I’ve been scouring the web(and pulling out my hair) for two days, and finally solve my problem, and finally get it to work. I thought I’ll share it with people out there who is still pulling their hair.

Ok. so I have some classic ASP pages that i want to migrate from IIS5 running windows 2000 to the coolest dandiest server OS from Microsoft. Here is the catch…. I’ve got some ASP pages that are still pulling out data from access database written in access 2000, and 2003. All of which are 32 bit version.

First thing first.

  1. MAKE SURE you configure your IIS right. You need to install a specific set of rules to enable classic ASP support. Read it Here.
  2. I don’t know about you, but I want my classic ASP to have its own Application Pool, separated from all my .NET stuff. So I created an application pool for all of my classic ASP page(of course you can create more than one if you want). This is what you need when you create an application pool(if you don’t know how to create application pool using IIS7, google it up).

    Whatever you want.(I call mine Classic ASP)
    .NET Framework version: No Managed Code
    Managed pipeline mode: Classic.

    After you are done. Go to advanced setting of your Application Pool, and make sure the identity is set to ApplicationPoolIdentity. This is the default behavior for 2008 R2, but from my experience this past several days, I saw screen shot that is set to something else.

    If you’ve been researching, you’ll find out that a lot of people out there ask you to set the Enable 32-Bit Applications to True for you to enable the Jet Engine or the ODBC to interact with Access Database. In my experience, this is NOT necessary. I’m not saying that they are wrong.

  3. If your ASP pages is on a virtual directory(subdirectory within your root, NOT on your root directory), go ahead and convert that virtual directory to application(right click convert), AND select the application pool you just created in step 2 above.
  4. This is the most important thing. CREATE A HANDLER MAPPING for your *.asp page. I’ve read a lot of people complaining about getting 404 or 500 error because they did not set this up right. Double click on the virtual directory you just converted to application on step 3 above, and click handler Mappings. You need to add a SCRIPT MAP.

    This is where it gets tricky, and I do not find this mentioned anywhere but this blog, which I found really helpful. You need to decide first whether you want to run your ASP in 32 BIT or 64 BIT. A lot of posters out there tell you to enable 32 BIT setting in your application pool, but they did not tell you how to change the ASP handler to use the 32BIT version of the handler’s executable. I repeat, you do NOT need to set your application pool to enable 32bit.

    Add a script map using the following setting:

  5. Request Path: *.asp
    Executable: C:\Windows\system32\inetsrv\asp.dll
    Name: whatever you want. I named my Classic ASP

    The executable above is 64 BIT ASP handler for your asp script. If you want your ASP script to be handled in 32 bit environment, you need to use executable from this location: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\inetsrv\asp.dll.

    From my experience. if I use the 64bit version of the executable(as a lot of posters recommend), and set the application pool to enable 32BIT……. YOU WILL GET 404.17 error. Similar thing hapen(maybe different IIS error code) if you are using the 32 bit version, but do not enable the 32bit setting.

    In my opinion, if everything else works in 64 bit environment(which in my case it does), I don’t want to make anything run in 32bit unless i have to.The hardware and the OS is 64 bit. If the software can also run in 64 bit, why bother to change to 32? So, I use the 64bit executable.

  6. Test your configuration. Create a simple test.asp file in the virtual directory you just converted to Application in step 3 above, with just <%Response.Write(“test”)%> in it. See if it runs okay. It should. If it doesn’t, and it’s giving you error that complains about parent path, double click on the virtual directory you just converted to application in step 3 above, and double click on the ASP icon in features view. Set the enable parent path to true. While you are at it, under the debugging properties, set send error to browsers to TRUE, so you don’t have to hang yourself later trying to figure out what’s wrong with this world(or IIS). If you are using IE as your browser, make sure to turn off “Show friendly HTTP error messages” so that you can see the actual error(Internet Options, Advanced).

    At this point your ASP page should work fine. If not, make sure you do all the above steps right. If you are still getting an asp error, make sure you comment out “on error resume next” statement in your code. If the error message doesn’t help you, try to enable failed request tracing to understand what the error is about(google it up to find out how to set this up).

    Your ACCESS database is still crapping out at this point. You can hang yourself(like I almost did). OR…. if that’s not an option, do this….

  7. Install your Access database provider.Older access version uses JET.OLEDB 4.0 provider so that other application(such as ASP) can read and write data to it. This provider is 32BIT, and there is NO 64bit JET Engine. I repeat… NONE. I’ve seen suggestion that ask you to enable the 32bit support in your application pool, so you could get the JET engine to work. However I could never get this to work. HECK, the jet engine is not even registered on my server. I checked the registry entry, and there is no entry for for JET OLEDB provider. I don’t know how in some forum people get it to work, but I definitely can not get mine to work in IIS7.5 and 2008R2 environment.

    You do NOT need a Jet Engine. Even if you can get it to work……… DON’T use it. Microsoft never support Jet running under server 2008. Use Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable. This is a key to the magic kingdom(wherever that is). Download the 64 BIT version, and install it. Restart it after you install(most likely you don’t have to, but if you feel safer that way…. go ahead do it, and pull yourself together, don’t get up on that chair and hang yourself just yet).

  8. Change the connection string in your ASP page to
    “Driver={Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb, *.accdb)};DBQ=path to mdb/accdb file”
    connstr = “Driver={Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb, *.accdb)};DBQ=” & server.mappath(“../..”) & “\databases\list.mdb”

  9. Buy yourself a case of Bud Light. At this point your ASP pages should be talking to your Access database and displaying on a web browser. If it is still not working…….. well, get that chair ready. I’m not sure what else could be the problem.

If I’m missing any step, please post a correction. Hope this helps someone