Browser Stops Responding When .Exe File Attempts to Run Instead of Download

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Article ID: 185379
This article was previously published under Q185379
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We strongly recommend that all users upgrade to Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) version 6.0 running on Microsoft Windows Server 2003. IIS 6.0 significantly increases Web infrastructure security. For more information about IIS security-related topics, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
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Browser Symptoms

When you click an .exe file from a browser to download it, the file attempts to run, causing the browser to stop responding.

NOTE: Internet Explorer does not actually stop responding. After the timeout period eventually expires, it displays the following error message:
Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site http://%3curl%3e/%3Cfilename%3E.exe

The operation timed out

Server Symptoms

In the Event Viewer on the computer running Internet Information Server (IIS), the following error is listed in the event log:
System Error, Source=W3SVC, Event ID=16

The event details contains the description:
The script started from the URL '/<filename>.exe' with parameters '' has not responded within the configured timeout period. The HTTP server is terminating the script.


The virtual directory containing the .exe file has the Execute application permission enabled. This causes IIS to attempt to run the .exe files in that virtual directory for the browser instead of downloading them.


To work around this problem, change the virtual directory application permission to None or Script. To do this, perform the following steps:
  1. In Internet Service Manager (ISM), view the Properties page for the appropriate virtual directory in the Web site.
  2. On the Directory, Home Directory, or Virtual Directory tab, under Permissions, select either None or Script.

(c) Microsoft Corporation 2000, All Rights Reserved. Contributions by Kevin Zollman, Microsoft Corporation.


Article ID: 185379 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 4.0
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