I've knocked up a simple web application that lists all files or a particular type in a particular folder and renders them as a series of LinkButtons in a ListView control - when the user clicks on a LinkButton, the relevant file is streamed to the user. I've done this a dozen times in ASP Classic, but this is a new ASP.NET version.

When I run this on my development machine, it runs fine - but now I've set it up on the live server I'm experiencing problems:

"Access denied to 'X:\mydir\'. Failed to start monitoring file changes"

The application is configured (currently) to use Anonymous Authentication, but eventually it will use Windows Authentication.

Having looked at the permissions situation, I can confirm that the ASPNET user and the IUSR_ServerName users have permissions to the parent of the application (and everything underneath).

The host server is Windows Server 2003 R2.

Any ideas?


I've managed to fix the problem - though given all the tinkering I've done, it's hard to be certain what steps constituted the fix.

It appears that the problem was due to the Network Service (the identity used in the Default Application Pool) not having sufficient permissions to each level in the folder hierarchy.

I simply gave the account Read & Execute permissions to the top level folder on the drive and these permissions were inherited down the folder tree, to the application directory and beyond.


On Windows Server 2012 I needed to add folder permissions for \Users

The permissions given were:

  • Read & execute
  • List folder contents
  • Read

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