Trying to install/run ASPDOTNETSTOREFRONT on W2K8R2 Windows 2008 R2 Server

If you happen to get this message when trying to launch ASPDOTNETSTOREFRONT under Windows 2008 R2 Server:

The page you requested has generated an error. Please visit our homepage by clicking this link.

The issue is most likely that you are running a 32 bit version of ASPDOTNETSTOREFRONT on a 64 bit server.

to fix this:

  1. IIS Manager
  2. Application Pools
  3. click on the application pool for the ASPDOTNETSTOREFRONT app
  4. advanced settings
  5. Enable 32-bit applications = TRUE
  6. Click recycle

Retry your application.  It should work now.

 

Sothink Video Encoder for Adobe Flash under Windows 2008 Server

Need help getting the Sothink Video Encoder for Adobe Flash working under W2K8 or W2K8 R2 server?

Here is how to properly configure your server:

  1. Install the Sothink Video Encoder for Adobe Flash software and register it using your registration key.
  2. In the destination folder for the videos, you will need to grant {machinename}\IUSR full control.
  3. the MyRequest.dll file (for ASP) won’t work properly, so if you are using ASP, you will need to use some other method to upload files to the server.  One good choice is ASPUPLOAD.COM
  4. Presuming you have already setup a site under the IIS 7.5 management tool, you need to change the pool to LOCAL SYSTEM.  Do this by locating the application pool for this site, then click ADVANCED SETTINGS (on the right nav) and under PROCESS MODEL, for Identity, select LOCALSYSTEM
  5. Click OK to close out of the property page above, then click RECYCLE
  6. You will need to grant scripts and executables property to the site.  It’s different under IIS 7 and IIS 7.5 to do this… so on the site home, open HANDLER MAPPINGS, and click “edit feature permissions” and check execute.  Then click OK and exit out.
  7. I would advise at this point to restart IIS on this box by clicking the server name and then RESTART in the right nav.
  8. If you’ve done all the above properly, you should have no problems encoding videos using Sothink Video Encoder for Adobe Flash on a Windows 2008 server.

 

IIS 7 and IIS 7.5 script map .htm to asp.dll

I recently upgraded a site from a Windows 2003 server to a Windows 2008 R2 Web Server and needed to be able to continue running .htm files through the ASP engine, because many of the pages on the site comingled ASP and HTM.
After spending about 3 hours looking into this, I finally worked out the process (below). I hope this gives some of you a time savings!
  1. Make sure that ASP is installed on IIS 7 or IIS 7.5 (obviously)
  2. Setup your web site
  3. Your ASP files should work normally
  4. to allow your .htm files to run through the ASP engine, do the following
  5. On your IIS 7 or IIS 7.5 server, go into the C:\Windows\System32\inetsrv\config directory and edit the file applicationHost.config (you will need to do this in administrator mode, or do it from a different computer networking over to that server, otherwise Windows will protect that file and won’t allow you to change it.)
  6. Scroll all the way to the bottom and look for the section that corresponds to your web site <location path=”Your Web Site”>
  7. Change/edit the code block to add in the HANDLERS and HTM map below
  8. <location path="Your Web Site">
    <system.webServer>
    <asp appAllowClientDebug="true" scriptErrorSentToBrowser="true" />
    <handlers>
    <add name="htm" path="*.htm" verb="*" modules="IsapiModule" 
           scriptProcessor="%windir%\system32\inetsrv\asp.dll" resourceType="File" />
    </handlers>
    </system.webServer>
    </location>
  9. Save the file.
  10. Restart the web server in the IIS Manager by right clicking the server name.
  11. Test your site. .HTM pages should now work as ASP files by running through the ASP.DLL

WordPress Windows 2008 Web Server R2 IIS 7.5 setup

I thought I would share a few important tips on getting WordPress 3.x to work properly – with PERMALINKS / SEO friendly URL’s.  It’s taken me a lot of trial and error to figure out the finer points, but assuming you can get it installed, these tips should help you get it 100% functional.

