Edit 64-bit File with a 32-bit Editor on Windows 2008 64 or R2

I worked recently on a project where I needed to make a change to an IIS 7.5 configuration file on Windows Server 2008 R2. While trying to edit the file, I kept getting an error message trying to use my default text editor, TextPad.

C:WindowsSystem32inetsrvconfigadministration.config was not found.

I also noticed that Windows Explorer rendered the files on the file system with some strange lock icons I don’t recall seeing before.

After several attempts to open the files for editing in TextPad, I began searching the interwebs looking for an answer and stumbled across a post that helped me break through. Rick Strahl mentions an issue using a 32-bit application to edit certain files in the System32 folder.

Since all Server 2008 R2 flavors run as a 64-bit OS, I decided to try using the native Notepad installation instead of my 32-bit TextPad editor. Wallah! The file opened just fine and I was able to make my changes and move along once I got past the annoyances of Notepad…but I digress. 😉

So remember that if you see a strange lock icon or you try to use a 32-bit editor to open files on a 64-bit platform, things may not work out. Try opening the file in Notepad to see if that will work to get you by while you get a 64-bit editor installed.

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