3rd September 2008

The ASP.Net Tab is Missing on 64-bit Windows

posted in 64-Bit Windows, IIS 6.0 |

Here’s another oddity which I stumbled upon recently whilst working on a 64-bit Windows 2003 machine so I thought I’d share it here.

I installed IIS on a newly installed 64-bit Windows 2003 R2 server and needed to configure it to support Asp.Net 1.1 applications. In order to do this I had to configure IIS to run in 32-bit mode as documented in this KB article How to switch between the 32-bit versions of ASP.NET 1.1 and the 64-bit version of ASP.NET 2.0 on a 64-bit version of Windows.

Once I had done this I went back into the Properties of the Default Web Site and I noticed that the ASP.Net tab seemed to have mysteriously vanished. After closing and re-opening and then checking the MMC a few times I still couldn’t find the ASP.Net tab. So I followed the same procedure on another 64-bit Windows 2003 server and got the same results – the Asp.Net tab disappeared after I configured the Enable32bitAppOnWin64 metabase property.

If you’ve got a 64-bit server you can test this out for yourself by following these steps.

Install IIS 6.0 on the server and then open the Properties of the Default Web Site. You should see the Asp.Net tab as shown here

Fig. 1

If you now run the following command at this point :

cscript %SYSTEMDRIVE%\inetpub\adminscripts\adsutil.vbs get W3SVC/AppPools/Enable32bitAppOnWin64

you should see that it returns a value of false as shown below, which shows that IIS is currently running in 64-bit mode.

Fig. 2

In order to configure IIS to run in 32-bit mode you need to execute this command :

cscript %SYSTEMDRIVE%\inetpub\adminscripts\adsutil.vbs SET W3SVC/AppPools/Enable32bitAppOnWin64 1

You should now see that it returns a value of True as shown here. This means that IIS is now running in 32-bit mode on your server.

Fig. 3

If you then go back to look at the properties of the Default Web Site you will see that the ASP.Net tab has gone.

Fig. 4

I have to admit that this had me puzzled at first until I found a reference to this KB article – The “ASP.NET” tab of IIS Manager does not appear when you retrieve the properties for a virtual directory in IIS Manager

Apparently, this anomaly is due to the fact that the 32-bit version of IIS Manager is incompatible with 64-bit machines running Asp.Net

What this means in practical terms is that if you have a 64-bit server running IIS in 32-bit mode and you need to change the version of the .Net framework on a particular web site then you need to use the ASP.NET IIS Registration Tool (Aspnet_regiis.exe) to make those changes.

The use of this tool does present its own unique challenges which I’ll cover in a future post.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 at 11:56 am and is filed under 64-Bit Windows, IIS 6.0. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

There are currently 6 responses to “The ASP.Net Tab is Missing on 64-bit Windows”

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  1. 1 On February 3rd, 2009, Andy said:

    Using MMC from a 32-bit machine and connecting to a remote 64-bit also shows the ASP.NET tab.


    1. Right click my computer and manage.
    2. Click “Action” menu and choose “connect to other computer” (select remote 64-bit machine).
    3. In the tree view select Services and Applications, then IIS manager.

    Note: Thanks for the article, cheers 🙂

  2. 2 On February 3rd, 2009, Paul Lynch said:

    Hi Andy,

    Have you tried this ? I have just connected to a 64-bit Windows 2003 server running IIS in 32-bit from a 32-bit remote machine – although the Asp.Net tab does appear in the MMC I was unable to manage the remote web site from the 32-bit box. Next to the ‘File Location:’ dialog it says ‘Unable to determine the local path of the current object.’

    I tried changing the version of Asp.Net this site was using and it didn’t change so I don’t think this method works properly.


    Paul Lynch

  3. 3 On December 21st, 2009, Kamleshkumar Gujarathi said:

    aspnet_regiis -ir “Command really works to get the ASP.NET Missing tab back to place”

    Just run it for all the version of visual studio in ascending order (ie. 2003,2005 etc) and reset the IIS.


    Kamleshkumar Gujarathi.

  4. 4 On April 25th, 2011, David said:

    I found a relatively easy way to do this through the command prompt if you want/need to keep 32-bit IIS. http://codersnotes.blogspot.com/2011/04/aspnet-tab-missing-in-iis-6-on-64-bit.html

  5. 5 On May 2nd, 2011, Sujith said:

    Hi All,

    Check this url, it will definitely guide you by step by step..


    Thank and Regards,

  6. 6 On May 11th, 2011, dinesh said:

    Thanks a lot David! This was the last part missing from all other instructions/websites that were meant to be a guide to run 32 bit app on windows 2003 64-bit. Huge thanks again!

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