  1. to install, use the Microsoft Platform Installer 2.0, and let it do the work of installing PHP, WordPress etc.  IT IS FANTASIC!!! It will automatically setup PHP/FASTCGI for you and it is slick!  You can access the direct link to install WordPress on IIS here http://www.microsoft.com/web/wordpress/
  2. Secondly, I am going to make an assumption you are installing this as a subdirectory on your root site, such as www.mysite.com/blog.  If you are installing this to the root the same directions will basically apply but you’ll need to figure out which setting will need to be adjusted to put WP on the root.
  3. Third, we use a dedicated MySQL 5.x box, so we don’t install MySQL as part of the MPI 2.0 install (from step 1).  If you don’t already have a MySQL server you’ll need to let it install that as well, or make a new empty database on your MySQL box and use that info as part of the install process.  For security and speed reasons, a dedicated server for MySQL is the best choice, but not everyone has the resouces to permit a dedicated server.
  4. Under IIS 7.0 or 7.5, make sure you have downloaded and installed the free URL REWRITE 2.0 add-in for IIS.  This is a free download here: http://www.iis.net/download/urlrewrite
  5. PERMALINKS.  Once you get WP installed and are able to login to the admin interface, it’s pretty simple to get permalinks running.
    1. in the WP admin, go to SETTINGS->Permalinks.  We chose to use the “DAY AND NAME” setting.  Any other setting is your choice.  Pick a setting and click save changes.
    2. make sure you have a web.config file in your /blog/ subdirectory. 
    3. here is what your web.config file should look like – customized just for WP 3.0 in the /blog/ subdirectory (below).  (Download a ZIPPED copy of my file here)
    4. <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
      <configuration>
        <system.webServer>
          <httpErrors errorMode=”Custom” />
          <rewrite>
            <rules>
             <rule name=”Main Rule” stopProcessing=”true”>
              <match url=”.*” />
              <conditions logicalGrouping=”MatchAll”>
               <add input=”{REQUEST_FILENAME}” matchType=”IsFile” negate=”true” />
               <add input=”{REQUEST_FILENAME}” matchType=”IsDirectory” negate=”true” />
              </conditions>
             <action type=”Rewrite” url=”index.php” />
            </rule>
         </rules>
          </rewrite>
          <defaultDocument>
            <files>
              <clear />
              <add value=”index.php” />
            </files>
          </defaultDocument>
        </system.webServer>
      </configuration>
    5. Save this into your web.config file – this is all you need for WP running in the /blog/ directory.  Once you replace your file with this one your permalinks should work flawlessly.
  6. Troubleshooting.  One easy way to troubleshoot things with your WP install, is to enable DETAILED errormode.  To do this, edit your web.config file within the /blog/ folder and change just the one line above to this <httpErrors errorMode=”Detailed”/>  Of course when you are all done and going live with WP, change that line back to “Custom”
  7. Fixing permissions so that images/media/files uploaded via WordPress will properly render.  This is the fix for the infamous “500” error that is thrown when your server has wrong file permissions and the visual result is all the images you uploaded are “broken images” and won’t display. Also called HTTP Error 500.50 – URL Rewrite Module Error when you have Detailed errors on.
    1. Don’t sweat it, I will save you HOURS of time on this one.   Thanks to the article I found here after HOURS of tracking this issue down, this problem is caused because PHP first uploads the document to a temporary directory (by default C:\Windows\Temp), and then moves it from that directory to the actual /blog/wp-content/uploads/ subdirectory.  What happens is that because IIS does not have any permissions to your “C:\Windows\Temp” directory, when the file is uploaded there, then moved by PHP, the file inherits NO permissions.  So when IIS trys to serve out that file from your /blog/wp-content/uploads/subdirectory it throws a 500 error and that is actually a permissions error.
    2. The solution:  on the Windows\Temp folder, grant “modify” permissions to both IUSR and {servername}\IIS_IUSRS user accounts. 
    3. Now when you upload files via PHP and PHP moves them to the correct directory, the files will have the correct permissions and can be accessed.
    4. Important note #1:  If you already have uploaded files and are getting the dreaded broken images issue, go to the /blog/wp-content/uploads/directory and replace/update the permissions to add access for both user accounts noted above.  That will solve that issue.
    5. Important note #2: as with any change off the defaults for Windows, you do this AT YOUR OWN RISK.  It’s up to you if you want to grant the Windows\Temp directory permissions for those two accounts.  If you don’t PHP won’t be able to upload without the 500 issue (unless you move the PHP temp folder elsewhere and grant those accounts access to the other folder).  Do these changes at your own risk… I cannot and won’t take any responsiblity for your systems.  Please know what you are doing.
  8. Another site with good info on WordPress/IIS installs is here

