Tired of "Internal Server Error"

Every once in a while I go to start debugging an .ASP application that can be nothing more than a simple syntax error (forgot an end if or something) and rather than getting a nice error message that tells me where the problem is, I get "Internal server error".  I have to futz with it, delete the file, move it, edit it, put it back until eventually it actually reports the error.

Does anyone know why this might happen?

Who is Participating?
nstandConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I'd be tempted to install a 2nd browser to see if you can replicate, that should highlight whether the problem is with IIS or the browser. Ensure "Every time I visit the webpage" is alsoselected in IE.

Am fairly certain when I saw this issue it was a problem with IIS and to do with IIS Caching of cetain files.

Take a look at this doc:

Good luck
Ryan ChongCommented:
try do this to debug your script..

1. If you're using IE browser, go to Menu Tools > Internet Options > Advanced Tab, make sure the "Show friendly HTTP error messages" is unchecked.

2. For your ASP scripts, remark all "On Error Resume Next" that available and change it to "On Error Goto 0"
jglazer63Author Commented:
1. of course its checked (otherwise I would NEVER get a friendly error message)
2. thats not the issue

You don't understand.  The asp code could be simply:

response.write("hello world)

Missing the ending quote.  And I get the error I mention.  If I go in, delete the the .asp (cut into clipboard the code blanking the file), refresh, get a blank page, the paste it back in, sometimes this will start the debugger and I'll get the error message I was looking for.
Get 10% Off Your First Squarespace Website

Ready to showcase your work, publish content or promote your business online? With Squarespace’s award-winning templates and 24/7 customer service, getting started is simple. Head to Squarespace.com and use offer code ‘EXPERTS’ to get 10% off your first purchase.

Are you using any of the error handling with On Error Resume Next?
If Err.Number <> 0 Then
      Response.Write Err.Number & ": " & Err.Source & " | " & Err.Description & "<br />" & vbCrLf
End If
These are not usually the most descriptive, but can be another clue.

But, back to your original question, i have run into situations where I get a nondescript error, but after i either comment and then uncomment, I get the more descriptive ASP error.
I cannot explain why this happens.  I find when i simpify the page (cut it down to the code bare minimums) i tend to get the more descriptive error messages rather then the ambiguous 'Server Error' message.  But again, i cannot tell you why.  perhaps an error with too much content following causes ASP to choke out the generic message?

anyways, nothing definitive here, but thought I would give my $0.02.
jglazer63Author Commented:
No on the first part, exactly on the second.  This is my issue.  Just tired of having to futz with removing/commenting/tweaking code just to get the error message I need to fix the problem.

Anyone have any other clues to this?
Yep - I've seen this issue a few times, can be very frustrating.

Do you see the same behavoiur in IE & Firefox or just in IE?

Under IE Tools Internet Options > General > Temporray Internet Files is this set to 'Automatic' or 'Every time I visit the webpage'?

Do you use a proxy server?

Any special caching set on IIS?
jglazer63Author Commented:
I have only tried in IE.  No proxy or special caching.  
AnthonyP9618Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Turn off Friendly IE Error Messages...

Preferably Method 1...

Method 1
1.      Turn off the friendly error message option in the browser as follows:
a.       In Internet Explorer 5.x and 6.x, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
b.       On the Advanced tab, under the Browsing section, click to clear the Show friendly HTTP error messages check box, and then click OK.
c.       Close the browser.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.