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Installing Personal Web Server

This section concerns installing Microsoft's Personal Web Server (PWS) 4.0 on Windows 98 SE, since that's the system I had available to install and test on. PWS is also available for Windows 95 and NT.

Note: If you are running Windows 2000 or Windows XP Professional you should install IIS instead of PWS. If you are using XP Home Edition, read this.

PWS is best described as a poor mans web server - it is not intended to be used in a production environment. However, it is perfect for use on your own computer, where it allows you to test your scripts before uploading to your production server or Internet Service Provider (ISP). Also, remember that some cable providers block the port needed to host a web server, so some changes to your settings may be required.

Starting the Installation

There are two places you can get PWS, both of which are free. The Windows 98 CD includes it, and you can download it from the Microsoft web site.

Warning 1: Microsoft does not recommend installing PWS on Windows Me, although they admit it can if you are an "advanced user who regularly tests unsupported software configurations".
Warning 2: There is a fairly rare problem with MTS that may cause you problems later.
I recommend following the instructions here before you start...

Downloading from

If you don't have the Windows 98 CD, you can download the NT4 Option Pack which, believe it or not, contains Personal Web Server for Windows 95 and 98.

Be aware that the download is 34mb, which will take nearly 3 hours to download with a 28.8 modem.

To start the download, follow these steps:
1. Go to the web site. (clicking here opens a new window, so you can continue to read this tutorial)
2. Follow the instructions on the web site, choosing Windows 95 as the operating system even if you're running on Windows 98.
3. After the download, the installation starts - skip to step 5 below.

Installing from Windows 98 CD

The Windows 98 CD includes PWS, but you need to run a separate setup program to fully install and configure it. Microsoft recommends that you have at least a 90 MHz Pentium processor with 20-32 MB RAM, 40MB free disk space and a Super VGA monitor

To start the installation, follow these steps:
1. Insert your Windows 98 CD in its drive.
2. Click Start and then click Run.
3. In the Run dialog box, type x:\add-ons\pws\setup.exe
4. Substitute the letter of your CD drive for x, and click OK.
5. The following screen will appear.

Click on Next, then...