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All blog entries are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of their employer. All the code presented is for explanation and demonstration purposes only. Any damages incurred to your site and/or data are not the responsibility of the author. Every effort is taken to ensure the code properly compiles, however sometimes there are some hiccups and you might be required to do your own debugging.
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"Unable to start debugging on the web server" messages from Visual Studio

Oct 28

Written by:
Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:35 PM  RssIcon

Have you seen this message before but have NO clue how to fix it?  I have a few of the common links here, AS WELL as one which actually fixed the problem I was having, which you might be having too and can't seem to find the answer.

I started off my week in Visual Studio like I usually do, opened up VS08, got the latest code down from VSS, compiled it and started the server to try to reproduce a bug I was working on.  Sounds normal right?  Well, I was not-so-welcomed with a message from VS saying it was unable to start debugging on the web server cause it was not configured properly. 

I did what any self respecting developer would do, I Google'd for an answer.  Except the regular fixes weren't working for me!  No matter what I Google'd I coudn't find an answer, until my second cup of coffee when I decided to take a different angle of attack.  But first, here are some of the links you should try before doing anything else.

Tim Huffam - ASP.NET 2.0 error: Unable to start debugging on the web server

Ryan Farley - Unable to Start Debugging on the Web Server

MSDN - Error: Unable to Start Debugging on the Web Server

All of these postings have two things in common, check the application settings in web.config/IIS or check the version of .NET IIS is currently using (or thinks it should be using).

However, none of these helped me out, I was still facing that nasty error message and nothing I did was getting me any further.  Until my second cup of coffee then I had a brain storm!  Ok, it won't sound so BRILLIANT not, but it was for a Monday morning OK?! :>  I did a CTRL+F5, started the server without debugging.  Just then, I saw it!  There it was staring me in the face, I didn't have security permissions on the ASP.NET temporary files directory. 

Late Friday afternoon I started doing some clean up on my HD and decided to delete some temporary files which I didn't think I needed.  In doing that, I deleted and then recreated the following directory.

%SystemRoot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\versionNumber\Temporary ASP.NET Files

Deleting it cleaned things up for sure, but when I recreated it (I have a .bat file doing this for me) the mkdir didn't setup the Security Permissions for the IIS_ISRS group. Once I set that up, I was back in action! :>

Mike Volodarsky - Where did my IIS7 server go? Troubleshooting 503 "service unavailable" errors (search for 'December 4', look for Mike Volodarsky's entry on that day)

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