Visual Studio – Internet Explorer Cannot Display page, WebDev.WebServer.exe not responding

Today I noticed that Visual Studio wasn’t running my website projects when hitting Run. All I got was an Internet Explorer page showing the ‘Cannot Display Page‘ error. After closing the project down, and re-creating a new one, the same problem occurred. After googling the problem, I found out the problem may have have been a Vista update. It seems that the hosts file in C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc had the missing loopback address for localhost!

I added 127.0.0.1 with the localhost entry and bingo it worked again!

Remember to open a DOS prompt with administrator privledges and run notepad to edit the file, otherwise Vista will prevent you from editing the file. Its a shame when things like this cause you ‘outage’ in your development time, but unfortunately these types of things do arise from time to time.

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