IIS Web Server Won't Serve Some Files

Posted Thursday, February 19, 2009 1:18:41 PM
More and more I'm being asked by friends and colleagues: "why doesn't the file I just posted to my web server show up when I try to view it in a browser?"

Before answering this question I always verify the obvious problems that could exist. Are they spelling the filename correctly? Are they using the right path and including all directories? Usually the answer to one of these is no, and a quick fix of a typo has the page displaying perfectly. But, occasionally, the issue arises that the file truly does exist on the server, in a location accessible by anonymous users, and yet when the URL is typed into a browser, the end-user receives a 404 error.

When this occurs, the usual problem is the file is a type not recognized by the IIS server. This often includes .xml, .fla, and other media file types. To fix this problem, all one needs to do is add the extension of the file not working to their IIS MIME Types. To do this:

1. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager on your web server
2. Right-Click on [Computer Name](local computer) from the list on the left side of the window
3. Click on Properties
4. Click on MIME Types
5. Verify the extension doesn't already exist
6. Click New...
7. Type the file extension of the file not displaying
8. Type of the MIME Type of the file (if you don't know this, check this list)
8. Click OK
9. Click OK again
Setting IIS MIME Types

Setting IIS MIME Types

And ta da. All fixed. IIS will now serve files with the new extension you just added.
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