ASP.NET4.0 MVC4 IIS7.5 Error 403.14 I'm Literally Pulling Out My Hair

Chris Peterson asked:

I want to get away from developing in PHP but doing that is proving to be a massive headache.

I am trying to set up a website with MVC 4, ASP.NET 4.0, on Win7 Professional (64-bit). The website is just the basic site that is set up with Visual Web Developer 2010 Express selecting New Project > C# > Website > ASP.NET MVC 4 Application.

After setting up the application in IIS7.5 I am getting an HTTP Error 403.14 – Forbidden. I’ve done a ton of research and tried multiple different suggestions on how to solve the problem but NOTHING is working. Here are some things I tried:

Install/Register v4 of ASP.NET. This has been the most annoying thing because everyone else’s issue is fixed when they do this but mine is not.
Changing the application pool settings:
Set to classic/integrated mode
Change the user/permissions used by the application pool
Made sure 32-bit applications were enabled
Added security permissions to folders related to the website (on multiple accounts)
I can get a regular html document to show up if I add it to the websites root directory. It seems that the MVC stack is not being called at all. The server wants to display the directory, which I can enable/disable, but the website is not being displayed. Please can I have more potential fixes before I resort to my last desperate act? A baseball bat.

p.s. I’m more than willing to do a skype conversation or a share screen kind of thing if someone wants to dig in deep. I am beyond frustrated with this.

My answer:

Try naming your sample application default.aspx when you copy it into the web root.

Start by creating a simple hello world app as default.aspx and see if it works. This will isolate any issues with IIS:

<% Response.Write("Hello World!") %>

Also check to make sure IIS is actually configured to serve a default document such as default.aspx.

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