How to install WordPress 3.0 on XP and IIS 5.1 Manually

PART I – Install PHP on IIS 5.1 (Win XP) Manually

For instructions see  
Download file from  
Alternatively, download   (nts stands for Not-Threat-Safe)
Unzip it into C:\Program Files\PHP
Copy, create or edit  php.ini file
Either add PHPRC environment variable pointing to C:\Program Files\PHP\
Or add C:\Program Files\PHP\   to the PATH


PART II – Configuring IIS to process PHP requests

Download Microsoft FastCGI Extension for IIS 5.1 and 6.0 from
Install fcgisetup_1.5_rtw_x86.msi
Add PHP entry to IIS mapping.  Go to IIS Admin – Default Web Site – Properties – Home Directory – Configuration – Mappings and add .php extension pointing to C:\WINDOWS\system32\inetsrv\fcgiext.dll and limit verbs to GET,HEAD,POST:

This step is not mentioned in most manuals.  Without this step, IIS will open PHP files as text.
If this doesn’t work, use next step – run this command from command prompt:
cscript %windir%\system32\inetsrv\fcgiconfig.js -add -section:”PHP” -extension:php -path:”C:\Program Files\PHP\php-cgi.exe”
Important: Only after you completed steps above, you can create your first PHP a virtual directory to handle new page type.

PART III – Configure MySQL Database

Download latest MySQL from
Select mysql-5.1.48-win32.msi file
This file allows for installation.  It will create required system D/B(s).
Alternatively, select file
Unzip into C:\Program Files\MySQL directory
Copy, create or edit my.ini
Stop MySQL service
Move your MySQL data directory to a new desired location�
Restart MySQL service


PART IV – Configure WordPress 3.0 on IIS

Create new virtual directory for your WordPress blog
Add “index.php” to the list of default documents
Extract into your new virtual directory
Copy, create or edit wp-config.php file.
Point your browser to http://localhost/MediaWebCenter/
If you see error “Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress” do the following in you php.ini file: �
Remark out this line:
Check extension_dir parameter to point to a full path:
extension_dir =”C:\Program Files\PHP\ext”
Your next error could be: Error establishing a database connection
Remove wp-config.php and try again.  Go through initial configuration.  Answer some questions:

If this step doesn’t work, most likely reason – D/B user is missing.  Install MySQL workbench (GUI), open it and create a new user (WebCenterUser) to enable connection to your database.
Next problem you might experience – blank screen.
Add wp-admin/ to the address in your browser and try to login
Visit Appearance –> Themes and check if you see any error detected. Potential problem message:  Current Theme is broken – Reverting to Default Theme.
That actually fixes the blank page problem.  The problem was  in using non-existing theme.

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