Best of luck on your Windows 2008 R2 IIS 7.5 WordPress install. We use it here and it is fantastic!

Navigation bar missing from web site made in Publisher

Recently we were hired to fix two web sites that were designed in Microsoft Publisher and then output as HTML and uploaded to a server for a local business.  The problem is that since IE 8 came out (March 2009), both of these web sites – for anyone using Internet Explorer 8 (even using compatibility mode) – were completely missing the VERTICAL left hand navigation bars that were on each site.  When we tried the site under Firefox, Chrome or Safari, the site worked fine.  This is still a major problem because still a majority of users use IE for browsing and to them the site will be broken.

After spending several hours reseaching this topic as well as experimenting with the HTML code that is generated by Microsoft Publisher (absolutely BLOATED and HORRIBLE) – I figured out the solution to the issue.  Now keep in mind this is like putting a band-aid on the Hoover Dam to plug a leak, this should only be used to “hold over” the site until you get a “real” site designed by a company like Amixa.  I highly suggest you use this to only fix the site in the interim until you get that new site built.  Any site using Publisher is likely to suffer from horrible HTML bloat and horrible (or no) image optimization, so get off that site as soon as posssible so as not to drag down your SEO rankings any further.

Here is how to fix the issue.  (I will show you how to fix one page.  You can do the others yourself.)

  1. You will need Publisher installed onto your workstation  In my case I have the latest Publisher 2010.
  2. Download a full copy of the site to your computer.
  3. Make a backup copy into another directory.  We will only perform these fixes to the COPY.  Never erase the original in case you need to go back to it.
  4. Launch Publisher
  5. Go to file menu and OPEN up the HTM page (I am starting with the homepage, called index.htm)
  6. The page should open up perfectly and look “as it does”
  7. Locate the navigation element that is missing when you view the site under IE.  In our case it was a vertical element on the left side of the site.
  8. Hover your cursor over the upper left border of the navigation element.  When you do this the border should change into a “white and blue” striped edge.
    1. Publisher navigation border when you hover
  9. Then carefully RIGHT CLICK and select UNGROUP
  10. As soon as you do that the navigation element will change into a bunch of individual elements with “dots”
  11. Go to file, Save As, select Web Page, Filtered.  Save the file OVER TOP of the original one.
  12. You will see that each time you complete this process for each page Publisher will generate it’s own image folder.  That’s ok.  We’re only using this as a temporary fix anyways.  Upload all the revised HTML pages and their image folders to the server.
  13. It’s not perfect but the site will work on all browsers again and buy you some time until the site is rebuilt.

Server name does not show up under Network

I recently came across this problem where one of our servers would not show up in the “browse list” under the “Network” icon in Windows 7.  I also checked this same issue from other computers Network Neighborhoods and verified it was just this one server “webserver6” which was not showing up.  We are in a standard Windows AD (Active Directory) network here with a DHCP and DNS servers and two domain controllers.  I checked all the settings on those boxes and they all looked fine, so I suspected the issue was solely with that one particular server.

