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I'm stuck in an Internet Explorer only environment, and one of my users is experiencing an error on one of my pages. It's a Cold Fusion page, and I'm sure it's not crashing at the beginning. Does anyone know of any way to view the actual source of the error page rather than the generic error message that IE redirects the user to?

I know from previous experience that if I could navigate to the page in Firefox or any other browser, it would just show the HTML that was able to render and I could go from there to view source, but if I view source in IE it shows me the source of the error message, not the source of the page causing the error.

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What is the exact error message your user is getting? The "cannot display the webpage" message you mentioned in the title of your question usually results from a non-existent domain, or a DNS, proxy, firewall, or other connection problem, meaning Internet Explorer never got a response from the server in the first place. The friendly HTTP errors Johannes Rössel mentions below look similar, but have different wordings and will show an HTTP error code number. – Bavi_H Mar 10 '10 at 3:10
It turns out that was actually the problem. I was sent the wrong URL for the original error, and it turned out to just be a broken link. That said, I've definitely run into this kind of problem before where it was an error on the page that stopped the rendering engine (often while still outputting the page headers) and then you get a similar error. The below answer will help me immensely in the future, so thanks! – Kendrick Mar 11 '10 at 12:50
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Un-check “Show friendly HTTP error messages” in the Internet Options:

“Show friendly HTTP error messages” in Internet Explorer's Internet Options

That setting causes generic error messages to be displayed if the response was smaller than 500-ish bytes for HTTP errors. Beyond that threshold the actual response is always displayed. So you could also pad your error responses appropriately—that's not uncommon to do :-)

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When I look in the regsitry location mentioned on the page linked to above, I see the limit is usually 512 bytes, sometimes 256 bytes. – Bavi_H Mar 10 '10 at 3:13
@bav: Ah, so my initial thought was correct. I just thought I may have been wrong because of “There is a name value pair (for example, "404", 128) for each of the errors.” – Joey Mar 10 '10 at 13:12

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