Windows Tip Sheet

Locating HTTP 500 Errors

Run this script to find all the HTTP 500 errors on your Web site.

HTTP 500 errors -- the bane of any Web site, as they represent an application error of some kind -- are something you generally want to find and point out to your Web developer, ideally before Web site users start complaining. Doing so can be tough, though; a recent client of mine had dozens of servers to worry about. I helped solve the problem by writing a short script:

Dim objFSO, objTS, strFile, strLine
strFile = InputBox("Enter path and filename of IIS log file to scan:")
If strFile <> "" Then
 Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
 If objFSO.FileExists(strFile) Then
  Set objTS = objFSO.OpenTextFile(strFile)
  Do Until objTS.AtEndOfStream
   strLine = objTS.ReadLine
   If InStr(1,strLine," - 500") <> 0 Then
    WScript.Echo strLine
   End If
 End If
End If
WScript.Echo "Complete"

Given a log file and path name, this'll scan through the whole log in search of 500 errors. When it finds them, it'll display the entire line of the log file, which includes details like the date and time of the error as well as the offending page. You can pipe the output to a text file, if you prefer, or just let your developers run it themselves against copies of the log files.

Additional Resources:

  • A good place (in my opinion, at least) for scripted tools is my site,, or one of my recent books, Windows Administrator's Automation Toolkit.
  • IIS FAQ on HTTP 500 errors
  • Microsoft help on troubleshooting 500 errors

About the Author

Don Jones is a multiple-year recipient of Microsoft’s MVP Award, and is an Author/Evangelist for video training company Pluralsight. Don is also a co-founder and President of, a community dedicated to Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell technology. Don has more than two decades of experience in the IT industry, and specializes in the Microsoft business technology platform. He’s the author of more than 50 technology books, an accomplished IT journalist, and a sought-after speaker and instructor at conferences worldwide. Reach Don on Twitter at @concentratedDon, or on Facebook at

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