Microsoft ISA 2004 crashes and burns

Yesterday was a miserable day. We lost power for eight hours due to an ice storm and I spent most of the day taking care of business in the barn since our employees were not going to make it in. When I finally got some time to look at my server, it was complaining that it was running low on disk space on the OS partition and that an external drive I was storing volume snaps had been forced down. Microsoft had just let loose gobs of patches. So late in the day I decided to clean up the server.

  1. I deleted the tmp files that had caused the disk space problem.
  2. I deleted the old apps I have been meaning to remove but hadn’t got around to it.
  3. I applied the patches and reboot.

Then the fun began. The Firewall service crashed with the following message.

Event Type: Error
Event Source: Microsoft ISA Server 2004
Event Category: None
Event ID: 1000
Date: 2/15/2007
Time: 11:03:56 AM
User: N/A
Computer: myserver
Description: Faulting application wspsrv.exe, version 4.0.2165.610, stamp 442d48f1, faulting module w3filter.dll, version 4.0.2165.610, stamp 442d48dd, debug? 0, fault address 0x00094cff.

This did not seem too serious until I realized that my workstation could no longer see the server. My search of the internet came up with nothing so I removed the most recent patches and rebooted. It still failed. The server’s browser could not get to local https sites and the LAN card was showing no incoming traffic. This was getting pretty ugly.

The symptoms on my workstation were ugly, too. All of the programs(e.g. TrendMicro and Firewall client) that regularly communicate with the server were not communicating with the server. When I ran ipconfig, it showed that DHCP was not working. The LAN card status showed that there were no incoming packets. Fortunately I can let this server be down for awhile, so I went to bed.

Today I searched the internet for some more clues. I found a reference for a similar problem that pointed me in the direction of the ISA cache and it recomended disabling BITS on the ISA Cache rules. That didn’t work. Since I was out of ideas I decided to disable the cache. I started the firewall service and it worked. Just for kicks I enabled the cache and started the firewall service again. It worked! It must have been something in the cache.