Visual Studio 2003 Under Windows 7

The last post contained a mention of how useful XP Mode in the Virtual Machine (VM) environment is. A bit more tweaking has led me to abetter than virtual solution for using Visual Studio .NET 2003 (VS 2003) on Windows 7 (64-bit Ultimate). It is more efficient by far if you are developing web applications, as the VM is done away with in favour of a few tweaks.

The steps to get VS 2003 running on Windows 7 to do ASP.NET 1.1 web development are:

  1. Install Internet Information Server (IIS) 7;
  2. Install .NET 1.1 on Windows 7 (see How to install ASP.NET 1.1 with IIS7 on Vista and Windows 2008);
  3. Install the FrontPage Server Extensions on IIS 7 (see Installing the FrontPage Server Extensions on IIS 7.0);
  4. Install VS 2003 (see How to use Visual Studio 2003 in Windows Vista, which works for Windows 7, and you don’t need to mess with the UAC); and
  5. When running the a project, remember to “start without Debugging” and then hook the worker process (also described in the link for step 4).

While not ideal, if you need to support a legacy application it works.

A few notes:

  • If you mark the shortcut to the VS 2003 development environment to run as administrator (compatibility mode under properties, which you get to by right-clicking) you can avoid much grief.
  • If you set the worker process identity that runs ASP 1.1 applications (process shown in link for step 4) to your user account, or some such, you can greatly ease the process, assuming that account is administrative and can access the project folders for the application.
  • Remember to attach to the worker process rather than the browser when attaching to item to be debugged.

I give a dutiful nod to the entries and articles linked above.


  1. Hi. I tried to install VS .NET 2003, following the steps you list, but I get stuck while installing FPSE, because there is no version for Windows 7/Server 2008 R2. Installing those provided for Vista/Server 2008 do not succeed configuring IIS application pool, so it is not possible to extend web site. FPSE installer throws an event viewer warning with an "3004f error" "ImpersonateLoggedOnUser Error". Reading some posts from Ready-To-Run they say that there are no plans for launching a Windows 7 compatible version of FPSE.

  2. So do these directions not work since we cant install frontpage extensions on windows 7?


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