Running IIS 32-bit Applications on IIS 64-bit

Do you have IIS on Windows 64 bit and want to run application that is for 32 bit. No problem. From the Inetpub admin scripts run the following:

"cscript.exe adsutil.vbs set W3SVC/AppPools/Enable32BitAppOnWin64 true"

Here are the details.

WindowsServer2003TM, Service Pack1 enables IIS6.0 to run 32-bit Web applications on 64-bit Windows using the Windows-32-on-Windows-64 (WOW64) compatibility layer. IIS6.0 using WOW64 is intended to run 32-bit personal productivity applications needed by software developers and administrators, including 32-bit Internet Information Services (IIS) Web applications.

On 64-bit Windows, 32-bit processes cannot load 64-bit DLLs, and 64-bit processes cannot load 32-bit DLLs. If you plan to run 32-bit applications on 64-bit Windows, you must configure IIS to create 32-bit worker processes. Once you have configured IIS to create 32-bit worker processes, you can run the following types of IIS applications on 64-bit Windows:

  • Internet Server API (ISAPI) extensions
  • ISAPI filters
  • Active Server Page (ASP) applications (specifically, scripts calling COM objects where the COM object can be 32-bit or 64-bit)
  • ASP.NET applications

IIS can, by default, launch Common Gateway Interface (CGI) applications on 64-bit Windows, because CGI applications run in a separate process.

Before you configure IIS to run 32-bit applications on 64-bit Windows, note the following:

  • IIS only supports 32bit worker processes in Worker Process Isolation mode on 64-bit Windows
  • On 64-bit Windows, the World Wide Web Publishing service can run 32-bit and 64-bit worker processes. Other IIS services like the IIS Admin service, the SMTP service, the NNTP service, and the FTP service run 64-bit processes only
  • On 64-bit Windows, the World Wide Web Publishing service does not support running 32-bit and 64-bit worker processes concurrently on the same server
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