node_modules breaks build in Visual Studio

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

Working to add Angular (v4) to an existing ASP.NET MVC 4 application. One of the projects it has includes Selenium Web Driver which has a web.config file included.


This folder is NOT included in the project but is in my web application folder


The web.config in the selenium-webdriver folder causes the build to break with the following error:

It is an error to use a section registered as

allowDefinition=’MachineToApplication’ beyond application level. This
error can be caused by a virtual directory not being configured as an
application in IIS.

Pretty common error and easily fixed when it is your own mistake, but since this is a library I’m using I don’t have control over the file. So my question is a bit leveled based on my research:

  • Can I make the “test” folder of selenium-webdriver go somewhere else?
  • Should my node_modules folder not be at the root of my web application?
  • In general.. how do I fix this?

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

install the rimraf package

 npm install rimraf

then in package.json use rimraf command

 'script': {
    'postinstall': 'rimraf node_modules/**/web.config'

Please note that first time you will have to delete it manually, as the package is already installed and postinstall command will not run.

But for all your future installs + for your teammates, it will be taken care of automatically as postinstall command runs after every npm install

Please do read more about npm pre & post hooks

Method 2

Its more of a work-around, but my making your node_modules folder hidden it won’t show up in your solution explorer and Visual Studio will run your project as normal. As far as I could see, this doesn’t affect running your web application.

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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