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Jeremy Morgan Ramblings of a Polyglot coder
A great tool I've discovered recently is the Failed Request Tracing Tool is IIS. It's a great way to see why your request failed. 

I cover this and other IIS Administration topics in my IIS Administration Fundamentals course at Pluralsight. Check it out!

  • Getting a 500 error? 
  • Getting a permission denied and don't know where it's being denied?
  • Getting an error that doesn't show up in the logs?

Each of these are good candidates for this tool. This captures data right when the server gets hit. These are activities that happen right at the front, even before they can be logged. 

In your IIS Manager, select your website. In the Actions panel under Manage Web Site click "Failed Request Tracing.." 


In the next screen, you'll enable it, and click OK. 


Next, find the "Failed Request Tracing Rules" icon, and click it: 



In the next screen, we'll add a rule. Right click in the open area and select "Add"




Select the content you'd like to trace:


On this screen, type in 400-999 to capture the full range of errors


Select your trace providers (I usually select all of them)


Then, make a request to your web site (either through browser, ajax, etc)

Next in your inetpub folder under logs, you'll see a new FaildReqLogFiles folder. In there will be generated folders. Select the latest one. 


In here you'll see a set of xml files for each individual request.


Double click to open it up, and you'll see very detailed information. In this case it shows I have a certificate error, that is not explained on the error page or the error log, but I've found it here and can move on. 




And that's it! Make sure to turn it off once you've solved your problem. 

While IIS admins have probably been using this for years, it's a helpful too for developers as well, especially ones who work on implementation as well as development. 

Let me know in the comments what you think. 

- Jeremy 


Are you an IIS Administrator? Do you want to be? Check out my new  IIS Administration Fundamentals course at Pluralsight! - J




Posted on Friday, January 8, 2016 2:46 PM Tutorials , Programming , DevOps , IIS , System Administration , Windows | Back to top


Comments on this post: Awesome Trick: Tracing Request Failures in IIS

# re: Awesome Trick: Tracing Request Failures in IIS
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Awesome post. In the article you mentioned "Make sure to turn it off once you've solved your problem."

Do you know if there's any performance hits if you leave it on?

I think since it's just on failed requests it wouldn't make much difference but would love to know some correct information
Left by Christopher Demicoli on Jan 08, 2016 3:20 PM

# re: Awesome Trick: Tracing Request Failures in IIS
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wow this article's title is BuzzFeed level clickbait. There is no "awesome trick" here, it's simply a basic guide to Failed Request Tracing. I was actually expecting this article to do something to help take the horrible suck out of dealing with failed requests.
Left by Chris Marisic on Jan 11, 2016 12:58 PM

# re: Awesome Trick: Tracing Request Failures in IIS
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I do appreciate this idea. Thanks for sharing. The process is easy to follow. - GE Pro Elite
Left by Gerald on Jan 12, 2016 2:51 AM

# re: Awesome Trick: Tracing Request Failures in IIS
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I am new to IIS and I didn’t get much idea regarding the tool or what it is capable of. A brief introduction would have given a clear picture to the readers. However you have explained quite well regarding its ability to get a clear picture of reason why the request has been declined. private rijksmuseum tour
Left by Taylor Shaw on Mar 22, 2018 3:19 AM

# re: Awesome Trick: Tracing Request Failures in IIS
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Great share man. Very easy to follow Lescomparatifs
Left by gabrimo on Apr 16, 2018 3:21 AM

# re: Awesome Trick: Tracing Request Failures in IIS
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I read it with pleasure. Cari
Left by Cari on May 14, 2018 7:07 AM

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