Setting up your ASP.NET server (IIS)

An illustrated guide cover for 'Setting Up Your ASP.NET Server (IIS)'.
A guide that shows you how to install IIS server and configure it to work with ASP.NET, not just with ASP.

Before starting, be sure you have .NET Framework installed. If not, you can install it using Windows Update or download the package and install manually.

ASP runs inside IIS (Internet Information Services). Therefore first you should install IIS (under Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows 2003), of course if it isn’t already installed.
Usually, you can install it from Control Panel / Add or Remove Programs / Add/Remove Windows Components.

Go to Start Menu / All Programs / Administrative Tools / Internet Information Services.
Choose your computer name (local computer) / Web Sites / Default Web Site.
Right click ‘Default Web Site’ and select ‘Properties’. Choose the ‘Home Directory’ tab and type in the ‘Local Path’ the path to where you want your files to be stored. For example ‘D:\Server\iis’. This is the root of your webserver, this folder will open when you type http://localhost in your web broswer.
Below, check the ‘Script source access’, ‘Read’, ‘Write’ and ‘Directory browsing’ values. Click OK and now let’s start the server.

Click on the ‘Start item’ button to start the service. Be sure you don’t have any other server running on localhost, Apache for example.

After the server is up and running you can open http://localhost in your web browser. It should show you an empty list if you don’t have any files in the folder specified on the ‘Local Path’.

You should now be able to open any .asp file and parse it correclty with your browser. Still, you don’t have installed ASP.NET, that means you can’t run any .ASPX files.
To install ASP.NET follow the steps:

Go to the place where you installed the .NET Framework:
there should be a folder similar to ‘v1.1.4322’ (your version of .NET). Note it and let’s continue:

Open the MSDOS Command Prompt (Start Menu / Start / Run and type ‘cmd’).
At the command prompt type (replace ‘vxxxxxx’ with your version):

%windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\vxxxxxx\aspnet_regiis.exe -i

After it finishes, you have one more step:

Open ‘Run’ from ‘Start Menu’ and type:

regsvr32 %windir%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\vxxxxxx\aspnet_isapi.dll

Again, by replacing ‘vxxxxxx’ with your version.
Press OK, wait, and you should receive a confirmation message.

To test it, make a test.aspx file in the folder that you typed in the 'Local Path' ('D:\Server\iis' for example) with the following code:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "">
<title>Hello world</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
response.write("Hello World")

Open the page with your web broswer using ‘http://localhost/test.aspx’.

Further you need a database to work with ASP.NET. Consequently, there is also a guide for installing the Microsoft SQL server available here.

Nathan Pakovskie is an esteemed senior developer and educator in the tech community, best known for his contributions to With a passion for coding and a knack for simplifying complex tech concepts, Nathan has authored several popular tutorials on C# programming, ranging from basic operations to advanced coding techniques. His articles, often characterized by clarity and precision, serve as invaluable resources for both novice and experienced programmers. Beyond his technical expertise, Nathan is an advocate for continuous learning and enjoys exploring emerging technologies in AI and software development. When he’s not coding or writing, Nathan engages in mentoring upcoming developers, emphasizing the importance of both technical skills and creative problem-solving in the ever-evolving world of technology. Specialties: C# Programming, Technical Writing, Software Development, AI Technologies, Educational Outreach

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