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How to Debug an ASP Project with Visual Studio .NET

One of our readers sent in this tip on how to get classic ASP debugging working from within Visual Studio .NET.

It took me a while to figure out how to enable debugging on a traditional ASP project with Visual Studio .NET using Windows 2000. I would always get an error saying:

"Unable to find project on the web server. Unable to set web server into correct debugging state automatically. You may not be able to debug .ASP pages."

After a lot of online research and fiddling with the settings, this is what worked for me.

To enable .asp debugging change the following settings:

  1. In VS.NET:
        project - properties
            configuration properties
                    - enable ASP debugging
                    - enable ASP.NET debugging

  2. In the IIS snap-in:
        default website - properties
            home directory tab
                    app debugging
                        - enable ASP server-side script debugging

        website (the project you want to debug) - properties
            directory tab
                application name: add
                    (this sets an application name for the website and changes the icon from a default folder icon to a website icon)

  3. Add IIS process account to Debugger Users group:
        In Computer Management snap-in:
            System Tools
                Local Users and Groups
                        Debugger Users - properties
                            Add user IWAM_machine-name (the "Launch IIS process account")

Now, to debug in VS.NET:

  1. Right-click the .asp page that the application should start from and select "Set as Start Page"
  2. Set a breakpoint in the .asp code anywhere in the project
  3. Click Debug -> Start or press F5 to build the project and start debugging

I hope this helps others avoid wasting time fiddling with all these settings...


Thanks Timm!

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