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I'm running into a problem on an external facing IIS server that used to be working within the last week. As far as I know, nothing was changed but I can't be 100% certain on that. The server is returning a HTTP Error 503 when attempting to access anything via IIS, whether it be an ASP.Net WCF service or plain HTML page. This is only happening when using the Domain name in the URL, as it works with the IP address.

Synopsis of problem (HTTP Error 503: The service is unavailable):

  • Problem happens with HTTP or HTTPS, doesn’t matter.
  • Works when going to the IP address (
  • Doesn’t work when going to domain name (http://domain.net/iisstart.htm).

I have done the following:

  • Re-registered asp.net with aspnet_regiis.exe –i
  • Tested without asp.net, IIS will not even serve basic HTML pages.
  • Tested a WCF service hosted as a Windows service, NOT thru IIS and that works.
  • Removed Web Server Role, rebooted server, and added it back in.
  • If I change the Host Name for the HTTP binding on the default web site to the proper domain name it does work via http but not https, but this shouldn’t be necessary… but it leads me to believe there may be a problem with the way the bindings are working or DNS possibly.

Any suggestions on where to look next? Thanks.

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Does your 503 status have a subcode, for example 503.19? Have you tried turning on Failed Request Tracing: learn.iis.net/page.aspx/266/… | learn.iis.net/page.aspx/772/… –  Kev Jul 17 '12 at 0:15
It doesn't have a subcode. I'll setup Failed Request Tracing but not sure it's even hitting the IIS server, there's nothing in the IIS logs at all. –  Shawn Steward Jul 17 '12 at 16:34

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