I examined the server (a standard Windows 2008 server box), and all the settings looked fine.  Static IP (yes), correct DNS servers (yes), enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP (yes), so the problem must be somewhere else.

I then checked the services and found that the COMPUTER BROWSER service was disabled.  I set it to automatic and started the service.

Since this particular server is a virutal server under the latest version of Hyper-V.  I shut down the server and checked the settings in the Hyper-V manager.  I noticed that this particular server was set to a “DYNAMIC MAC” address.   I switched that to STATIC.

Rebooted my workstation and “webserver6”.  Wow!  The server now shows up under the Network list.

Here are the steps again in a more formal list:

  1. Check to make sure the server has a static IP
  2. Check to make sure the server is using the correct DNS server (probably your AD domain server)
  3. Make sure NetBIOS over TCP/IP is enabled
  4. Make sure the Computer Browser service is started and set to Automatic
  5. HYPER-V machines:  Check to make sure the network adapter that the server is using is set to a STATIC MAC address.  (Not sure if this one makes any difference, but that type of a server shouldn’t be using a dynamic MAC address anyways).
  6. Reboot the server in question and your local workstation
  7. Server should show up if all the above is OK.

ADDENDUM 12/6/2010:

Another thing to check is your Windows Firewall settings. I had another server that would not show up on the Network list until I turned off the Windows Firewall.  That wasn’t a problem for us because we have a separate firewall that protects our systems.  But you need to use your own judgement and take that action on your own choice.  We aren’t responsible for your systems so I would presume that you know what you are doing and the risks of disabling Windows Firewall.

Windows 7 to Windows XP “Access is denied” home office LAN networking issues

Are you having problems getting your home office LAN, with varying computers between Windows 7 and Windows XP to properly share files?

Here are a few quick tips & tricks to solve your issues (these are at a high level, so if you don’t understand these, ask a friend to assist you). These tips presume you are on a HOME or SMALL OFFICE LAN setup. DO NOT DO THESE if your machines are joined into a Windows domain.

  1. on the Windows 7 machine(s) disable homegroups
  2. on the Windows 7 machine(s), set a workgroup name, like your last name, for example “JOHNSON” (omit the quotes of course)
  3. on the Windows XP machine(s), set the SAME workgroup name as above
  4. Make sure each machine has a friendly computer name with no punctuation. Names like FRANK, workstation1, mypc, are good. Names like Ted’s Computer, My Windows 7 machine, etc. are bad and wont’ work. If necessary, update each computer’s network name to one without any spaces or punctuation like the example just listed. All of these network changes (WORKGROUP name change and computer name change may require reboots to each PC).
  5. on both machines, create a local user(s) with the same username and password. PASSWORD ARE REQUIRED to make this work. Presuming you have one account on the older XP machine that you are currently using, to the USERS area, assign a password, log out and log back into the XP maching using that username and password. On the Windows 7 machine, go to the users area and setup the SAME USER and password.
  6. no other changes including firewall changes should be needed.
  7. if you are the only person (or if there is only one person and one user account) using each computer on the LAN, you can setup “automatic login” on both machines. Google “automatic login” for directions, so that you don’t have to login each time you boot, on each machine.
  8. create a share on each computer. It’s up to you if you want to allow read only or full access to each share. Make sure you “add users” and add all the user(s) that you created above to the permitted user list for the share.

If you’ve done all the above, and have logged out and logged back into the newly password protected accounts, you should be able browse the network, map a network drive, etc.

to do this open up Windows Explorer (the file manager, not Internet Explorer!). Expand out the network, Microsoft Windows network, your network name and you should see your computer names showing up.

Alternatively in the address bar type in

\\mypc1\ and hit enter and see if the SHARES show up. Right click on a share and “MAP NETWORK DRIVE” to allow a drive letter to show up on your Windows Explorer.

