Gotchas when first installing IIS on Vista

Today I enabled IIS on my Vista box for the first time in order to run an existing ASP site. Here are my gotchas:

ASP handlers are not enabled by default

I went to Control Panel->Programs and Features->Turn Windows features on or off, and then checked the box for IIS without thinking about it.

However, it turns out that if you do this, the only content IIS will choose to serve is static HTML – no ASP or ASP.NET. If you hit an ASP page, you get this errror:

HTTP Error 404.3 – Not Found

The page you are requesting cannot be served because of the extension configuration. If the page is a script, add a handler. If the file should be downloaded, add a MIME map.

Now wouldn’t you think that if the person is going to the effort of enabling IIS in the first place, then they’d want to actually serve dynamic content and that should be the default?

Friendly error messages are enabled by default

You’ll get a lot farther if you disable the “friendly” error messages that are friendly I suppose, but not exactly helpful.

Enable parent paths

Double-click the ASP icon in the IIS manager, and set “Enable parent paths” to true. This is disabled by default for security reasons but is probably pretty common in legacy code.

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