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Web.config and classic ASP on Plesk

Posted on 2013-11-11
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Hi All:

I trying to move my website to a new host.  It is heavily scripted in ASP.  ASP Error messages on this host do not display except for the general Internal Server Error 500 message.  Digging through server error logs is way more cumbersome than error messages containing line number and error.

The support staff recommended the following web.config file:
<configuration>
    <system.webServer>
        <httpErrors errorMode="Detailed" />
        <asp scriptErrorSentToBrowser="true"/>
    </system.webServer>
    <system.web>
        <customErrors mode="On"/>
        <compilation debug="true"/>
    </system.web>
</configuration>

This renders the server unable to execute ASP scripts with the Application Failed error in known functional scripts.  I've tried reducing the file down to just:

<configuration>
    <system.web>
        <customErrors mode="On"/>
    </system.web>
</configuration>

but that doesn't change anything.  Any thoughts?

Also, does Plesk really suck and nobody will admit it?
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Question by:RustyRazor
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7 Comments
 
LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39639972
IIS7 and later do not have Classic ASP installed by default.  Have you checked to see if it is even installed?  I don't believe that it shows in 'web.config'.
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Author Comment

by:RustyRazor
ID: 39641564
I am able to make ASP scripts run when there's no web.config file.
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39642500
Your first version above of web.config is exactly what I have on my Godaddy Windows hosting with IIS7 on Server 2008.  My Classic ASP, ASP.NET, and PHP files run fine on it.  I don't remember making any changes to the ASP files except for the database location.
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Author Comment

by:RustyRazor
ID: 39642710
Yes, but this is on Plesk, not IIS.  My lingering theory is the Plesk is a monumental load.
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39642799
Plesk is a control panel and IIS is the web server.  Plesk may be "a monumental load" but Plesk does not run your code, IIS does.  Only Microsoft's IIS web server runs ASP and ASP.NET.
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Author Comment

by:RustyRazor
ID: 39643365
All I know is that my scripts ran fine on the windows shared hosting environment and didn't run on the Plesk paltform.  The above web.config file caused ASP scripts to crash on the Plesk platform.  As a side thing, Godaddy did not deliver good support for Plesk and they don't seem to understand it and online documentation on the Plesk website is pretty spare.  The user interface on Plesk is more difficult to navigate as well.  Not a fan.

At this point, I've jumped Plesk and returned to the windows shared hosting environment.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 500 total points
ID: 39648164
If you want windows shared hosting try http://webservices.thesba.com.  For VPS, Cloud or Dedicated I use, http://www.liquidweb.com.

I have used Crystaltech/NewTech/theSBA for 14 years for shared and they recently moved from using their own control panel to plesk.  In the shared environment, plesk probably gives you more control of the server depending on what features they turn on.  Plesk does make some things easier but if you are used to managing a server on your own, it can be cumbersome.   If you were using a shared server, you never had direct access to the server and had to use some type of custom control panel.

Plesk is not intuitive. I have been in the habit of using IIS directly, but then you run the risk of plesk over writing what you did later.  

For ASP Classic with plesk you need to turn on asp in the hosting and domain area.  As far as turning errors on, I have done that directly using iis http://www.iis.net/learn/application-frameworks/running-classic-asp-applications-on-iis-7-and-iis-8/classic-asp-script-error-messages-no-longer-shown-in-web-browser-by-default.  Another feature you may need to do in iis is to set the idle time out.  I don't believe you can do that in plesk.  If you have a site that takes up a lot of resources, I will put that in it's own app pool.  Then you can adjust the idle time out for that app pool.  I think it is defaulted to just a few minutes. If you have a wisiwyg to enter in a lot of text, people tend to "logged out" as they push the submit button because of the idle time out.

Once you get your error messages to display (you may still get the 500 error in public but if you surf on the server you will get the actual error), then you can start going after issue by issue.

A common problem is parent paths are also turned off and class asp developers are used to using include files that may look like
<!--#include file="../somefolder/MyPage.asp" -->

Open in new window

The parent path thing is a security risk and I would not suggest turning that on just to make your script work. Instead use
<!--#include virtual="/somefolder/MyPage.asp" -->

Open in new window


The next common error is missing components which you have found out from your previous question.  You either need to install components or find a work around.  Common asp components are aspJpeg and aspUpload for uploading files and image manipulation.  Uploading can be done without components and for manipulating images, you can use another language in the background such as php or if you have the ability to install programs use a command line tool http://www.imagemagick.org/script/index.php.

If you are using file upload scripts, you may be using the full location in your script like c:\site\mysite\folder.  Since servers are set up differently, these types of scripts typically need to be changed as well.  Your new server might be c:\inetpub\anotherfolder\site.  

At least these are the easy things I find that are issues from going from one server to the next.

To answer your question about viewing errors you will probably need to log in to the server to surf to the page.  If you can't do that, ask your host about temporarily turning on errors to the public.
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