IIS Express 8.0 Fails to Start - by cmoschini

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ID 779161 Comments
Status Active Workarounds
Type Bug Repros 0
Opened 2/13/2013 11:09:13 AM
Access Restriction Public


Loading a site on IIS Express 8.0 in its default configuration (or any I've tried) fails to start IIS Express 8.0 properly. IIS Express appears to load up - its icon loads in the tray - but Visual Studio then hangs for a minute then says it couldn't start IIS Express. IIS Express then crashes.

Attached is the procmon of IIS Express - it shows several buffer overflows around the time of the hang.
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Posted by Bala [MSFT] on 8/15/2013 at 2:05 PM
Thanks for the response. We are resolving this as No Repro based on your comments below. Please feel free to re-activate if you run into this issue again.

Bala Chirtsabesan
Web Development and Tools team
Posted by cmoschini on 8/12/2013 at 1:21 PM
Hi Bala,

After that comment was posted, Microsoft had me follow-up with phone support. However, I was told I'd have to pay several hundreds of dollars to proceed. Not interested in paying, I stopped using IIS Express and stuck with the Visual Studio built-in.

Since then, that machine has died completely from having something spilled on it, and I've purchased a new machine. That machine doesn't exhibit this issue, so unfortunately I can no longer help diagnose the problem. However, I also posted this issue to Stack Overflow:


There it has several upvotes, and several comments from people hoping to see this issue resolved as well. It may make sense to reach out to them on Stack Overflow to further pursue this diagnosis.

Thanks for following up. Sorry I can't be of any more help.
Posted by Bala [MSFT] on 8/12/2013 at 12:55 PM
Hi cmoschini, I was wondering if you could provide the additional information requested below and send me an email and we can investigate your issue some more. Please let us know.

Bala Chirtsabesan.
Web Development and Tools Team
Posted by Bala [MSFT] on 4/22/2013 at 9:33 PM
Hi cmoschini, thanks for your patience with this issue. Can you try one more thing? After the IIS Express project is created, if you build and do Ctrl-Shift-W (View in Browser) without attaching to the debugger, does that help? I'm trying to narrow down the issue. Also if you can drop me an email at balach-AT-microsoft-DOT-com, I can work with you directly to try and resolve your issue.

Bala Chirtsabesan.
Web Development and Tools Team
Posted by cmoschini on 2/27/2013 at 3:21 PM
iisexpress.exe runs fine with or without deleting these files. It's when Visual Studio is the harness starting it up that it fails.

1) Create an ASP.Net MVC 4 site or any other ASP.Net site in Visual Studio 2012 in its default configuration, which includes IIS Express selected as the webserver.

2) Run it.

3) Wait a minute while connecting fails.

4) IIS Express tray icon vanishes.

5) Receive an error dialog saying "Unable to launch the IIS Express Web server."

So it's something in the interaction between Visual Studio 2012 and IIS Express. A couple other things that might help debug:

A) If I right-click the tray icon while I'm waiting for Visual Studio to fail, I get to the site just fine and can browse. Once Visual Studio fails however, IIS Express is halted and the site becomes unavailable.

B) I can manually start IIS Express and browse the site fine without anything failing.

So it's just the core functionality of having the debugger attach properly that's failing.
Posted by Microsoft on 2/27/2013 at 2:47 PM
Hi comschini,

Could you help to troubleshoot the issue?
I'd like to check if this issue can be reproducible after clearing the existing IIS Express files. If IIS Express works well in clean state.

Here is the way how to clear the IIS Express files and run IIS Express without using Visual Studio.

1. Open DOS prompt and go to "%userprofie%\Documents" directory
2. There you will see "IIS Express" and "My Web Sites".
3. Back up those directories if you want to restore them later
4. Delete both "IIS Express" and "My Web Sites" directories
5. Run "%ProgramFiles%\iis express\iisexpress.exe" in order to start IISExpress
6. If you don't see there is any error as below screenshot, your problem is solved with clearing existing IIS Express files.

C:\> "%ProgramFiles%\iis express\iisexpress.exe"
Starting IIS Express ...
Initializing the W3 Server Started CTC = 183148750
W3 Server initializing WinSock. CTC = 183148750
W3 Server WinSock initialized. CTC = 183148750
W3 Server ThreadPool initialized (ipm has signalled). CTC = 183148750
Successfully registered URL "http://localhost:8080/" for site "WebSite1" applica
tion "/"
Registration completed for site "WebSite1"
IIS Express is running.
Enter 'Q' to stop IIS Express

If you still see any error, then there is something wrong in IIS Express. I think you try reinstall IIS Express. You uninstall IIS Express from Control Panel "Add/remove programs" and you can install IIS Express again with WebPI, which is available at http://www.micrsofot.com/web.

Please let me know if this can solve this problem or not.

Jeong Hwan Kim
Posted by cmoschini on 2/20/2013 at 4:45 PM
I tried running Visual Studio 2012 Repair and it finished with an error stating that IIS Express 8.0 failed. I've attached the log file it generated.
Posted by cmoschini on 2/13/2013 at 8:17 PM
StackOverflow question for this issue:

Posted by Microsoft on 2/13/2013 at 8:14 PM
Thanks for your feedback.

We are rerouting this issue to the appropriate group within the Visual Studio Product Team for triage and resolution. These specialized experts will follow-up with your issue.
Posted by Microsoft on 2/13/2013 at 11:52 AM
Thank you for your feedback, we are currently reviewing the issue you have submitted. If this issue is urgent, please contact support directly(http://support.microsoft.com)