Setting up a test webserver on XP PROF

Good Day to All, I have a desktop running under XP PROF. I want to produce a web application and test it on my PC. So I decided to install IIS. It gets installed without any problems. The next I want to do is to tell the default website the name of the folder in which my site with application is sitting. This folder is in another partition on the same HDD. For this purpose I used the “virtual directory” function. But now the browser does not recognize the site. I renamed the homepage of my site to “default.htm”. This did not help. Yesterday I spent hours on this and finally getting nowhere I gave up. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

1 First you will need to decide on what kind of user setting your website should be running. Normally IIS uses the IISuser account for that , which only has access rights to wwwroot/inetpub or something like that.

2 Then you will need to tell IIS which is the default homepage , this can be anyfile (even a php file , but i do not recommend it). Standard is default.htm if i’m not mistaken. Right click on the webserver in the IIS configuration screen to do so.

3 After that you will need to grant the applicable user rights you made in 1 to all the files that belong to your webserver/virtual directory.
Check with right-click/properties if the IISclient user has access rights to your webfiles.
This can also be done by making IIS rescan all the webserver files.

You can also use the IIS configuration and hardening tools that Microsoft provides on their websites.


If you just want to check if your HTML files are hosting correctly , i would not recommend installing IIS. Try this server instead.

Thanks a lot for your reply. In the meantime I managed to solve the problem. It is in fact the firewall which is causing the problem. I stopped my firewall and the virtual directory started working normally. If other people have similar problems I wish that my experience will help them. If you are having problems in setting up your IIS as localhost or having problems with virtual directory the problem can be the firewall. Turn the firewall off and the problem can be solved.

I wouldn’t recommend IIS to first time users mostly due to the fact that IIS has major security flaws and is kinda tricky to setup secure. Even if you run automatic windows updates you’re most likely to fall from one of IIS worms/bugs.
If you want a simple server to for Ability Web Server or SimpleServer:WWW.
http://www.code-crafters.com/abilityserver/index.html
http://www.analogx.com/contents/download/network/sswww.htm
//Danne

Errr… i seriously would NOT recommend turning of the firewall while giving people (from the internet) access to your webserver. It’d be best to configure your webserver to accept incoming connections on port 80 (default http) or 443/445 (default http secure). Then tell your firewall to allow port 80 incoming requests and transport those request to the designated ip adress of your webserver…

for instance … someone from unknownisp.com wants to access your website on your network. They meet the firewall at your ip address , for instance 123.456.789.012. They fire up internet exploder and order it to go to http://123.456.789.012:80 (the :80 is the port and doesn’t have to be included in internet explorer since it’s the default www access). your firewall notices a incoming request from unknownisp.com on port 80. Your firewall accepts the port 80 request and forwards it to the ip your website is running on (I.E. : 123.456.789.013).


In your case , you’re running IIS and the firewall on the same machine and perhaps even the internet access as well. Just activate the internal XP firewall , but allow port 80 requests.

If you want ftp as well , fire up an ftp server (the one IIS includes sucks big time by the way) and allow port 21 requests as well.

I’m kind of wondered that no one mentioned Apache before. Apache works very well on Windows, is for free and extremely easy to setup. I find it to be one of the best webservers on the planet. It’s the most used one as well.

Download it from http://www.apache.org and have fun :smiley:

Thanks to all who have responded. Mr. Belvedere, you are right in your comments concerning the firewall. Perhaps I have badly formulated my message. I intend to use this webserver only for internal testing. It is not to be opened to internet. Using this occasion let me ask a question. Are these webserver vulnaribilities only valid for IIS or are they somewhat coming from XP as a whole?

Every application has bugs , but IIS has a LOT of them when compared to Apache for instance. Secondly it’s indeed very tough to harden and secure IIS services/servers , but my own website runs via IIS. I had no troubles so far. Took me a week to configure and harden it.