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This question is posted on Stack Overflow, and I'm cross-posting here because I think this might be a more correct forum for it.

I'm having a hardcore head-ache from trying to get complete programmatic control over rendering of an error in IIS7 (integrated mode). What I want to do is given an error (page not found, internal server error, not authenticated, etc), transfer the whole request to a custom ASPX or HTML (I prefer the latter) with the correct HTTP status code.

What I want is IIS7 to don't give a crap about what I set the HTTP status code to. I don't want its error handling. When I set Response.StatusCode = (int)HttpStatusCode.NotFound, what I want is not IIS to render its own error page, but perhaps transfer the request to another file.

I've gotten this static configuration stuff to work:

      <clear />
      <error statusCode="404" path="/errors/404.html" responseMode="ExecuteURL" />

While this works, it doesn't give me programmatic control over what to do with the response, given an error scenario. Configuration is a good fallback, but I'd really like to be able to set Response.StatusCode and render something completely different from the configured 404.html in certain circumstances (like a JSON response if we receive Accept: application/json), but IIS7 won't let me. Not a chance.

So what the heck am I supposed to do? I've tried to set HttpResponse.TrySkipIisCustomErrors Property, but that looks like a huge hack and doesn't seem to work consistently. Is setting this property to true really the recommended best practice to get the behavior I want?

At the moment, the feeling I'm left with is nothing but intense hate towards IIS7. Can anyone please help me remedy this by proving that I'm just being stupid and that I can indeed have full control over the HTTP stack?

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You can try <httpErrors existingResponse="PassThrough">. However, note that you will no longer be able to have IIS redirect output to a custom script if there's a 404. – Jordan Reiter Jul 8 '11 at 0:45

The way to accomplish this is to set your section in %windir%\system32\inetsrv\applicationHost.config so that the page not found is handled by your basic page handler factory. If you view the handler for .aspx, just copy that and set it for the wildcard file handler.

I believe it will be something like this:

<add name="Catch-all" path="*" verb="GET,HEAD,POST,DEBUG" type="System.Web.UI.PageHandlerFactory" />

Have that overwrite the StaticFile rule at the bottom.

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