Setting up Microsoft's Personal Web Server on Your Computer – Part 1

Installation and Setup
Version 4.0
Part 1

We would like to be able to tell you that installing the Microsoft Personal Web Server (PWS) is a piece of cake, but it just isn’t so! While it isn’t all that difficult for a seasoned user or for someone who has had some experience installing software, it can be a frustrating experience for the relatively new user. With all of the patches and fixes occurring throughout the various Windows operating systems, you can quickly become mired down in a failed installation and even damage some existing files on your computer. Unfortunately even if you follow the current installation instructions on the Internet, including those found on Microsoft’s site, your headed for problems as they haven’t been updated recently to adjust for these problems!

We have written the following step by step approach to installing and setting up the Microsoft Personal Web Server in order to prevent you from making the most common mistakes that have resulted in a failed installations and damaged files. Do not skip any steps and make sure that you have read and understood each one.

Let’s begin with the basics:

First, we urge you to always keep in mind that everyone’s computer is different. People continually change the look and feel of their computers. They have different mixes of hardware, software and most important, they have a vast array of version differences between software types. Without outlining all of the specific operating system versions, the following list will provide you with some insight as to the operating systems on which version 4.0 of the Personal Web Server can be installed and operated correctly.

  • Windows 95 including Windows 95 OSR2b (inclusive of all service packs and updates)
  • Windows 98 and Windows 98 SE (inclusive of all service packs and updates)
  • Windows NT 4.0 (inclusive of all service packs though SP6a)

*Note: There are separate versions of Personal Web Server version 4.0 for Windows 9x and Windows NT 4.0, so be careful! Personal Web Server cannot be installed on Windows 2000 Professional, instead you must use IIS 5.0, which is included on the Windows 2000 installation CD. For more information see Article #Q262632 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Second, you must have the necessary PWS files in order to install it. You can obtain the Personal Web Server files from three sources:

  1. Windows 98 or Windows 98SE CD in the Add-On section.
  2. Windows NT4 Option Pack CD.
  3. Download the necessary files directly from Microsoft.

Third, regardless of whether you have the PWS files on a CD, or need to download, do not immediately install PWS, just follow the installation steps as noted in the following, as there are file changes you must make before actually performing the installation in order to prevent errors.

Fourth, you may want to quickly review the Personal Web Server version 4.0 Release Notes by clicking on this link: Review Release Notes. While some of the information contained in the Release Notes may be a bit dated, much of it will prepare you for what to expect from Personal Web Server. We have inserted our notes, shown in red as well as highlights, where we feel it is relevant.

Installation Steps

Getting the files you need:

Step 1.  First open Windows Explorer and create two directories on your “C” drive or which ever drive on which your version of Windows is installed. Name the first one Temp and the second one Temp2.

Step 2.  Next, depending upon your individual circumstances, you will either be copying the required files from the Windows 98 CD, Windows NT Option Pack CD or downloading them from Microsoft’s Personal Web Server homepage.

If you have a Windows 98 CD

  • If you have either a Windows 98 (first edition) or Windows 98SE (second edition) CD, then place the CD into your CD Rom drive. When the welcome screen comes up, close it.

  • Next, open Windows Explorer and navigate to the Windows 98 CD and expand the Add-ons folder and then the PWS folder. Do not use “My Computer” and do not click on “setup.exe” just yet.

  • Now copy all of the files from the \Add-ons\pws folder to the first Temp directory you created in step #1 above.

If you are using Windows 95 or Windows 98 and do not have your CD Rom disk

  • If you do not have either your Windows 95 or Windows 98 CD Rom disk, you will need to download the necessary files while connected to the Internet.

  • Follow this link as it will take you to the Personal Web Server Homepage, where you will see the following:

Download Microsoft Personal Web Server 4.0 for Windows 95

  • Ignore the reference to Windows 95, as Personal Web Server version 4.0 is the latest release from Microsoft and will install on Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows 98SE.

  • Click the link to begin the steps necessary to begin the download.

  • At the next screen, you will see:

Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack
Download Step 1

  • You’ll note that you are presented with two options, Option #1 and Option #2.

  • Option #1, will allow you to either:

    • (A) Download the files you need in a single download and save them to disk, or;
    • (B) Begin the installation of the Personal Web Server directly from the Internet
    • Downloading and saving them is fine, but do not install PWS from the Internet. You will see why shortly.

  • Option #2, will allow you to:

    • Download each of the 26 separate components individually. Since the entire download is 27 megabytes, downloading 26 files one at a time may be easier for you.

