Microsoft KB Archive/170861

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Error 501, Not Supported When Using .Exe and .Com Applications

Article ID: 170861

Article Last Modified on 6/23/2005


  • Microsoft Internet Information Server 2.0
  • Microsoft Internet Information Server 3.0

This article was previously published under Q170861

We strongly recommend that all users upgrade to Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) version 6.0 running on Microsoft Windows Server 2003. IIS 6.0 significantly increases Web infrastructure security. For more information about IIS security-related topics, visit the following Microsoft Web site:


When you execute .Exe and/or .Com applications as scripts, the script will fail, and you will get the following error message:

Error 501, Not Supported.


When you use Internet Information Server (IIS) on Microsoft Windows NT Server version 4.0, Chapter 8 of the IIS documentation, the section titled "Associating Interpreters with Applications" lists the default interpreter for .Exe and .Com applications as "System". In other words, no interpreter should be defined for these applications.

Because IIS gives you the ability to create applications in almost any programming language, IIS uses the file name extension to determine which interpreter to invoke for each application. These interpreters are defined in the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/ System/CurrentControlSet/Services/W3SVC/Parameters/Script Map.

The default interpreter for .Bat and .Cmd applications is Cmd.exe, and for .Idc the default interpreter is Httpodbc.dll. No script map should be defined for .Exe and .Com applications, as they are interpreted by the System.


WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to reinstall Windows NT to correct them. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.

If values for .exe and/or .com exist in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/System/ CurrentControlSet/Services/W3SVC/Parameters/Script Map delete them using the following steps:

  1. Start the Registry Editor (using Start, Run, Regedt32.exe).
  2. Locate the Script Map key at the following location:

       Parameters/Script Map.
  3. Select the value for the .exe and/or .com interpreter.
  4. Click Delete on the Edit menu.
  5. When the value is removed, close the Registry Editor by selecting Registry, Exit.
  6. Reboot the system.

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