I work in a corporate environment. Sometimes, someone needs to send me a large file. I have a shared folder on a NAS, which works for most users. We also have a web-based file-drop.

However, if I’m working with a Linux server person, if his server has no GUI, he can’t always manage to deliver a file to an SMB server or navigate a web interface. He ought to be able to transfer that file from his server to his Windows laptop, and from there to the web file drop, but sometimes our support staff are… unmotivated or perhaps un-talented. They speak FTP and that’s about it. I could talk with their supervisor, in order to motivate them to try harder, but when I want to expedite an immediate solution, it is useful if I can just bring up a temporary FTP server.

Here’s a no-added-software way to do this with Windows 7. (It is similar for other versions, but may have minor variances.)

For first-time setup, skip to the ‘One-time Setup of Inactive Server’ heading below.

Activate the FTP Server When You Want to Use It

  • Run: inetmgr.exe
  • Right-click on the site » Manage FTP Site » Start
  • Discover your IP address: ipconfig | grep -i ipv4
  • Test it to be sure it is really accepting login.
  • Provide your IP address to the person who wants to send you the file. Template:
    • Hello, I have set up a temporary FTP server at xx.xx.xx.xx. User is “anonymous”. Use your email address as the password. This is only a temporary FTP drop on my personal laptop, and that IP address will change the next time my laptop gets a new address from DHCP, so please send the file AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and please notify me when delivery is complete.

One-time Setup of Inactive Server

  • Create ~\My Documents\Incoming-FTP.
  • Grant Permission to \Users (via right-click on the Incoming-FTP folder)
  • Grant all permissions except Full Control.
  • Run: OptionalFeatures.exe
  • Enable
    • Internet Information Services » FTP Server »FTP Service
    • Internet Information Services » Web Management Tools » IIS Management Console
  • Run: Inetmgr.exe
  • In the right column, right-click and remove Sites:Default Web Site
  • Right-click and ADD FTP Site.
    • Name the site “Incoming” and point it to ~\My Documents\Incoming-FTP.
    • Do NOT start automatically and do NOT allow SSL.
    • Authentication = Anonymous
    • Authorization = All Users
    • Permissions = Read and Write