Installing IIS on Windows XP Home    



Installing IIS on Windows XP Home




Microsoft doesn't officially support running IIS (Internet Information Server) or PWS (Personal Web Server) on Windows XP Homeclip_image001[12].

See: INFO: Personal Web server is not included with Windows XP Home Edition.

There is no technical reason why XP Home didn't include a web server, so I can only assume it was done as a marketing decision.

These instructions are unofficial and unsupported. Hacking your Windows XP Homeclip_image001[13] installation is a good way to put your computer out of commission and require a full reinstall.

If you are actually using your computer to run a business and need IIS, you must license an appropriate version of Windows to be in compliance with Microsoft EULAs. These versions include:

·       Windows XP Professionalclip_image001[14]

·       Windows Web Server 2008clip_image001[15]

·       Windows Server 2008

·       Windows Server 2003

If you want to run a web server, but do not need IIS specific features (ASP/ASP.NET support), consider an alternative web server.

References and credits

Richard Sandoz provided the steps to install IIS on XP Home in this USENET post (Jan 8 2002). His original posting has been widely quoted around the web. Unfortunately, his steps are unclear on how to properly configure IIS after installation.

This article cleans up some style issues with Mr. Sandoz's post, and integrates additional steps needed to work on XP Home SP2. This article would not have been possible without Mr. Sandoz's work, and I thank him for sharing it with the community.


These instructions have the following requirements:

·       You are running Windows XP Home SP2.
SP2 contains many changes to how Windows manages computer security. These instructions may not work on versions of XP older (or newer) than SP2.

·       Your Windows XP Home installation disc.

·       A Windows 2000clip_image001[16] installation disc (any version.)
You must copy IIS from a version of Windows 2000. These instructions do not work if you try to copy from XP Professional or Windows Server 2003.

·       Windows Script 5.6 or higher.

Please note!

At the risk of being redundant: This document only works when you copy IIS from a Windows 2000 CD. It will not work if you try to copy IIS from Windows XP Professional, or any newer version of Windows.

Path and CD-ROM notes

·       I assume that your windows folder is C:\Windows which is the default location. Substitute your actual windows folder if needed.

·       I assume that your CD-ROM drive is assigned the letter X:. Substitute your actual CD-ROM drive letter if needed.

Windows Script Installation

You need to be running Windows Script 5.6 or higher for these instructions to work. Newer versions of Windows XP will come with this version installed, but if you have a very old installation you may need to update this component manually.

To verify your version of Windows Script, open a command prompt and run:

You should see "Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.6" or "...5.7". If you have a prior version, use the following link to update your scripting components.

Micrsoft Download: Windows Script 5.7 for Windows XP

IIS Installation

1.    Open the file C:\WINDOWS\INF\SYSOC.INF and find the section [Components].

2.    Find the line:
and replace it with:

Typographical notes

o   This file is case-sensitive, so make sure you type OcEntry and not OCEntry or ocentry.

o   In the replacement text, there are two commas in a row before the 7.

3.    From your Windows 2000 CD, copy the files X:\I386\iis.dl_ and X:\I386\iis.in_ to a folder on your hard drive.

4.    Go to the folder from step #3 in a command window.

"Open Command Window Here"

Microsoft provides a PowerToy that lets you easily get to any folder in a command window. After installing the PowerToy, right-click on any folder to open it in the shell.

See: Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP, and install "Open Command Window Here".

5.    In the command window, decompress the two files with the following commands:
expand iis.dl_ iis2.dll
expand iis.in_ iis2.inf

(You may close the command prompt at this time.)

6.    Move the files:
iis2.inf to C:\Windows\INF
iis2.dll to C:\Windows\System32\Setup

7.    Open the Control Panel and choose Add or Remove Programs. From the column of icons on the left, choose Add/Remove Windows Components. IIS will now be available.

Optional Windows Components

You can also remove unused Windows components from this form. I unchecked "MSN Explorer". Note that some of these options (IE, Outlook Express) only remove a program from the Start Menu list, and don't actually remove the executables.

8.    Check IIS and then click the details button. You can add or remove optional components in this form.

Do not install SMTP

I recommend unchecking SMTP. When I leave SMTP checked, my install hangs trying to configure SMTP. It's possible that I'm just not waiting long enough, but as I don't need that service I installed without it.

