framework 1.0, framework 2.0
    step 2. change application pool of website
    from default to new pool
    ***group web site by framework
    good luck

  • The pungent combination of garlic and oregano signaled pizza as "foreign food," sure to upset native digestions.
    Greek pizza, like Chicago-style pizza, is baked in a pan rather than directly on the bricks of the pizza oven.

  • You helped me a great deal with this post several years from your intial fix was posted!!!! Thanks!!!!

Comments have been disabled for this content.