Visual Studio 2003 on Windows Vista/2008/7

Visual Studio 2003. The great IDE changed our lifes with .NET Application development. Still some times i prefer to use it only, which allows me to develop application on .NET Core programming, rather than making us lazy with using VS2005/2008/2010. As Visual Studio evolves things are getting easy that we (developers) has not rely much on framework baselines,  visual studio 2008/2010 gives us everything handy..

What about a beginner, who want to learn and understand the basics on .NET Framework, i always will suggest learning from .NET 1.0 or 1.1, from where all other .NET 2.0 and 3.5 and 4.0 has evolved in to its real existance.

Since OS(Operating Systems) live windows evolved in to Windows Vista, 2008 SVR, latest Fancy item Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

My system configuration is of AMD QUAD CORE with 8GB RAM…  8GB RAM will not be supported by 32-bit systems, so i am using Windows 7 – x64 Edition, I am utilizing the Windows 7 – XP Mode, Virtual Machines etc… a lot.  I install sharepoint in one virtual server, TFS in one virtual server etc.. according to my learning and development needs.

When windows vista came out, microsoft doesn’t provide much support for running Visual Studio 2003 on it, neither IIS 7.x doesn’t directly supported .NET 1.1. They provided support for .NET Framework 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005 onwards versions. IIS 7.0 and 7.5 can’t directly work on 1.1 applications. This  was a limitation i faced.

But i am a big fan of Visual Studio 2003,  Not because it’s feature rich, but it’s simplicity. 

I just thought of providing few tips or work arounds to create/run/debug  .NET 1.1 applications  in Windows Vista/2008/7/2008r2 systems (both 32 bit as will as 64 bit editions too).

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  and IIS 7.5 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).

 I am able to use Visual Studio 2003 for more than a Year with Vista/2008 and latest on Windows 7 as will. In my current configuration, my visual studio 2003 works fine with out the need to attach it in to IIS Worker process instance.

Pretty cool na.. Enjoy and Make use of it.

Visual Studio 2003, the best IDE microsoft ever made.. I love it, you will too..

Beginners… Always start learning for Visual Studio 2003, which will give you the Best Base for .NET Application Development.


  1. FPSE is no longer supported for IIS 7.5. So now we won’t be able to use VS2003 ASP.NET development with Windows 2008 R2.

  2. thanks for your valuable feedback. If you have read my blog completely, you can understand there is a work around. Also I am using VS2003 ASP.NET development with Windows 2008 R2/Windows 7 myself now. I followed all the steps and it’s working just fine for me. It’s been more than a Year I am using it within IIS 7.5 environment. Hope this helps.

  3. To Add more to your comment. It’s true that IIS 7.5 doesn’t have built-in/direct/integrated support for FPSE.. All the hosting companies across the world is using FPSE 2002 extensions for IIS 7.0 and 7.5. Hope this clears your doubt about working on VS2003 on Windows 7. Personally I still have VS2003 on my Windows 7 pc and debugging is working fine..

    go through the link below for getting FPSE for iis 7.x..

  4. This is the closest I’ve gotten to getting this to work, but I’m still having trouble.

    When I try to create a web app project (or open an existing one), the IIS service times out.

    I noticed in the event viewer that w3wp.exe with the exception code 0xc0000005.

  5. Hi brad;

    I frequently formats my PC and I does the reconfiguration works fine every time. I was able to debug and run Visual Studio 2003 applications finely on Windows 7 X64, with out issues.

    Can you please elaborate on what you have done so far..

  6. I have followed the steps and i want to create projects ASP.NET but i cannot install the web development feature with the visual studio 2003. The requirements are the IIS and the FPSE i have them installed. Is there a way to check if i have everything I need to install this feature? (by the way, I have Windows 7 64-bit)

  7. I appreciate your response.

    if you have tried to implement the same and failed, i would have accepted. But with out trying it, how can you say it is misguiding. I have installed the same and hosted ASP.NET 1.1 application in my IIS 7.5.

    Officially microsoft is not supporting FPSE on IIS 7.5. But follow the procedure i listed here and it works. Give it a try then you say if it works or not.

  8. Hey Nithin, I am having the same issue as Alejandro. I have installed FPSE for IIS 7.5 on a Windows 2008 R2 64 bit machine, and am trying to install VS2003, but I cannot install the web development feature.

Other times, you're doing some piece of work and suddenly you get feedback that tells you that you have touched something that is very alive in the cosmos. Share your feedback on this blog, it will help me improve it a lot..