first up a big thank you for all the informative posts it is very much appreciated. (especially jason, that post must have taken some time to write) i think the reason i have been struggling with this for so long was that i was running... windows 2k professional. and apparently you can only have mutliple websites hosted on win2k server. http://www.iisfaq.com/default.aspx?View=P126 i have found a satisfactory work around though... http://www.iisfaq.com/default.aspx?View=A391&P=126 just thought i would let you all know how this problem resovled itself. ta again for time and help. david.