IIS 7.5 And Windows Authentication

Owkay, I’ve got a good one for you this time.

And all it takes is checking a checkbox, just one checkbox!

That’s the solution to a problem with which I’ve been struggling yesterday.  What problem?  Let me tell you.

I’ve been installing Master Data Services (MDS) on my SQL Server 2008 R2.  This feature will not only create a database but also a website which you can use to manage MDS.  And it’s the website part that I had a problem with.  Everything installed just fine but when I tried to load the site in Internet Explorer 8 on my Windows 7 64-bit machine, I got the following error:

HTTP Error 401.2 – Unauthorized

You are not authorized to view this page due to invalid authentication headers.

Great, an authentication problem – aren’t those our favorite ones?  And like any decent developer, I didn’t waste my time reading all the text on the error page and started investigating the issue.  I had a look at the settings of the Application Pool and those of the Default Web Site.  I also tried changing the security settings in IE.  At the end I think I have tried every possible setting in IIS 7.5 (which is the version that ships with Windows 7), but I kept getting that same error.

I let some time pass (not on purpose but because we were going to visit my parents-in-law) and in the evening I decided to have another look.  This time I took the effort of reading everything mentioned in the error:

HTTP Error 401.2 - Unauthorized

Do you see that blue link down at the bottom, which I’ve marked with a red rectangle?  That’s where I got the answer from!  Clicking it opened up the following Microsoft Support page: Error message when you try to visit a Web page that is hosted on IIS 7.0: "HTTP Error 401.2 – Unauthorized".

Sounds familiar doesn’t it?  Okay, it’s meant for IIS 7.0 but works for 7.5 as well.

I solved my problem by applying Resolution 1.  In short: IIS was running without the Windows Authentication module installed!  Apparently that is not installed by default when you activate Internet Information Services through the “Turn Windows features on or off” window.  Here’s a screenshot showing what needs to be added:

Activating Windows Authentication for IIS 7.5 in Windows 7

Once that was set up I was able to load the MDS application:

Master Data Services Home Page

If you’re looking for instructions on how to install and configure Master Data Services, have a look at this article at the Master Data Services Team blog.

(Do I need to mention that this was the first-ever web application that I tried running on Windows 7? :-) )

Have fun!



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  1. shrilata’s avatar

    H i ,

    when i browse , i am getting one error,

    Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage

    What you can try:
    Diagnose Connection Problems

    More information

    This problem can be caused by a variety of issues, including:

    •Internet connectivity has been lost.
    •The website is temporarily unavailable.
    •The Domain Name Server (DNS) is not reachable.
    •The Domain Name Server (DNS) does not have a listing for the website’s domain.
    •There might be a typing error in the address.
    •If this is an HTTPS (secure) address, click Tools, click Internet Options, click Advanced, and check to be sure the SSL and TLS protocols are enabled under the security section.

    For offline users

    You can still view subscribed feeds and some recently viewed webpages.
    To view subscribed feeds

    1.Click the Favorites Center button , click Feeds, and then click the feed you want to view.

    To view recently visited webpages (might not work on all pages)

    1.Click Tools , and then click Work Offline.
    2.Click the Favorites Center button , click History, and then click the page you want to view.

    plz help me if you can . Thank you !!


  2. Valentino Vranken’s avatar

    You’re expecting help while you’re not even explaining what you’re trying to do? I’m no David Copperfield you know… For all I know maybe your network cable may not even be plugged in (how you would have posted this message would actually be magic then but okay, let’s get back on topic).

    I suggest you to have a look at the following KB, it mentions nine possible ways to solve that really general error: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/956196

    If that doesn’t solve your issue, try one of the known forums, for instance this one: http://forums.iis.net/


  3. Lars’s avatar

    Great post!

    I was trying to solve a similar problem which was caused by the fact that Windows Authentication wasn’t installed. Many thanks!


    1. Valentino Vranken’s avatar

      You’re welcome Lars! When I finally found the solution to this problem I first couldn’t believe my eyes, so silly… And I’m not alone, turns out that this post is currently at number three in the monthly stats! :-)

      Best regards,


  4. Peet’s avatar

    Thanks, been getting kinda desperate with this one.


    1. Valentino Vranken’s avatar

      Ow yeah, I know the feeling! :-) Thanks for your comment Peet!


  5. Prashant’s avatar

    Hey man,

    This has been really helpful to me in addressing my clients issue.

    Thanks a lot.


  6. Lorenzo’s avatar

    Does not work for Windows 7 home premium!


    1. Valentino Vranken’s avatar

      That’s because Windows Authentication is not available in Home Premium edition. Have a look at the Security Features here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753473.aspx


  7. Cleophas’s avatar

    Thanks, you saved my weekend


  8. Derek Simons’s avatar

    Helpful step-by-step guide! Thanks for sharing this one.


  9. T. Charles’s avatar

    Great guide! Very useful in solving authentication problem.

    T. Charles, Stuart FL criminal defense attorney


  10. Virendra’s avatar

    It worked great for me.


  11. sridhar’s avatar

    dude thank you so much for this user guide. very helpful


  12. John’s avatar

    Thanks so much!!

    I had googled many pages trying to find out what was wrong. And such a silly thing that the Windows authentication doesn’t automatically install!!


  13. James Gildea’s avatar

    Thanks for saving me a bunch of time!


  14. Harshit’s avatar

    Hi i have the same problem

    the difference is mysite is running on the local (iis 7.5 express) and i am using form authentication..



  15. Eli Manning Jerseys’s avatar

    Wow! Thank you! I continuously needed to write
    on my website something like that. Can I take a fragment of your post to my website?


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