Use Process Monitor, filter w3wp (IIS) processes

One of the most common tools I recommend on is Process Monitor by Sysinternal.
The tool is used for stroubleshooting permission related issues, this could include Registry,
Folder or File. This article shows how to use process monitor to filter a specific IIS
(w3wp.exe) process, capture the user property. I wish process monitor included
the user property by default. Using Process monitor can help rule out
permission issues. One of the things you’ll need to do before using is browse
your site, reproduce the issue. This will warm up the w3wp process.

PS:When using this process to troubleshoot UNC based issues, I would run process monitor
on both the Front-end, and UNC server (assuming it’s a windows server)

Here are the instructions.

Download Process Monitor

Open Task Manager

Click View
“Select” – Select Columns from the dropdown
Add PID (process id)

Click OK

Locate the w3wp process in task manager

Make sure to show processes from all users

For IIS 7.0/5 (Windows Server 2008/r2)
  • If you have multiple w3wp processes
  • Open command prompt
  • Type Run
  • %SystemRoot%System32Inetsrvappcmd list wp
  • Locate the application pool

For IIS 6.0 (Windows Server 2003)
  • If you have multiple w3wp processes
  • Open command prompt
  • cscript iisapp.vbs
  • Locate the application pool

Open Process Monitor

Click the Filter Option

Add the PID

Right Click, Add User in Process Monitor columns
Click OK
Notice the User column. Reproduce the issue, then review results.

To Start / Stop process monitor,

I’d recommend take time to play around with Process Monitor, it’s a great tool!
Hope this helps.

Steve Schofield

Microsoft MVP – IIS