App Pool Crash on First Load

I’ll keep this on brief; for real this time.

So you created a MSA/gMSA for your Dev to use on ASP.NET.

You granted it Logon as a service rights, as well as batch logon right via group nesting in IIS_USRS group. You granted it all proper permissions on the physical path that IIS is using for the Site/App Pool, as well as any Database permissions if applicable. Yet every time you attempt to navigate the site you get a “503; Service unavailable” and when you go to check the app pool you find it is down. Right click it, select start and it comes right back up without issue, wash, rinse, repeat.

Turns out this happens cause you didn’t fully qualify the MSA/gMSA under the App Pool’s Identity settings. Even though you enter “gMSAAcct$” under the identity field and leave password fields blank, and IIS accepts this… without fault, what I believe is happening here is even though the check IIS has in place, does validate this to a be a real domain account, or service account, it doesn’t prepend or append (depending on which user construct you want to refer to) where ever it stores this user account. This is only a guess.

So you have to fully qualify it; “Domain\gMSAAcct$” You’ll notice it (IIS) will accept it just like it did before. Then watch in amazement as the page loads and doesn’t crash when you attempt to load it in a browser….