For now, choose Option one.

At the next screen you will be presented with the following:

Download Step 2
Choose the Operating System Platform on which you will run the DOWNLOAD WIZARD.

At this point you will need to choose the operating system that you are working with, and in this case our focus is on Windows 95 or Windows 98 rather than Windows NT. Note though, the download procedures apply to all three. See our comments below regarding Windows NT.

Choose “Windows NT Option Pack Download Wizard for Windows 95” and click Next.

At the next screen you will be presented with another choice.

Download Step 3
Click On the download.exe link below to start the Download Wizard.
When run, the DOWNLOAD WIZARD will display a list of available Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack languages.
At this time the wizard is available in English only.

At Step 3 click on the download.exe link to begin the actual download of the Download Wizard “download.exe”. Save it to the “Temp” directory that you created earlier.

Final Step: Once “download.exe” has been downloaded and saved to your C:\Temp directory, remain connected to the Internet and open Windows Explorer. Scroll down to the Temp directory and double click on “download.exe”. This will start the download of the Personal Web Server files. Remember! Do not choose to install from the Internet, just download and save the files.

If you are using Windows NT 4.0

  • While you can install Personal Web Server if you are running Windows NT Workstation 4.0, Microsoft strongly recommends that you install Peer Web Services instead. Here’s how!

  • To install Peer Web Services on Windows NT 4:

    1. Click the Windows Start button, point to Settings, and click Control Panel.

    2. Double-click Network.

    3. Click the Services tab, and then click Add.

    4. In the Network Service list, double-click Peer Web Services. This starts the installation process. You may be required to obtain additional files from your Windows NT Setup disks and you may need to re-apply your latest service pack.

    5. In the first Microsoft Peer Web Services Setup dialog box, click OK.

    6. In the second Microsoft Peer Web Services Setup dialog box, select which services you want to install, and then click OK.

    7. In the Publishing Directories dialog box, specify the directories you want to use for each service, or accept the default directories, and then click OK.

Step 3. Okay, now that you have your Personal Web Server files, your almost ready to go, but let’s take care of a little housekeeping first.

(A). Removing existing versions of Personal Web Server: If you have installed Personal Web Server versions 1.0 or 2.0, they must be uninstalled and their files removed from your computer before you install version 4.0.

  • If you have Personal Web Server version 1.0 installed, follow either of these links to uninstall it and remove the files.

Microsoft Knowledge Base Article #Q188681

Our text based version that you can print

  • If you have Personal Web Server version 2.0 installed, follow either of these links to uninstall it and remove the files.

Microsoft Knowledge Base Article #Q258635

Our text based version that you can print

(B). If you have a failed installation of Version 4.0 or have tried to install version 4.0 over an older version: If you have tried to install the Personal Web Server version 4.0 over either version 1.0 or version 2.0, or you received any type of error during the installation, then you will need to uninstall version 4.0 as well as remove the old files from either version 1.0 or version 2.0. You will find a list of the files to be removed for version 1.0 here File List, and a list of the files to be removed for version 2.0 here File List. You must uninstall Personal Web Server version 4.0 before trying to remove any files from prior versions.

To remove Personal Web Server version 4.0, follow this link: Remove PWS 4.0

Step 4. This is an important step as it will prevent an error from occurring during the installation of Personal Web Server version 4.0.

Certain computers that have been in use for a while, and especially those having a substantial number of programs installed, tend to have overly large registries. When an attempt is made to add Personal Web Server to these computers and error is usually follows:

“Error Message: An Unknown Error Occurred While Making MTS Specific Changes to the System Registry” you will need to uninstall and then reinstall Personal Web Server”. If you need more information regarding this error, you will find it here: Microsoft Knowledge Base Article #Q246081.

In an effort to cure this error, Microsoft released an updated “Mtssetup.ddl” file and made it available for download. The file name is Mtssetup.exe and is in a compressed format.

(A). Download Mtssetup.exe now and save it to the second temporary folder you made earlier, “Temp2“. If there is a problem downloading directly from Microsoft in the preceding link, then click on this link and Download Mtssetup.exe from our server.

(B). Once you have the Mtssetup.exe downloaded and saved in your Temp2 folder, open Windows Explorer and locate the Temp 2 folder in the left window. In the right window, double click on Mtssetup.exe to expand it. You will now have Mtssetup.dll in your Temp2 folder.

(C). Now copy the new Mtssetup.dll from your Temp2 folder into your Temp folder and over-write the older one.

Now that everything has been downloaded and Mtssetup.dll replaced, let’s finish the installation!

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