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Can someone recommend a good strategy for troubleshooting IIS that is hanging on Windows 2008?

Normally, I check the following in Process Explorer:

  • CPU

  • Disk I/O

  • Context Switch Delta

However, in certain situations all of these values are low and yet IIS is hung up.

Is there anything in Process Monitor (sysinternals) that should raise a red flag?

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Have you looked at memory utilization, specifically Pool Nonpaged Bytes? – joeqwerty Sep 25 '09 at 23:45
Memory is normal - and if it were high, wouldn't I see IO thrashing for VM? – frankadelic Sep 26 '09 at 0:26
Not neccessarily. Specifically what is the Pool Nonpaged bytes counter at when the problem occurs? – joeqwerty Sep 26 '09 at 1:15
Pool nonpaged bytes ranges between 64,000,000 and 66,000,000 – frankadelic Apr 15 '10 at 21:40

When IIS is not responding but it does not look like it is doing anything, it could be that it is waiting for something. The actual problem will often depend on how your application is programmed. Here are a couple of examples.

  • A system that returns a file stored in memory to many clients. If enough clients request the file you will run out of TCP connections and the system will look like it is not doing anything.
  • The application in IIS makes a call to a web service. There is a default limit of 2 http connections, so everything gets put in a queue to wait for an available connection

Check the Httperr and IIS log

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What do you mean by "hung up"? If you are hosting a .Net application the application itself could be hanging on a database call or something. If it is hanging while serving static files (.htm, .jpg, etc.) it could be an IIS issue.

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Specifically, it takes upwards of a 60-100 seconds to serve an ASPX page. Perhaps it is a database call - but how would I determine this using process monitoring tools? – frankadelic Sep 26 '09 at 0:25

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