Paul Kiddie

Installing DotNetNuke on a Server 2003 box

August 02, 2007

I spent a some time recently getting DotNetNuke installed on a Server 2003 box, with help from a variety of sources. So I thought I’d bring it together to one post… hope this helps someone! To do so:

1. Add an Application Server role in the Server Roles application. This installs IIS and ASP.NET onto the server.

2. Then install Visual Studio 2005 — doing this before step 1 means ASP.NET isn’t fully registered with IIS, and you may get messages such as ‘the user NETWORK SERVICE does not have access to Temporary ASP.NET files’. If you do, this is easily rectified. Taken from

  1. Open a command prompt
  2. Stop IIS: iisreset /stop
  3. Change to the .NET Framework 2.0 root directory: 
  4. Reinstall ASP.NET 2.0 by using the following command: aspnet_regiis -i command.
  5. Start IIS again after it has been run: iisreset /start

3. Get the latest DotNetNuke source, unzip somewhere, and run the .sln file

4. Visual Studio will then attempt to contact and register the DNN website, the ‘Website’ folder, as a virtual directory under your default web site. Let it do so.

4. Finally, configure the ‘Website’ directory to give NETWORK SERVICE full permissions over it.

5. Rebuild the solution - it should succeed.

6. Rename your Web.config to Web.config.old and rename the Release.config file to Web.config. Otherwise you may see errors along the line of Name ‘Config’ is not declared.

7. Finally, inspect the new Web.config file and adjust your database settings to suit, unless you’re using SQL Express in which case your good to go.

👋 I'm Paul Kiddie, a software engineer working in London. I'm currently working as a Principal Engineer at trainline.