Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My task is to install a certificate which I got in .p7b format from my company. IIS 7 can import a certificate in .cer format by using the "Complete Certificate Request..." option. Using the Certificates MMC snap-in I managed to convert the .p7b file to .cer by importing, then exporting it.

Unfortunately when I try to use it with the "Complete certificate request..." option, IIS 7 complains that it can't find the certificate request, so it can't proceed.

What options do I have in this situation? Do I need a .pfx file which has the private key in it, or I can install the certificate in .cer format? I want to use it in an https binding with one of the websites on the server.

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It sounds to me like the certificate request (and therefore the private key)was not generated on your webserver is that correct?

If it is correct then you will need a certificate with a private key in order to install it. This is the certificate in pfx format as you correctly identify.

The .p7b file will not have a private key.

Alternatively you can generate the certificate request yourself using the following mechanism:

CREATE INF file as follows

[Version] Signature="$Windows NT$



Then use the following commands at the command prompt

certreq -new infile.inf reqfile.req //where infile.inf is the file above and reqfile is the output request file

Send this output request to the guys who issue your certificates and you will get the correct p7b back that will install.


share|improve this answer
Thank you! 15thanks – user6411 Nov 23 '09 at 11:45

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.