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Late last week my colleagues did some hardware maintenance on one of our vmWare esxi servers. One of the guests is a Windows Server 2003 Web Edition system that runs our low-traffic web sites. We discovered this morning that one of those websites was no longer working with what appeared to be an SSL error. After logging in, I found that the web site in question had been deleted from IIS!

Is it possible for this to happen without a user actually going in and deleting that single web site? All of the other sites were fine. The files for the site in question had not been touched. I just re-created the web site, assigned the SSL cert, and everything was working again. When I logged in, I did see the 'Unexpected Shutdown' dialog.

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When I logged in, I did see the 'Unexpected Shutdown' dialog.

That is the most telling part, can't be 100% positive, but it sounds like your colleagues didn't cleanly bring down the guest VMs when they did the hardware maintenance on the ESXi box. My guess is that the IIS metabase got corrupted with the unclean shutdown.

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