iis users can't go to websites on 2012 r2 server. they receive either a 401 error or internal server error. Attempts don't show up in the system log. I have checked the iis application pools, the open ports (port 80 is open) iis users permissions (they are read, read and execute, list folder contents.) I checked all these settings and the firewall settings, comparing with an identical 2012 r2 server settings and don't see anything different. I can ping the server's local ip address, but not the public address. I have also turned the firewall off. Again, nothing I do allows users to reach the websites on this server.

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    What "system log" are you talking about? Windows system event log or anything else? If you don't read IIS log files, the status/sub-status codes remain unknown and you won't find an easy answer support.microsoft.com/en-ca/help/943891/… – Lex Li Apr 6 at 4:26

I can't understand it, but adding a line to the permissions window in iis solved this. I kept looking at the security tab under the edit permissions link, selecting the iis_iusrs user group and observing that the user rights are read, read and execute, list folder. there were checkmarks in each of those boxes, so it appeared that the anonymous users had those permissions. Finally, I clicked the advanced tab (after selecting a specific website in iis) and added another line to the permissions list where it said to add another. I duplicated the correct permissions and it works. I had to do this for each web. I do not remember ever doing this when setting up my other servers.

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