Enabling ASP.NET

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1


To help minimize the attack surface of the server, IIS 6.0 is not installed on Windows Server 2003 by default. When you first install IIS 6.0, it is locked down -- which means that only request handling for static Web pages is enabled, and only the World Wide Web Publishing Service (WWW service) is installed. None of the features that sit on top of IIS are turned on, including ASP, ASP.NET, CGI scripting, FrontPage® 2002 Server Extensions from Microsoft, and WebDAV publishing. If you do not enable these features, IIS returns a 404 error. You can enable these features through the Web Service Extensions node in IIS Manager. For more information, see Enabling Web Service Extensions. For more information about how to troubleshoot 404 errors and other issues, see Troubleshooting in IIS 6.0.

Microsoft® ASP.NET is a unified Web development platform that provides the services necessary for developers to build enterprise-class Web applications. While ASP.NET is largely syntax compatible with ASP, it also provides a new programming model and infrastructure for more secure, scalable, and stable applications. You can feel free to augment your existing ASP applications by incrementally adding ASP.NET functionality to them.

ASP.NET is a compiled, .NET Framework-based environment. You can write applications in any language that is compatible with the .NET Framework, including Microsoft Visual Basic® .NET, Microsoft Visual C#®, and Microsoft JScript® .NET. In addition, the entire Microsoft .NET Framework is available to any ASP.NET application. Developers can easily access the benefits of these technologies, such as the managed common language runtime (CLR) environment, type safety, and inheritance.


If you use the Configure Your Server wizard to install IIS 6.0, ASP.NET is enabled when the wizard runs. If you use Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel to install IIS 6.0, you must ensure that you check ASP.NET in the Subcomponents of Application Server list to install ASP.NET with IIS 6.0. Then, you must enable ASP.NET Web service extensions so your ASP.NET applications will run correctly.


You must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer to perform the following procedure or procedures. As a security best practice, log on to your computer by using an account that is not in the Administrators group, and then use the runas command to run IIS Manager as an administrator. At a command prompt, type runas /user:Administrative_AccountName "mmc %systemroot%\system32\inetsrv\iis.msc".


To enable ASP.NET by using IIS Manager

  1. In IIS Manager, expand the local computer, and then click Web Service Extensions.

  2. In the details pane, click ASP.NET, and then click Allow.


If your applications require ISAPI, CGI, ASP, WebDAV, or other extensions to operate, you will need to enable those extensions as well.