Dealing with HTTP 404 error on Shtml.dll Using Forms on FrontPage Webs

Shtml.dll module is associated with the Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions program. In this article, we will discuss a specific error associated with this module.

In certain instances, you may receive a HTTP 404 error pointing to shtml.dll when you try to use a FrontPage Search form or post to FrontPage discussion Webs through a Proxy Server to a non-IIS Web server.

Cause of the Error

It has been noted that this error occurs when the FrontPage Server Extensions are installed on the Proxy computer itself. The error is caused by a Filter DLL called Fpexedll.dll that is added during the installation process of the FrontPage Server Extensions.

Fpexedll.dll is actually an important module that facilitates the redirection of CGI requests from legacy FrontPage versions to the new versions of ISAPI FrontPage Server Extensions. It is essential for users of FrontPage1.x to write requests to IIS Web Servers. However, the drawback is that the Fpexedll.dll module corrupts the requests that are made through Proxy Server to CGI-based FrontPage Web sites.  

Steps to Resolve HTTP 404 error Shtml.dll Error

You can fix the problem by removing the file Fpexedll.dll from the Proxy Server computer. To do this in IIS 4.0 or later versions, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Go to Start, click Run, type mmc, and then click OK to open Microsoft Management Console.
  2. Now, first open the IIS snap-in in the MMC, and then right-click on the computer and choose Properties.
  3. Open the ISAPI Filters tab.
  4. Next, select Fpexedll.dll and choose Remove.
  5. Finally, click OK twice and restart the WWW Publishing Service.

For IIS3.0 or earlier versions, you need to perform the steps listed to correct the problem.

Warning: The steps illustrated below involve editing the registry and should be performed only if you are comfortable in working with the registry. Also, remember to make a registry back up so that you can easily restore your registry in case any problems occur.

  1. Go to Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK to open the Registry Editor window.
  2. Locate the following entry:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/System/CurrentControlSet/Services/W3SVC/Parameters/Filter Dlls

  3. Now, double-click the Filter DLLs key and delete the reference to the Fpexedll.dll file.
  4. Next, exit the Registry Editor.
  5. Restart the WWW Publishing Service.

To keep DLL and other errors at bay it is essential for you to keep your PC free from malware infections and your registry free from junk entries. To have a malware-free computer, make sure that you have robust antivirus and antispyware tools on the PC. Also, to keep the registry free from issues, clean it regularly, preferably with the help of a reliable registry tool such as RegServe.