Install Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) on Windows 2000

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Windows 2000 does not include a standard TFTP server that can be installed via Add/Remove Windows Components, unlike DNS, DHCP, etc. However, a TFTP server is provided as part of the Remote Installation Services (RIS) package. You don't need (or want) to install all of RIS just to get TFTP. The instructions below allow you to manually install only the TFTP server service.


  • A Windows 2000 Server CD
  • A copy of the "Instsrv.exe" utility from the Windows 2000 Resource Kit tools.


  • On the Windows 2000 Server CD, in the I386 folder, find the file "TFTPD.EX_." Note: Be sure this is coming from a CD that includes the latest Service Pack, or from a local I386 folder that has been slipstreamed with the latest SP, in case there were any security or bugfix updates to TFTPd.
  • Copy the file to C:\
  • From the command line:
    • Decompress the installer file:
      expand c:\tftpd.ex_ %systemroot%\system32\tftpd.exe
    • Delete the installer file:
      del c:\tftpd.ex_
    • Install TFTP as a service using Instsrv.exe from the

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    • Resource Kit:
      (path)\instsrv.exe TFTPd %systemroot%\system32\tftpd.exe
  • Open regedt32
    • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\TFTPd
    • Edit menu, Add Key
      • Key Name: Parameters
      • Class: (leave blank)
    • Expand TFTPd, Select Parameters
    • Edit menu, Add Value
      • Value Name: Directory
      • Data Type: REG_SZ
      • String: C:\tftproot (or whatever directory you want to use)
    • Exit regedt32
  • Create the directory C:\tftproot
    • Disable inheritance of permissions and remove the default permissions
    • Add permissions for local Administrators:Full Control
    • For read-only TFTP, add Everyone:Read permissions
    • For read-write TFTP, add Everyone:Read and Write permissions
    • Security Warning: This will allow anyone to store files on your TFTP server. If you require unauthenticated TFTP uploads (for instance, to be able to save configs from a router), you may wish to consider configuring a local IPSec policy on the TFTP server host to allow connections only from trusted devices.
  • Open Computer Management, Services and Applications, Services
    • Locate TFTPd
    • Change Description to "Microsoft Trivial File Transfer Protocol Server"
    • Click Start, verify that it starts correctly

Test the functionality of your new TFTP server

  • Put a test text file, "remote.txt" in C:\tftproot (or the directory you used)
  • From the command line, download your test file with the built-in MS TFTP client:
    tftp (hostname) get remote.txt c:\local.txt
  • You should see a confirmation message similar to "Transfer successful: 6 bytes in 1 second, 6 bytes/s."

This was first published in September 2004

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