Installing Windows Server 2003
The purpose of this section is to help you with the practicalities of a physical installation of Windows Server 2003. However, I strongly recommend detailed planning of Active Directory before you roll out Windows 2003 Server on a production network.
A straight forward section on building your member server server. Remember to plan which ‘flavour’ of Windows Server 2003 you need.
Check where Windows Server 2003 comes in Guy’s index for installing Microsoft products.
This is the trickiest section, you really do need to practice running DCPROMO on a test network. Pay close attention to your DNS settings. Spend time designing the whole Active Directory forest not just one domain controller.
New command line tool ADPREP, also extra switches for DCPROMO. Perhaps the easiest way to install is from a backup of an existing domain controller.
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!
Installing XP or Vista
Ghost is still a popular method for installing clients, but I prefer to use RIS (Remote Installation Service). The time spent in configuring RIS pays back handsomely when you want Group Policies to apply from day one. RIS is more tolerant of variations in hardware than ghost images.