9.    Click OK to close the details window and then Next to continue with the installation.

10. When prompted, insert your Windows 2000 disc and browse for X:\I386; do the same when prompted for your XP Home disc.

11. Once installed, you can access the Internet Services Manager by opening the Control Panel and choosing Administrative Tools.

Add Administrative Tools to the Start Menu

To add Administrative Tools to the Start Menu:

o   Right-click on the start button and choose Properties.

o   Click the Customize... button then select the Advanced tab.

o   Scroll the Start menu items list to the bottom, and select where you want Administrative Tools to appear.

Now that basic installation is complete, you must configure IIS.

IIS Configuration

When cross-installing IIS from Windows 2000 to Windows XP Home, the default Directory Security and Home Directory settings will not work correctly out-of-the-box.

Configure Directory Security

The default IIS account is IUSR_NAME. We need to replace this with NAME\IUSR_NAME (where NAME is your computer name.)

IIS User Accounts

IIS creates some user accounts, based on your computer's name, that it uses to run ASP applications: IUSR_NAME and IWAM_NAME, where NAME is the name of your computer.

This allows custom security settings to be applied to ASP and ISAPI applications.


1.    Start Internet Services Manager from Administrative Tools.

2.    Your computer will appear under Internet Information Services. Right-click on your computer and choose Properties.

3.    Select Master WWW Service in the drop-down, then click Edit....

4.    Select the Directory Security tab.

5.    Under Anonymous access and authentication control click Edit...

6.    In the Authentication Methods form, make sure only Anonymous access is checked, then click Edit....

7.    The default username will be IUSR_NAME. We need to replace this with NAME\IUSR_NAME where NAME is your computer name. You can type it in manually or use these steps:

a.    Click the Browse... button.

b.    On the Select User form click the Advanced... button in the bottom left.

c.     Click the Find Now button in the middle-right of this form.

d.    Select IUSR_NAME in the user list at the bottom of the form, then click OK

e.    Click OK to dismiss the Select User form.

8.    Uncheck Allow IIS to control password. (This is important!)

9.    Click OK to dismiss the Anonymous User Account form.

10. Click OK to dismiss the Authentication Methods form.

11. Click OK to dismiss the WWW Service Master Properties form.

12. Click OK to dismiss the Computername Properties form.

If you see "The requested resource is in use." trying to access your new web server, follow the Home Directory steps below to modify the Application Protection settings for the default web site.

Configure Home Directory

With Internet Services Manager:

1.    Your computer will appear under Internet Information Services. Click on your computer to expand its list of servers.

2.    Right-click on Default Web Server and choose Properties.

3.    Select the Home Directory tab.

4.    In the Application Protection drop-down under Application Settings choose Low (IIS Process).

5.    Click OK to dismiss the form.

The default website may not work

If you go to http://localhost in a browser, chances are you will see an ASP error on line 19. Don't panic.

IUSR_NAME does not have permission to run the default IIS website. The default IIS website attempts to create admin-only ActiveX objects.

Testing your IIS installation

To test your IIS installation you should create some test files and point the default website to the folder containing those files.

1.    Download iistest.zip.

2.    Copy the iistest folder inside the .zip to your harddrive.

3.    Click on your computer to expand its list of servers in Internet Services Manager.

4.    Right-click on Default Web Server and choose Properties.

5.    Select the Home Directory tab.

6.    In the Local Path: textbox, type in the path to the iistest folder you extracted (or use the Browse... button to find it.)

7.    Click OK to dismiss the Default Web Site Properties form.

If everything is set up correctly, you should be able to see the test at http://localhost/default.htm.


If your site is not enabled after following these directions, you cannot choose IIS components to install, or serves HTML but not ASP, here are some things you can try:

1.    Are you using Windows 2000? These instructions only work if you copy IIS from Windows 2000. They will not work with Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003.

2.    Double-check your edits to C:\WINDOWS\INF\SYSOC.INF. The file must be edited exactly as shown, and saved to the correct place.

3.    Reboot. Some users report that rebooting causes IIS to start properly.

4.    Rebuild the IIS COM+ components. This page by Brooks Younce shows how.

Alternative Web Servers

There are other web servers that can run on Windows XP Home.

·       Apache has a native Windows version.

·       Lighttpd has a Windows version that runs with cygwin or mingw.

Note that neither of these support ASP applications natively, which is presumably why you are installing IIS in the first place.

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