The Adventures of VMWare, Windows 7, Web Platform Installer, SQL Server 2008 Express, IIS 7 and installing DNN, otherwise known as HELL

So I had this bright idea, I'd setup VMWare on my desktop here at home and start playing with Windows 7, then I thought I would get a DNN website up and running in Windows 7, and record the whole thing with Camtasia. 24 hours later I've given up and am ready to go into manual labor! :)

VMWare's installation went great, Windows 7 installation went great, and was AMAZINGLY fast, under 20 minutes and the OS was installed in a new VM, and I was logged in. It went downhill from there. I downloaded Microsoft's Web Platform Installer to try and get the necessary prerequisites installed on the machine so that I could run the DotNetNuke application. IIS, SQL Express, .Net Framework, etc. This was the start of my troubles. The Web Platform Installer apparently installed IIS, but would choke when trying to install SQL Express, it would tell me it failed due to prerequisites. I think it was failing on the Windows Installer 4.5 requirement, though that was already installed based on my testing, read:attempt to download it from and install it manually.

So I gave up on using the Platform installer for the remainder of the requirements and decided to install SQL Express manually with a download from That went even worse than the WPI. I attempted this 4 times last night, every time the installation process would lock up the Virtual Machine requiring a reset on the VM. I ended up giving up last night. Tonight I decided to try again, miraculously the installation process for SQL Express worked on the first attempt tonight, though I have no idea what was different from last night.

So I was happy at this point, progress was being made. I fired up Camtasia, configured my microphone, the recording window, and started to record the video. Download DNN, extract files, setup the permissions, setup an application in IIS, and then attempt to load the website. ERRrRrrrrrRrRrrrrr wrong, not gonna work. I got this nice error message

System.Security.SecurityException: Request for the permission of type 'System.Web.AspNetHostingPermission, System, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089' failed.

From searching around on the web this appears to be a common problem with IIS and UNC shares, the problem is this wasn’t a UNC share, it was on the C drive. After about an hour of trying to get it to work, changing the trust level, app pool settings, tons of permissions on the file system, I’ve given up. I have too many other things to work on to continue tracking down an error I’ve never received before! I’ve seen plenty of errors in my day, this one wasn’t an easy one to figure out. Perhaps I’ll come back to it another day, I’m likely just to setup a new VM with Vista on it and get that working, perhaps I’ll come back to Windows 7 again in a few months.


  • Thanks for convincing me not to re-live your experiences (I think), Peter

  • A whole blog post and no solution? Well, you've managed to waste a bit of my time too :-)

  • You should spend time more productively, like adding templates to Engage-Publish :)

    Seriously, I have learned the hard way--never be an early adopter. Always have a valid business case for what you're doing. Of course, if only I could follow my own advice!

  • I would say the issues are going to be 2 fold on the platform installer.

    1. Win 7 has a later installer platform 5.0 over 4.5.

    2. Win 7 has IIS 7.5

    I have found the platform installer in win 7 to not setup everything correctly and that may be because it was made for an earlier version of IIS. Still investigating myself.


  • Don't worry I won't say anything about a Mac here...

    Just my guess, but do you think this would've worked with a testing machine, instead of running through VMWare? Could the UNC problem be related to that?

  • John, we're working on it! :)

    Douglas, thanks for the heads up on that, I'll skip the installer for now.

    Schwartz, possibly better on another machine, though I am starting over to see what I can find.

  • I started a thread discussing this, and a possible resolution/impacts on DNN installations over on the DotNetNuke Forums

    Are you happy now anonymous? I could reply directly to you, but I have no idea who you are....

  • I also started out trying to install DNN. I already had VWD Express 2008 and I've been trying now for 5 days. I've had multiple error messages, failed installs, cyclic reboot requirements, and tons of forum hunting. This sucks. I'm on Vista Home Premium 32-bit. I've uninstalled and reinstalled and repaired almost everything I can think of. This is ridiculous.

  • The permissions error you're getting is probably because you didn't "unblock" the DNN zip file. Try that and see if it works better (right-click the file and you'll see a security statement at the bottom with an unblock button).

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