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Setting up your IIS Machine
This is not a page on how to setup your computer to be able to write and serve ASP pages. There is plenty of documentation in the online help files produced by Microsoft. Nor is it an attempt to help you diagnose setup problems - the range of possible systems (hardware and software combinations) is too great to even begin to start.

Understanding what server you can use
There is a lot of confusion as to what web server software you can actually run on each different version of Windows. This is not helped by Microsoft's sometimes confusing naming schemes.

  • On WindowsXP Professional you can run IIS v5.1. This is included on the XP Pro CD. You install it by using the "Windows Setup" option in the Add/Remove Programs Control Panel.

  • On WindowsXP Home Edition there is no Microsoft supported ASP compatible web-server. (see KB article Q304197). That said, this article at details how it may be possible to load IIS from the Windows2000 media onto WindowsXP Home edition.

  • On Windows 2000 Professional, Server and Advanced Server you can load IIS v5 from the Windows installation media. The process is the same as for Windows XP Professional above.

  • On Windows NT Server 4 and Advanced Server 4 you can download the WindowsNT Option Pack which enables you to install IIS v4. Ensure that you choose the correct Operating System on the download page. IIS v4 only supports Active Server Pages v2, so you can not use any of the new functions, methods and objects available in ASP v3.

  • On Windows NT Workstation 4 you can download the WindowsNT Option Pack which enables you to install Personal Web Server v4. Even though it is officially called PWS, it is the same as IIS v4 for Windows NT Server/Advanced Server. For example, you get the IIS MMC Snapin for managing your webserver. As noted for Windows NT Server 4, the NT Option Pack version of IIS only supports ASP v2, not ASP v3

  • On Windows ME there is no officially supported webserver, (see KB article Q266456) nor is there any webserver installation option from the Windows ME media. It is possible to install the PWS from the Win98 Media, or to install the PWS that comes with NT Option Pack which can be downloaded from the Microsoft website (see KB article Q266456). It is also recommended that you read this page as well. PWS on Windows ME only supports ASP v2

  • For Windows98 Microsoft has supplied a version of PWS on the Windows media. You can find the setup files on x:\add-ons\pws, where x: is the letter of your CD-ROM drive. If you get an error during setup, please read: this FAQ on common errors setting up PWS on Win98.

  • For Windows95 you can download a version of PWS via the NT Option Pack setup link. Ensure that you choose Windows95 as your OS on the download page, otherwise the setup files you download will not work. Even though this download is also called PWS alongside the download for WindowsNT Workstation 4, the product is not exactly the same due to differences in the underlying Windows architecture. In terms of development though, the most glaring difference is the fact that you do not get an MMC Snapin to manage your webserver - instead you get a rather limited PWS Management Tool. This version of PWS only supports ASP v2

Limitations of Workstation Webserver Software
Something else to note is that the webservers that come with the Workstation versions of Windows (Windows96/98/ME, NT Workstation and Windows 2000/XP Professional) only support a single active website, and a 10 user concurrent connection limit. To host multiple sites (via multiple IP addresses, ports or host-headers), or to support higher concurrent connections requires a server OS. Additionally, the Workstation OSes do not support limiting inbound connections by IP address, making the installation of firewall software essential if you connect this machine to the internet, but do not wish outsiders to be able to reach your website.

Additional Installation Notes
Installing the latest version of Internet Explorer on your webserver gives you access to the latest VBScript and JScript engines. Thus, whilst you can install IIS v4 from the NT Option Pack with IE v4, installing v6 will give you access to later functions and keywords. Alternatively, you can download and install the latest script engines separately.

Always download and install the latest Microsoft Data Access Components from The latest MDACs generally give you faster performance, more stability, access to newer ADO objects (like Record and Stream) and have some serious security flaws patched. Note that if you are using Microsoft Access databases, the latest Jet Providers/ODBC Drivers are not included with the general MDAC package. Instead, you need to download and install the latest MDAC (current v2.7), then download and install Jet Service Pack 3. Both downloads can be found on the Microsoft Data Access page.

If you are installing IIS v4 onto a Windows NT 4 (Server or Workstation) machine, the MS SMTP server is an optional component. To be able to send email using the Microsoft supplied CDONTS component requires that the MS SMTP server be installed, so ensure that you select this optional component during installation.

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