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Unable to launch the IIS Express Web server error on Visual Studio 2015 – How to fix it

Working with Visual Studio on recent Windows versions such as Windows 10 can be tricky, as the improved security settings of the new OS might create some issues on a developer machine, which often need to have access to some system files – expecially when working with IIS Express. We talked about that in a number of post, for example here (error accessing IIS Metabase), here (allow external requests from remote machines) and also here (Process with an ID #### error).

Here we’ll introduce another issue you might stumble upon while working with an ASP.NET Core or MVC solution, right after you try to execute it in debug mode:

Unable to launch the IIS Express Web server

There are many workaround that might fix this issue: we suggest to try them one after another, stopping only when you manage to fix it.

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How to install PHP Manager for IIS on Windows Server or Windows 10

If you’re using PHP on Windows with IIS you most certainly know the PHP Manager for IIS tool, an excellent GUI that integrates within the IIS Manager interface as a snap-in that you can use to flawlessly manage your PHP installation(s) on your IIS server machine. Installing it is just as simple as launching the Web Platform Installer  (through the IIS Manager interface itself), then select it and add to your environment.

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Manage IIS Log Files and purge those older than N days with a Powershell script or a batch file

Any System Administrator will agree that the Internet Information Services log files are an invaluable resource for any Web Server machine, since they are the only built-in tool that allows to effectively keep track of what happens among the web sites and services configured within the system: who requests what, where they are from, and a lot of useful informations regarding our visitors and guests. To see a list of the available info we can collect with the help of this feature, we can visit this official page who documents the W3C Extended Log File Format, which Microsoft adopted since IIS 6.0.

Overwiew

Needless to say, we’re also free to choose what we want to track: we can enable or disable each one of the aforementioned fields by opening the IIS Manager, double-clicking on the Logging and act accordingly, as shown in the screenshot below:

iis-logging-screenshot

Like we said above, activating the logging feature is not a choice: a good administrator should always keep it enabled for a number of good reasons, including – yet not limiting to – statistical purposes. Just to make a quick example, guess what it could happen if someone tries to use the “file upload” feature available through one of your websites to send banned, restricted, forbidden or copyrighted content: as a result of this the local authority could run an investigation out of your system, which you could easily pass by showing your IIS logs together with a proper explanation of what really happened… unless you turned that feature off to save HDD space!

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Error 405 – Methods not Allowed in ASP.NET Core PUT and DELETE requests

A reader of my recent ASP.NET Core and Angular 2 book wrote me about a strange error occurred while publishing the OpenGameList Single-Page Application into production upon a Windows Server + IIS powered environment machine.

The published SPA seemed to be working OK at first, but when he logged in as Admin to update an item the command kept failing with the following message:

Error 405 – Methods not Allowed

I did my best to help him to troubleshoot the issue: after a few tests we found out that such error was coming out in response to any attempted PUT and DELETE request, while GET and POST methods were working fine.

Such weird discovery led me to dig through the web looking for a suitable explanation, until I eventually found the cause: it seems like the culprit is the WebDAVModule, which seems to set PUT and DELETE request methods disabled by default. In order to get them to work, we either need to change these defaults or disable it for the whole web application, which was what we did.

Here’s what we put in the web.config file to remove it for good:

Despite the rather easy workaround, such an issue is definitely a though one, as it will easily affect most ASP.NET Core Web API and Web Applications when they get deployed on a live environment: that’s because the WebDAV module, although not supported by IIS Express, happens to be enabled in most production servers. I guess that a lot of users will stumble upon it sooner or later… I definitely hope that this post will help some of them to overcome the hassle.

 

MediaWiki and IIS redirect loop issue: how to fix it

If you’ve stumbled upon this post, it means that you ran into a common issue happening right after installing/upgrading to MediaWiki build 1.26.2 (and above) under a Windows/IIS environment. The problem arises everytime you try to request a URL containing special characters, such as colon or ampersand: the browser will try to load the page for 20-30 seconds, then it will timeout with a redirect loop error like the following:

This Webpage has a redirect loop

Error 310

ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS

… and so on. Since all MediaWiki‘s special pages contains at least a colon, this will most likely prevent you from running any of them.

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