SSL / HTTPS stops working on localhost under IIS 5.1

I have an ASP.NET web application that uses SSL.

The other day it stopped working on my development machine (Win XP Pro SP2). Whenever I tried to navigate to the SSL page my browser said it couldn’t find the page.

I spent hours trying to google an answer to this problem.

The thing that finally fixed it was…. (drum roll)… a reboot.

Now here’s the proof that I’ve taken leave of my senses. My colleague had the same problem a few days ago. I helped him resolve it, and even suggested the reboot solution. It worked for him. But today when this problem happened to me, I forgot all about that episode, and wasted time until I came up with the same solution. Again.

I must be getting old.

Incidentally, if you need an SSL certificate for testing purposes, try Microsofts SelfSSL utility. It creates the certificate and installs it for you.

It’s available at or search for “Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 Resource Kit Tools”.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Microsoft’s SelfSSL utility will cause MSDE to stop working. It tries to install certificates in the SQL Server which makes it impossible to connect to.

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