IIS reports 401.3 error for static files, but appears to have correct ACL

I am working on a website running Sitecore 6.3.1 on a Windows Server 2008 R2 instance.

Everything was working beautifully until I copied some static files (CSS, JS, images) from a ZIP archive provided by one of our frontend developers into C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\(website name)\Website\static.

Now, any time I try to access any of those static files (e.g., http://localhost/static/css/main.css), I get a 401.3 error (according to C:\inetpub\logs\LogFiles\W3SVC2\u_ex110216.log).

The Sitecore application itself is working just fine, and the static files were perfectly accessible until I replaced them with the updated files.

According to every resource I could find on the subject, a 401.3 error indicates that the ACL for the requested resource is not permitting access to the IIS user account.

  • I looked at the ACL for a file that is currently working (e.g., C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\(website name)\Website\default.css), and it appears to be identical to that of the static files that are inaccessible.

  • I checked the application pool settings for the Sitecore site, and the anonymous user is “IUSR”. Following the instructions in this thread, I gave the IUSR account read and execute permissions for the C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\(website name)\Website\static directory and recursively applied it to all subfolders and files in that directory. No dice.

  • Based on the suggestions offered in this thread, I tried removing the static directory entirely and recreating it and its subdirectories by hand so that they inherit permissions from the parent Website directory. However, the problem persisted.

What else can I try to resolve these 401.3 errors?

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