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Issues Developing ASP.Net Applications Inside A VM

Recently, a co-worker of mine encountered an interesting problem using Visual Studio ASP.Net built-in web server. He solved the problem and shared his solution. I asked him if he minded my placing the solution on this site and he said that it was OK to share…


I have Visual Studio setup in a VM guest, but I want to keep most of my projects and other data on my host drive, as I need to access from the host and other VM guests. So I can create this setup with:

C:\>mklink /d C:\DEV "\\vmware-host\Shared Folders\CDRIVE$\DEV"
symbolic link created for C:\DEV <<===>> \\vmware-host\Shared Folders\CDRIVE$\DEV

C:\>mklink /d C:\UTIL "\\vmware-host\Shared Folders\CDRIVE$\UTIL"
symbolic link created for C:\UTIL <<===>> \\vmware-host\Shared Folders\CDRIVE$\UTIL

C:\>dir

 Directory of C:\

08/09/2010  11:38 AM    <SYMLINKD>     DEV [\\vmware-host\Shared Folders\CDRIVE$\DEV]
08/05/2010  02:32 PM    <DIR>          Logfiles
07/13/2009  11:20 PM    <DIR>          PerfLogs
07/28/2010  08:01 PM    <DIR>          Program Files
07/20/2010  10:11 AM    <DIR>          Program Files (x86)
07/19/2010  07:29 PM    <DIR>          TEMP
08/04/2010  03:33 PM    <DIR>          Users
08/09/2010  10:57 AM    <SYMLINKD>     UTIL [\\vmware-host\Shared Folders\CDRIVE$\UTIL]
07/23/2010  12:11 PM    <DIR>          Windows

Worked OK for a normal project, but ASP.NET projects would complain with the error:

Failed to start monitoring changes to 'C:\DEV\Projects\<project>

Turns out this is due to the feature of ASP.Net that monitors web.config for changes, so it can reload the application when web.config is updated. Since this is a development environment, I don’t need that feature, so that can be disabled with the following registry value:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\ASP.NET]
"FCNMode"=dword:00000001

More information can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/911272

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