PLesk and Windows HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable

You get this error:

Service Unavailable

HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable.

The application pools were failing to start as they were not able to login using the proper account. Here is the error:

Application pool plesk(default)(2.0)(pool) has been disabled. Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) did not create a worker process to serve the application pool because the application pool identity is invalid.

Reset the password on the two accounts:


Then reset the login creditendials for the two application pools. The application pools started and the sites are working again.

How to connect and disconnect a network drive in Windows

Connect a drive from My Network Places

Click Start, click My Network Places, click Entire Network, and then double-click Microsoft Windows Network.
Double-click the domain that you want to open.
Double-click the computer that has the shared resource you want to map. All the shared resources for that computer automatically appear in the window.
Right-click the shared drive or folder that you want to map, and then click Map Network Drive.
Click the drive letter that you want to use, and then specify whether you want to reconnect every time that you log on to your computer.

Note Network drives are mapped by using letters starting from the letter Z. This is the default drive letter for the first mapped drive you create. However, you can select another letter if you want to use a letter other than Z.
Click Finish.

A windows opens that displays the contents of the resource you mapped.

Connect a drive from My Computer or Windows Explorer

To connect a drive from My Computer, click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Explore.

To connect a drive from Windows Explorer, right-click Start, and then click Explore.
On the Tools menu, click Map Network Drive.
In the Drive box, click a drive letter.
In the Folder box, type the UNC path for the server and shared resource in the following format: \\server name\share name. You can also click Browse to find the computer and shared resource.
You can map shared drives and shared folders. When you access a shared drive or folder you can also access subfolders if you have the appropriate permissions. However, you cannot map a drive for a subfolder that is not explicitly configured as a shared resource.

Use the Net Use command to map or disconnect a drive

You can use the net use command for batch files and scripts. To use the net use command to map or disconnect a drive:
To map a network drive:
Click Start, and then click Run.
In the Open box, type cmd.
Type net use x: \\computer name\share name, where x: is the drive letter you want to assign to the shared resource.
To disconnect a mapped drive:
Click Start, and then click Run.
In the Open box, type cmd.
Type net use x: /delete, where x: is the drive letter of the shared resource.

Disconnect from a mapped network drive

Click Start, and then click My Computer.
Right-click the icon for the mapped drive.
Click Disconnect.

SQL Server Firewall Rule in Plesk on Windows server

Enable the firewall within Plesk then add the needed rules to Windows Firewall (set the IP’s can connect on tcp/1433). Plesk does not have the ability to set the IP’s or IP range.


Change Windows Server 2008 Password


To change the Administrator password in Windows Server 2008

Log on to the computer using the Administrator account.
Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click User Accounts.
In User Accounts, in Make changes to your user account, click Change your password.
In Change your password, in Current Password, type your password.
In New password, type a new password.
In Confirm new password, retype the password.
In Type a password hint, type a word or phrase that will remind you of your password or, optionally, leave this field blank.
Click Change password.

If in RDP:


this is in essence the same thing as CTRL+ALT+DEL, it will display the login security screen where you can change the password, lock the computer, shut down, etc.

Add User to Filezilla Server

If you have a Windows server and FileZilla Server as your FTP server (the default for our Managed Windows servers), you can easily add additional FTP users as needed. Each user will be ‘jailed’ into their shared folder.

Open FileZilla Server Interface (start menu or desktop icon), then click ‘OK’ on the ‘Connect to Server’ dialog.’
Go to Edit -> Users.
Click Add, type in username, then click ‘OK’.
Click the ‘password’ checkbox and enter the password.
Click ‘Shared folders’, then click ‘Add’ and choose a folder.
Check (enable) all permissions under ‘Files’ and ‘Directories’.
Click ‘OK’ towards the bottom.

The users/settings will be updated on the last step.

Sandworm Vulnerability Affects All Microsoft Operating Systems

On Tuesday, October 14, 2014, iSIGHT Partners and Microsoft announced a Zero-Day vulnerability named “Sandworm” found in all versions of Microsoft Windows and Windows Server 2008 and 2012.

The vulnerability has been exploited in a small number of cyberespionage attacks against NATO, energy companies, a US academic organization and many others. Microsoft has since created a patch and released it as one of their security updates (CVE-2014-4114.).

If you have enabled automatic updating, the Microsoft security update will be downloaded and installed automatically. If you have not, it is critical that you run the security update from Microsoft, as well as all other important security updates through the Windows Updater immediately.

If you would like to learn more about the Sandworm vulnerability, in-depth information can be found on iSIGHT Partners blog and Microsoft’s Security TechCenter.

How to Setup and Configure the SMTP Service for Windows Server 2012


Configuring the server so you can send mail using instead of ‘localhost’ or the server’s IP address.

If you add the following line to the server’s hosts file it will map to which is localhost. Please note this would need to be done on each server as reverse NAT translation is not supported.
How to edit the server’s hosts file: