Validating for large files upon Upload

I am working with c# MVC 2 and ASP.NET. One of my forms includes a file input field which allows a use to select any file type which will then be converted into a blob and saved into the database. My problem is that whenever a user selects a file that exceeds a certain amoutn of Mb (about 8) I get a page error that says the following:

The connection was reset
The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.

I don’t mind that there’s an 8Mb limit to the files the users are uploading however I need to stop the current error from happening and display a proper validation message (preferably with the ModelState.AddModelError function). Can anybody help me? I can’t seem to ‘catch’ the error before anything else happens in the page since it’s happening before it arrives in the upload function within the controller.

Answers:

Thank you for visiting the Q&A section on Magenaut. Please note that all the answers may not help you solve the issue immediately. So please treat them as advisements. If you found the post helpful (or not), leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Method 1

One possibility is to write a custom validation attribute:

public class MaxFileSizeAttribute : ValidationAttribute
{
    private readonly int _maxFileSize;
    public MaxFileSizeAttribute(int maxFileSize)
    {
        _maxFileSize = maxFileSize;
    }

    public override bool IsValid(object value)
    {
        var file = value as HttpPostedFileBase;
        if (file == null)
        {
            return false;
        }
        return file.ContentLength <= _maxFileSize;
    }

    public override string FormatErrorMessage(string name)
    {
        return base.FormatErrorMessage(_maxFileSize.ToString());
    }
}

and then you could have a view model:
public class MyViewModel
{
    [Required]
    [MaxFileSize(8 * 1024 * 1024, ErrorMessage = "Maximum allowed file size is {0} bytes")]
    public HttpPostedFileBase File { get; set; }
}

controller:
public class HomeController : Controller
{
    public ActionResult Index()
    {
        return View(new MyViewModel());
    }

    [HttpPost]
    public ActionResult Index(MyViewModel model)
    {
        if (!ModelState.IsValid)
        {
            // validation failed => redisplay the view
            return View(model);
        }

        // the model is valid => we could process the file here
        var fileName = Path.GetFileName(model.File.FileName);
        var path = Path.Combine(Server.MapPath("~/App_Data/uploads"), fileName);
        model.File.SaveAs(path);

        return RedirectToAction("Success");
    }
}

and a view:
@model MyViewModel

@using (Html.BeginForm(null, null, FormMethod.Post, new { enctype = "multipart/form-data" }))
{
    @Html.TextBoxFor(x => x.File, new { type = "file" })
    @Html.ValidationMessageFor(x => x.File)
    <button type="submit">OK</button>
}

Now of course for this to work you will have to increase the maximum allowed upload file size in web.config to a sufficiently large value:
<!-- 1GB (the value is in KB) -->
<httpRuntime maxRequestLength="1048576" />

and for IIS7:
<system.webServer>
    <security>
        <requestFiltering>
           <!-- 1GB (the value is in Bytes) -->
            <requestLimits maxAllowedContentLength="1073741824" />
        </requestFiltering>
    </security>
</system.webServer>

We could now bring our custom validation attribute a step further and enable client side validation to avoid wasting bandwidth. Of course verifying the file size before uploading is only possible with HTML5 File API. As a consequence only browsers that support this API will be able to take advantage of it.

So the first step is to make our custom validation attribute implement the IClientValidatable interface which will allow us to attach a custom adapter in javascript:

public class MaxFileSizeAttribute : ValidationAttribute, IClientValidatable
{
    private readonly int _maxFileSize;
    public MaxFileSizeAttribute(int maxFileSize)
    {
        _maxFileSize = maxFileSize;
    }

    public override bool IsValid(object value)
    {
        var file = value as HttpPostedFileBase;
        if (file == null)
        {
            return false;
        }
        return file.ContentLength <= _maxFileSize;
    }

    public override string FormatErrorMessage(string name)
    {
        return base.FormatErrorMessage(_maxFileSize.ToString());
    }

    public IEnumerable<ModelClientValidationRule> GetClientValidationRules(ModelMetadata metadata, ControllerContext context)
    {
        var rule = new ModelClientValidationRule
        {
            ErrorMessage = FormatErrorMessage(_maxFileSize.ToString()),
            ValidationType = "filesize"
        };
        rule.ValidationParameters["maxsize"] = _maxFileSize;
        yield return rule;
    }
}

and all that’s left is configure the custom adapter:
jQuery.validator.unobtrusive.adapters.add(
    'filesize', [ 'maxsize' ], function (options) {
        options.rules['filesize'] = options.params;
        if (options.message) {
            options.messages['filesize'] = options.message;
        }
    }
);

jQuery.validator.addMethod('filesize', function (value, element, params) {
    if (element.files.length < 1) {
        // No files selected
        return true;
    }

    if (!element.files || !element.files[0].size) {
        // This browser doesn't support the HTML5 API
        return true;
    }

    return element.files[0].size < params.maxsize;
}, '');

Method 2

You can increase request max length for certain urls in web.config:

<location path="fileupload">
  <system.web>
    <httpRuntime executionTimeout="600" maxRequestLength="10485760" />
  </system.web>
</location>

Method 3

I googled around a bit and came up with the following two URLs which seem to suggest that this problem or exception is best handled at Application’s Error event in Global.asax.

  1. Catching ‘Maximum request length exceeded’
  2. How to handle “Maximum request length exceeded” exception


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

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