Information Services (IIS)
Windows XP includes a stripped down version of
Internet Information Services (IIS), which allows you to
publish web pages and other web content to any operating system
with a compliant browser. IIS on Windows XP is not designed to host
public websites, but instead is meant for sharing resources with
a small group of users. The version of IIS on Windows XP is limited
to only 1 website and 10 simultaneous client connections, and has
less advanced features compared to IIS on a Windows Server. To serve
a larger number of websites to a larger number of users, you will
need to use IIS on Windows 2000/2003 Server instead.
can install IIS by using the Add/Remove Windows Components
option in the Add or Remove Programs wizard. The Internet
Information Services (IIS) component has many subcomponents
including a WWW service, FTP service, SMTP
service, FrontPage 2000 extensions, and the IIS
snap-in. The latter is used for managing the IIS services in
the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). You can start the
IIS snap-in by running the inetmgr command from the Run
are some of the common configuration and management tasks and relevant
The version of IIS on Windows XP allows for only
one website, which is the Default Web Site in the IIS management
console. By default, its home directory is c:\inetpub\wwwroot\
but you can change this path in the Default Web Site Properties.
A website can have several subdirectories, i.e. www.techexams.net/forums.
These subdirectories, as they appear in the URL, do not necessarily
need to be a subfolder of the home directory. They can be located
outside the c:\inetpub\wwwroot\ folder or on a shared folder in
your local network. This is referred to as a virtual directory.
To create a virtual directory, right-click the default website,
or a subdirectory of the default website, and select Virtual
Directory from the New submenu to start the Virtual
Directory Creation Wizard. You will need to provide an alias,
the name as it appears in the URL, and browse for the local directory
you want the alias to point to. If you want to use a folder on another
local computer, you must provide the full UNC path (i.e. \\workstation2\share).
You can also create a virtual directory by right-clicking
a folder in Windows Explorer/My Computer (only
on NTFS), select Properties and create one or more aliases
on the Web Sharing tab.
important basic configuration task for IIS is configuring authentication
and file and folder permissions. When IIS is installed, a new user
account for anonymous access is created automatically. It is named
IUSR_ComputerName and needs appropriate NTFS permissions
for the files and folders anonymous users should be able to access.
You can disable anonymous access on the Authentication Methods
dialog (click the Edit button on the Directory Security
tab of the Default Web Site Properties) or change the account
As you can read in the screenshot above, there are two ways to force
username and password authentication. You can disable anonymous
access for the entire website, or you can restrict access based
on NTFS permissions. The latter would allow you to grant anonymous
access to the website and public resources, while requiring username
and password authentication for particular files and folders.
the IIS snap-in you can restart the Default Web Site, the
Default FTP Site, or the Default SMTP Virtual Server
independently by selecting it and clicking the stop, and start button.
You can also restart all the IIS services by right-clicking the
local computer component in the IIS snap-in and choosing Restart
IIS from the All Tasks menu.
permissions issues and other incorrect IIS configuration settings,
the most common problems with connecting to an IIS service such
as the WWW service are caused by incorrect or incomplete TCP/IP
settings and services. A common issue is the lack of a DNS service.
Without DNS, users will not be able to access the website by using
a friendly URL, but would have to use the IP address instead. In
small networks you can use HOSTS files instead of a DNS server.
thing that might prevent access to IIS services is the Internet
Connection Firewall (ICF). If enabled, ICF will block inbound
traffic for all IIS services. To allow access, you should either
disable ICF or configure ICF to allow traffic for particular IIS
services. For more information check out our ICS
and ICF TechNotes.