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Greg Owens’ rose-tinted MS-CRM mumblings

Archive for December, 2009

Windows Update killed my app pool!

Tried to access my client’s development server today to find that CRM 4.0 was down. First thing I did was to check IIS, to find that the CRMAppPool was stopped. I tried to restart it – it looked like it had worked, but alas a refresh showed that it had failed to start properly.

After first blaming the client’s visiting tech who was also working on the server (sorry ‘Cheung!), I checked the Event Viewer and the System Log showed a series of messages from my attempt to restart the Application Pool:

A process serving application pool ‘CRMAppPool’ terminated unexpectedly. The process id was ‘3432’. The process exit code was ‘0xffffffff’.

After a few attempts, W3SVC had given up:

Application pool ‘CRMAppPool’ is being automatically disabled due to a series of failures in the process(es) serving that application pool.

Scrolling down, it became clear that the new prime suspect was Windows Update. A number of updates had been installed early this morning. I checked the KB articles for each one until I came across KB973917 (Extended Protection for Authentication in Internet Information Services). I read the article and although some extra configuration was required, it didn’t seem to fit my scenario (aka, this is a development server and there was a lot of text in the article and I needed to get back to development, rather than poncing about with security updates). The solution for me was to simply uninstall KB973917 and reboot the server.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is now working just fine, though this probably needs some more investigation. I quick straw poll of some of my CRM buddies did not suggest a widespread issue (yet?) but maybe this was because of the particular setup we are using here?

I’m not about to fully troubleshoot now, but here is some information about the server that was stricken – maybe it will help you all to pinpoint any issue with your own servers:

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 – Update Rollup 5
    Microsoft Windows 2003 SP2
    Internet Information Services 6.0
    Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SP3
    All running on one box
    Application pools running under default Network Service account

I believe this will not be limited to just CRM – at least one other report online of it affecting WSS.

Update 1:
Already a lot of hits today – if this solution works for you, please post and let everyone know. Also summarise your setup so we can work out when this is happening đŸ™‚

Update 2:
Kudos to Richard (who has commented below) for discovering that Microsoft have now rushed out a KB article to explain the problem and propose a longer-term fix: In short, reinstall Windows 2003 SP2.