Ask Microsoft: Using a metabase restore for IIS issues

A Microsoft messaging director explains what happens when an IIS metabase is misconfigured or corrupt.

On a regular basis, top Microsoft executives answer readers' toughest technical questions about Windows-based systems. This installment of "Ask Microsoft" was answered by Chris Nelson, messaging director, Microsoft IT.

To submit a technical question for consideration, send an e-mail to editor@SearchWinComputing.com.

Question: I use CDONTS on our IIS server to generate e-mails for support requests and other content on our intranet. At some point, something has changed so that after a reboot, the ASP page that creates the e-mail won't work for non-administrative users on that server. It provides an error message along the lines of "permission denied." I've checked permissions as per Microsoft's Knowledge Base and all appears to be in order. If, however, I restore the last working IIS metabase that I captured before this failed, everything works again. As soon as I reboot the server, it fails. So what is changing between that restore and a reboot that upsets these scripts?

Answer: As you have found, if Metabase is misconfigured or corrupt, a metabase restore will correct the problem. You can compare the MetaBase.xml and MBSchema.xml files from the working metabase to the same files from a metabase that is not working to see what is different. (See Microsoft's related IIS resources page.) It sounds like you might be hitting a problem where the ASP page is not running in-process. (See a related Microsoft help and support item for more on this.) -- Chris Nelson

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