WordPress new install on Windows IIS 7 with 500 Internal Server Error

Wasted 3 hours of my night working on this.  I was asked by a friend to install WordPress for them so that they can do everything.  Sounds like very little work for me.  Sounds like money for old rope.  No problems I thought. BOOM!  500 Internal Server Error.

Annoyingly enough this error doesn’t appear when I remote desktop into my server.  So I thought it must have been a permissions thing.  But it wasn’t.  Cue tonnes of reading of numerous blogs going back 5+ years.  But no solution.

The Solution

I don’t know what popped into my head.  I decided to try and repeat it locally.  Hacking your Host file is dead easy so that you can point any URL to your local host instead of the real server.  But still nothing.  And more started popping into my head.  The error wasn’t going to the right place by the looks of it.  WordPress is very dynamic with everything routed through 1 index.php in the route of your install.

So I went to IIS, pulled up the Error Handlers and noticed the 500 error was going to a generic static file.  I changed this to point to /index.php.  VIOLA!  It worked.  And the client could install WordPress how they wanted.

I want my 3 hours back.

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