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How to install Moodle on Windows 2003 using IIS6, MySQL, FastCGI, PHP, and Moodle (In that order!)

  1. Setup a Windows 2003 server, disable IE Secure mode (simply remove in add/remove windows components) 
  2. Add IIS6 (IIS7 comes with Windows 2008, so if you want IIS7 then you will need to use 2008) 
  3. Install MySQL for Windows - - MySQL Essential Win32
  4. Install FastCGI - from here: (download the x86/x64 link as appropriate so you don't have to mess with Microsofts "Web Installer" with it's .NET 2.0 framework requirements - it doesn't work anyway...) 
  5. Install PHP (one of the options is to use FastCGI - make sure you select it as this will mean you can skip step 6, so therefore FastCGI needs to be installed first) - download the non-thread safe* PHP from here: (Windows PHP installer here:, install it to the C:\PHP directory * Non-thread safe is meant to be quicker.
  6. Configure fcgiext.ini file, make sure it has these entries (this should be done automatically following the instructions above) 
  7. Configure IIS / PHP Script mapping (see: - Step 1 should already be done for you, if you followed the above instructions. (You will see Web Service Extensions, FastCGI Handler, Allowed) Step 2 - you also don't need to do, as the Windows installer has already done it for you. 
  8. Configure Moodle app / "web site" as per these instructions: - basically set the web site to point to your location of your moodle files, eg D:\Moodleweb - ideally you don't want to install the moodle web server on C, incase it grows in size, or you lose your OS. If you have followed the instructions so far then index.php should already be in the list of documents that it will load as a home page, and it's recommended you move it to the top of the list. 
  9. You can skip the MS-SQL instructions, if you want, and you can skip creating a MySQL DB as Moodle will create you one if you don't already have one. (see below) 
  10. Test the PHP configurations, create a text file called phpinfo.php in the web folder, with the code mentioned here, then access it at http://localhost/phpinfo.php: 
  11. Install moodle: Download latest built .zip file from here: - once you have downloaded the .zip file, extract it's contents to where you setup your web server: ie: D:\Moodleweb. 
  12. Create a folder called D:\MoodleData. 
  13. Go to http://localhost/install.php and then you can configure your moodle server. 
  14. Configuring Moodle: Use the URL or IP of the server, point to your data directory created in step 12. Click Next, and configure a MySQL database "Note: The installer will try to create the database automatically if it doesn't exist." Once you've passed all the tests the setup will take you to the admin/index.php page where you can configure moodle users etc. If you get the option, choose unattended, as clicking "Continue" 10-15 times gets pretty boring after a while...
These are instructions jumbled together from here: (didn't seem detailed enough) and from here: (overly detailed instructions for MS SQL) - I wanted some instructions somewhere in between, and seemed to have to adapt my own as I went along.

Follow on steps:
- Setup a cron job to tidy up (You also need to install cron)
- Setup URL rewriting / slash arguments see: MSDN Article. (needed for IIS6, not IIS7)
- Host more than one moodle site on the same Windows 2003 / IIS6 server...

How to setup another Moodle site on the same server (using Windows 2003, IIS6, and MySQL)
  1. Open IIS Manager (in Admin tools)
  2. Right click the "Default Web Site" or site you want to copy
  3. Go to all taks, then save configuration to a file
  4. Right click Web Site, Click New, Web site from file
  5. Browse for your file you created in step 3, click read file, import
  6. When it's listed, rename it to something meaningful like Moodle2
  7. Create a new web folder, called D:\Moodle2
  8. Right click go to properties, and set the home directory to D:\Moodle2
  9. Extract the moodle files from the .zip again, and put them in D:\Moodle2
  10. Create another data directory, such as D:\MoodleData2
  11. Setup the Web site identification so that you have more than one access point, this could be the IP address, a different IP address, or different port (eg Moodle1 could be on port 80, Moodle2 could be on port 81), or you could have different URLs and (set in the host header)
  12. Browse to your new web address, in this case it might be 
  13. It will start configuring the site, point it to your URL (, your web directory D:\Moodle2, and your data directory D:\MoodleData2, then setup a NEW MySQL DB, called moodle2 for simplicity... and then... BOBS YOUR UNCLE!!!


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