Classic ASP file upload limit of 200kb in IIS 7

During the process of migrating a site to IIS 7 we came across an issue with Classic ASP file uploads throwing 500 errors when larger than 200kb. There is an EASY fix for this.

In IIS 7, click your site and expand it then click the ASP icon.

Expand the Limits Properties icon, and change the value in the “Maximum Requesting Entity Body Limit” to a value larger than 200000 (which is about 200kb). 2000000 would be roughly 2mb, 20000000 would be 20mb.

Click the APPLY button. That’s it!

New windows in Internet Explorer opening not full screen

Is Internet Explorer driving you nuts by opening up in a smaller window, offset from center on your screen, when it should be opening full-screen?

Yes, this is a really annoying “feature” in IE, and it is not easy to figure out how to get IE to stop opening windows in this small mode. This often happens if you click the “restore down” window and resize the window smaller. From that point on every window you open will be in this new small size.

How to fix this…?

1. Close all existing IE windows
2. Open a single new IE window. Maximize the window and go to any web site like www.google.com
3. Make sure the site loads fully.
4. Click the “Restore down” icon. This is the second button from the right in the top right of the IE window. This will pop the window down to the smaller size.
5. Now grab the window top bar and move it up to top of the screen and grab the bottom right and expand out the window to manually resize it to full size on your monitor.
6. Close this window.
7. Open IE again.
8. RIGHT click any link and “open in new window”. New pages should now open full-size.

Serve static content from a cookieless domain – Google Page Speed Tip

Ok, so you are using the Google Page Speed plugin for Firefox and you can’t figure out how to clear the “Serve the following static resources from a domain that doesn’t set cookies” issue so that you score better…

First off, since we are using the Windows platform for our hosting, this entire post is making a big assumption you are too. If you are using some other platform or don’t have complete console or remote desktop access to your server, you can read on, but you’ll need to figure out this on your own.

The main thing you need to do is to REGISTER A NEW DOMAIN – or use one you’ve never used before – to specifically use for image and non-html things like JS and CSS.

If the web site is at this-is-my-site.com you should register this-is-my-site-static.com or something similar. YOU MUST register or use a completely different domain name than the base site.

Why is this? Because the way browsers store and cache cookies locally, even if you create a subdomain of your existing site, like static.this-is-my-site.com, the Google Page Speed score will still detect that that domain accepts cookies, and this will not suffice. Pick a domain that you’ve never used or hosted before and this will work fine. Keep in mind your web site visitors are NEVER going to know your images on are a different domain unless they start poking around in your HTML source code anyways.

This specific information will reference IIS 7.0, so if you are on an earlier version feel free to comment and I will see if I can pass along the settings.

So now that you’ve got your new and unused domain name ready to do, setup a new web site instance on your web server, preferably the latest OS such as Windows 2008 server.

DO NOT START the site after you set it up. Bind the site IP to the new domain name.

Bind it to the NO-MANAGED-CODE Application pool.

On this specific site you created, double click HANDLER MAPPINGS. Remove ASP, ASP.NET, PHP or any other script based handlers that appear here. ISAPI ones are OK to keep.

Start the web site instance.

You’ll now need to copy over your images to the new domain (via FTP or however).

Copy the following types of files

  • All images – png, gif, jpg
  • CSS files
  • favicon.ico file
  • JS files

In your HTML on your base site you’ll need to update ALL the image, CSS, JS, Favicon, and JS references to point to the server. You should know how to do this if you can get this far. We are talking HTML 101 here… 🙂

If you’ve done this all properly, re-run the Google Page Speed plugin and it should remove these issues off your task list and change them to “green checks”. If it doesn’t you probably have some script engine enabled on the domain and it is setting a cookie automatically (like ASP.NET). Remove it off that site.

Here at Amixa we use a dedicated server with all the script engines (ASP, ASP.NET, etc.) completely disabled to “serve cookieless domain content”.

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