SBS 2003 Setup Wizard – excerpt from Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices book

hello – I am harry brelsford, author of the Windows Small Business SErver 2003 Best PRactices book and I am posting up my book a few pages per day for your consumption. Hope to have it all posted by the time SBS 2008 ship 🙂


Harry Brelsford, CEO of SMB Nation,


15.       Additional computer files are copied and installed and more configu­ration activity occurs. The installation is “finalized” as shown in a bullet point on the left in Figure 3-9.

Figure 3-9

The underlying Windows Server 2003 installation autopilots at this points and completes the operating system installation.

16.       You are instructed to press Ctrl-Alt-Delete at the Welcome to Win­dows dialog box. The Log On to Windows dialog box appears. After you log on as Administrator (remember the password is Husky9999!), a dialog box will appear advising you that setup files are being copied to a temporary directory, followed by another dialog box communicat­ing that 40 separate installation components are being loaded. A few minutes later, you are greeted by the initial SBS setup screen that is titled Continuing Microsoft Small Business Server Setup, Click Next (but first read and honor the next two BEST PRACTICES).

Figure 3-10

 The SBS 2003 installation continues.

BEST PRACTICE: Depending on the hardware you have installed on your system, such as a USB device, plug-and-play device, or PCI-based device, you might see the Add New Hardware Wizard. If such is the case, complete the wizard and return to the screen in Figure 3-10.

BEST PRACTICE: You now need to configure the second drive area (Drive D) for storing data. In order to do this, click Start, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, expand Storage, and click Disk Management. Right click on the D: volume and select Format. The Format D: dialog box appears. Name the volume DATA in the Volume Label field, confirm NTFS as the default file system, keep the Allocation unit size as Default and select Perform

a quick format. Click OK. Click OK on the warning notice you receive. Take a few deep breathes while the formatting completes and then close the Computer Management window.

An interesting historical note for you: In SBS 2000, you had to format Drive D no later than this point (you could have also formatted it back in the character-based phase at the partition screens). But SBS 2003 is more forgiving! I’ve found that you can configure Drive D as late as after the reboot after the Windows Configuration stage (in several steps) and have it be recognized by the Microsoft Windows Small Business Server Setup wizard. That improvement reflects the fact the setup wizard remains much more dynamic (and less static or fixed) in SBS 2003 compared to the predecessor SBS 2000 version. Jolly good show!

So perhaps you’re feeling unwelcome in SBS 2003 at this point. In the step

above in SBS 2000, you received a “Welcome” notice instead of the word “Continuing.” So perhaps SBS 2003 isn’t as warm and fuzzy during setup, but don’t let that prevent you from marching forward! OK—when you see the belated SBS 2003 “Welcome” message, click Next.


BEST PRACTICE: At this point, you might well receive an informational, warning, or a blocking message on the Setup Requirements page (Figure 3-11) indicating your machine doesn’t satisfy some SBS setup requirement. First and foremost, understand that such messages appear depending on machine settings, so one SBS setup on a specific machine might vary from another SBS setup on another machine (the point being you might receive a warning or blocking message on one machine and not the other).

Figure 3-11

Messages are displayed which must be addressed.

As a general rule, a warning message does not stop the SBS setup routine and can be cured immediately. A blocking message is typically more severe and will require more extensive remedial action on your behalf. In Figure 3-11, a network adapter isn’t present and the installation can not continue. This must be fixed.

Just for giggles, I show another Setup Requirements screen I encountered that relates to supported processors in SBS 2003 (Figure 3-12). You will recall that SBS 2003 supports two physical processors and that is the configuration on the HP/Compaq ML-350 at SPRINGERS. But the ML-350 server machine also supports hyper-threading, defined in the next paragraph.

Figure 3-12

A warning message communicates to you that only two processors are supported.

 Hyper-threading allows a single processor to act as two processors. When you install SBS 2003 on a machine with two physical processors that support hyper-threading (in effect telling the operating system you have four processors), you’ll receive the error message in 3-12. This is unique to SBS 2003 because it uses the standard version of Windows Server 2003 (which natively supports four processors), but then caps the processor support at two. The hyper-threading issue kinda throws SBS 2003 into a mild tizzy and it generates the two processor warning message.

But, just to add fuel to the fire, even though you received a warning message on a two processor machine using hyper-threading (causing SBS 2003 to believe you have more physical processors), SBS 2003 will actually exploit and use the two physical processors and the two “virtual” processors. I prove this by showing you Figure 3-13 where all “four” processors are active.

Figure 3-13

The Performance tab on Windows Task Manager (select from right-clicking Start task bar) shows four busy processors on the SPRINGERS SBS 2003 server machine.

Finally, SBS 2003 has a warning message if you only have one network adapter card installed. That is because Microsoft, in its endeavor to promote security best practices everywhere, wants you to have two network adapter cards to take advantage of the basic firewall capabilities included in SBS 2003. More on that topic in Chapter 5.

And, of course, if you did not receive a warning or blocking message, you will proceed with the setup.


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