IIS Troubleshooting (2/2)

Trace Output Example

On the previous page we created a rule to match requests that return status code 200. Let's now see the output of that rule.

We issue a request to the website for which we enabled tracing. As usual caching by the browser may occur so make sure you hit the server by reloading the page for instance.

When we enabled tracing for the site we accepted the default setting for the location of the trace output files: %SystemDrive%\inetpub\logs\FailedReqLogFiles. In our case the exact path of the directory for the trace output files is C:\inetpub\logs\FailedReqLogFiles\W3SVC1.

If you look into this directory after making the request you will see one or more files with a name similar to fr000001.xml. Each of these files is the trace output of a single request that matched the tracing rule. There is also a file named freb.xsl. This is the XML style sheet that is used by Internet Explorer to format the contents of the fr000001.xml files.

The output is best viewed using Internet Explorer. But if Protected Mode is switched on the style sheet may fail to load and the result will be unreadable. The procedure to disable Protected Mode can be found here.

If we now view the fr000001.xml file in Internet Explorer we see the page shown in Figure 1. There are 3 different tabs. The first tab displayed is a summary of the request. On the right hand side the "Failure Reason" indicates why the trace was triggered. In our case it's because the status code matched the rule's status code.

Request Summary
Figure 1: Request Summary

The 2 other tabs, Request Details and Compact View, show the complete trace generated by the request. As the name indicate the "Compact View" is a more compact form of the "Request Details" view. These views are shown below in figures 2 and 3.

Request Details
Figure 2: Request Details
Compact View
Figure 3: Compact View

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