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I dropped in a simple HTML file and IIS 7 is throwing a 500 error. The error details provide almost no information.

In general, what should be checked if a static HTML file is throwing that kind of error?

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HTTP Handler Mappings

Recently, some person had dropped in a wildcard script mapper which was messing things up.

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This happened to me once - someone added a .html Handler Mapping for the Server Side Include module, although it had not been installed on the server. – frankadelic Aug 18 '10 at 23:31

500 type errors (internal server error) may happen for many reasons.

among others:

  • misconfiguration of the server
  • access rights problems
  • ...

take a look at this site for a few examples.

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Based on my last go-round with a similar problem:

1) Look in the HTTP logs. You will see a "500 mmm nnn" in for "sc-status sc-substatus sc-win32-status" in the HTTP logs. A "net helpmsg nnn" from the command line may give you results.

2) Add in Failed Request Tracing to your installation, then use an appropriate rule. The XML results may or may not be helpful.

3) If you think this is a security issue, turn on file object auditing in the policy for that server, then set the auditing for the directory and the files within it to have all failures for "Everyone." Check the Security section of the Event Viewer.

4) Try Process Monitor (not Process Explorer). Run Process Monitor for three or so seconds, just long enough to get your request in, and have it fail. Use Failed Request Tracing to get the process ID that failed. Use Process Monitor's filter to show only events where the process ID appears -- you can then see where it fails.

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The Event Viewer should give you the reason why your getting the 500 error, it normally provides much more detail regarding the exception or configuration issue.

Another quick thing, depending on the browser you are using ensure that you have "Enable Friendly Error Messages" unchecked in the advanced options (for IE). This can mask errors from the server.

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