How to set-up Joomla on a Windows 2003 Server Perfect for Intranets

Allan NisbetOwner at Storm IT Solutions LTD
This is our step by step to setting up and configuring a Joomla Install on a Windows 2003 Server. This is the perfect solution for an Intranet Website using Joomla.

What you need (only use the following versions) :

A fresh copy of Joomla

A freshly Installed Windows 2003 Server (only defaults selected) with IIS 6 Installed and set-up as default. This link will help you set-up IIS6:

MySQL Server (

MySQL GUI Tools (mysql-gui-tools-5.0-r12-win32.msi)

PHP5 (
We use the zip and not the installer as it avoids any mess ups and we can set this up correctly manually.

So we now have all the tools. Download these to the desktop of your windows 2003 server so you can access these easily.

Step 1.

Setting up MySQL

Extract the Zip and run Setup.exe
Select Complete Install
Tick "Configure the MySQL Server Now"
Click Finish
Select Detailed Configuration
Server Machine
Multifunctional Database
Tick "Enable TCP/IP Networking"
Tick "Enable Strict Mode"

Now MySQL uses Port 3306 so your going to have to allow this in the firewall

Click Start > Control Panel > Windows Firewall > Exceptions > Add Port
Name : MySQL
Port  Number 3306
Select TCP radio button
Click OK

Port 3306 is now authorised in the firewall

Continue with the MySQL Server setup
Select Standard Character Set
Tick "Install as a Service"
Service Name MySQL
Tick "Launch the MySQL Server automatically"
Tick "Include Bin Directory in Windows Path"

Now setting up the Security

Tick "Modify Security Settings"
New Root Password : (Something Memorable)
Confirm Password
Untick "Enable root access from remote machines"

Click Next and then Execute

If you get a Connection Error at this stage hit retry and it should work successfully no need to worry

You've successfully now setup MySQL on your Windows 2003 Server.

Now most of us don't want to learn all the command prompts for controlling the MySQL Server so the nice guys have created GUI tools for us Prompt-phobic Individuals. Yes you guessed it The GUI Tools!!!!

Double click the GUI Tools Installer
Accept the License terms (read them is you must I never have time)
Install in the default location
Choose Complete
Then Install

Now we need to set-up the database
Click Start> Programs> MySQL> MySQL Administrator
Server Host : localhost
Port : 3306
Username : root
Password : (Something Memorable) from eariler

Your MySQL Server is now running congratulations.

Step 2.

Setting up PHP

We chose to use the zip file and not an installer to make life easier.

On the hard drive of the server (normally C:/)
create a folder called php5


Open up the zip file for php and copy its contents from the zip to the php5 folder we created

Now open a second window and explore to C:\WINDOWS\
Now copy from the php5 directory php.ini-recommended to the WINDOWS folder
Rename it to php.ini

Now open a third window and explore to C:\WINDOWS\system32
Now copy from the php5 directory php5ts.dll to the WINDOWS\system32 folder

Now open IIS Manager
Start > Run> inetmgr

Now on the left expand local computer
Right click on websites > Properties

Click Home Directory Tab
Then Configuration
Then click Add
In Executable select browse to php5 directory
Select php5isapi.dll
Then select Open
In Extension type .php
Leave the rest and click Ok
Click OK again then go to the documents Tab
Click Add
enter index.php then Ok
Use the Move Up to get it to the top
Click OK

Now back in IIS Manager
Right click on Web Service Extensions
Then Add a new web service extension
Extension name : PHP
CLick add

Browse to C:\php5\php5isapi.dll
Tick "Set extension status to allowed"

Then click Ok

Now under manager you can see php is allowed

Now lets test this to see it all works

Open C:\inetpub\wwwroot folder
Create a new text document and add this code to it

Click save and rename to index.php

Now open internet explorer

Navigate to


The index.php page will open and display your php info

If this doesn't work go back and check all the steps again

If you see the PHP info page congratulations you now have php5 running on your windows 2003 server

Step 3.

Setting up Joomla on your Windows 2003 Server

At this point you have IIS6, PHP5 and MySQL 5.25 Running

Lets begin the configuration before the Joomla Installation

Now open up the php.ini with notepad
Located in C:\WINDOWS

Use the find to locate magic_quotes
Ignore the first one and search for the second to find
magic_quotes_gpc = off
Change this to "on"

Use the find to locate extension_dir
Change this to
extension_dir = "c:\php5\ext"

Then search for mysql using find
You will get


Simply remove the comments ";" from the start of both, avoid the mssql entry


Then you need to search for save_path

Uncomment it first
;  session.save_path= "N;/path"

 session.save_path= "N;/path"
Change path to

 session.save_path= "c:\inetpub\wwwroot\sessions"

Now save php.ini

YOu need to make the directory for session save path

Create a sessions folder in c:\inetpub\wwwroot\
We need to assign the correct permissions
Right click the folder
Select Properties

Select the Security Tab
Highlight the Intenet Guest Account
Set Allows Read, Write for this account
Click Ok

Ok so we need to now open
Start > Administrative Tools > Services > World Wide Web Publishing Services
Select it then select restart on the left

We are now ready to setup Joomla 1.5

Open up the previously downloaded zip and extract it to the
c:\inetpub\wwwroot\ folder

It may ask you to overwrite the previous index.php and this is ok as it was a test file

Now when you go to local host you will get the joomla install page


Choose Language and Then Next
Make sure all of these are set to yes.

If MySQL Support is No and in red
This is the solution

Start > Control Panel > System > Advanced Tab > Environment Variables
Scroll down to Path
Select it and click edit
Add ;C:\php5
To the end of the Variable Value
Click Ok
Close windows and restart server.

Now head back to
Choose Language and Then Next
Make sure all of these are set to yes.

All should be Green now so click next

Click next on the license

Now on the Database Configuration

Database type : mysql
username : root
password : (Something Memorable) from the SQL setup stage
database name : Joomla (or whatever else you want to call it)

Now if you click next and you get a database connection error (I know I did)
I went back and checked and mysql support was red, I missed it the first time
Then follow the fix above about adding it to the path.

At this point it should display the FTP page
Click Next
Now put in a sitename
Your email
password for the admin
Install sample data then click next

Now normally on a webserver online this would you done.
Only need to delete the Installation Folder

But unlike a webserver it doesn't create the configuration file.

So go to

Rename configuration.php-dist
to confirguration.php

Open in notepad

Scroll down to Database Settings
Set the user as root
set the password as your password from earlier
set the db as your database name mine was Joomla

Now to double check the system created the database
open MySql Administrator and login

Select Catalogue on the left
Make sure Joomla is present
Click it and you should see the tables on the right

All should be well any problems repeat the installation steps.

Go back to your configuration.php file
Change var $secret = "" to something random and not default.
Now save this.

GO to c:\inetpub\wwwroot\
Delete the installation folder

Now open Internet Explorer and navigate to


And voila your joomla install is now running on your Windows 2003 Server

Any issues make sure you check every step.

We've checked this a few times and it works fine, but if you use any versions other than what we posted it wont work without some heavy duty editing.  All the parts of the this article are free to downloads except windows 2003 and links have been provided.

Enjoy your Joomla Intranet.

Some users have problems adding modules in the Joomla back-end just check your permissions on the tmp folders and make them read, write for Internet User.



We would like to thank various YouTube videos and articles we read but the ability for us to allow users to copy and paste as they read the tutorial is what was missing, now you can copy any part and paste as you go. We added in the fixes we found while browsing the Joomla forums to make this complete and answer all the users who failed to set this up questions.

Time to set-up, roughly an hour.
Allan NisbetOwner at Storm IT Solutions LTD

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