Part 1 – Installing Windows Server 2003 – Member Server
The purpose of this page is to help you with the practicalities of a physical installation of Windows Server 2003. In fact this phase is easy, if you have ever installed a Microsoft product before then the procedure will be familiar.
Installing Microsoft software – Guy’s degree of difficulty
Hardest Install= 10
9 Exchange 2003
7 SQL 2000
6 NT 4.0
4 Windows 2000
3 Windows Server 2003
2 Windows Server 2008
Easiest Install = 0
Quick, slow, quick quick slow, that is how the install seemed. The menus were very like XP with excellent PnP and comprehensive driver support.
All the questions that the wizard asked were straightforward and easy to answer.
I particularly liked the timer screen telling me how long to go. My criticism is there could be a second clock to tell me how long until the next user intervention. What happened to me was I left with 34 minutes remaining only to return half an hour later with a screen asking me to choose a time zone, and still 29 minutes to go.
As I am nearly always online, the product activation was easy, slick and asked for no personal information.
For many years my cry has been: ‘You never have a big enough C:\ drive’, this time I went for 10GB. (After 3 days I had used 6.5GB)
Here is the range of Windows 2003 products that are available.
- Standard Server – Classic file and print server could be your Domain Controller
- Enterprise Server – Application server support for clustering
- Datacenter Server – More of everything! Processors, memory and clustering
- Web Server – For ISP’s only available through specialist retailers
- 64 Bit version – one day we will all be choosing this instead of the 32 Bit version
- (XP Professional – Desktop replacement for Window 2000, Window 98, NT 4.0 Workstation)
When you upgrade, you must upgrade like for like; Enterprise W2K to Enterprise W2K3 works. You cannot mix and match, unfortunately this is not a chance to upgrade Standard to Enterprise server.
Note: The Datacenter version is only available from selected manufacturers; it comes as a package the processors, RAM, whole machine with Windows Server 2003 operating system. You cannot buy Datacenter on CD. Rumour has it that less than 100 Datacenters have been sold world wide.
SolarWinds have produced three Active Directory add-ons. These free utilities have been approved by Microsoft, and will help to manage your domain by:
- Seeking and zapping unwanted user accounts.
- Finding inactive computers.
- Bulk-importing new users. Give this AD utility a try, it’s free!
Post installation considerations
Check the system logs in the event viewer. Then plan the role for your member server.
A long time ago I started with Windows v 2.0 and each Microsoft product since has its own personality, what struck me first with Windows Server 2003 was that it wanted me to tune it for a particular role: File and Print, Application or Domain Controller. This was the first time that I have seen this up front tuning and I liked it.
Once you have built your member server, you are ready for the main event: