SBS 2003 Workstation Installation Plan [book excerpt]

Happy July Day to you! I am Harry Brelsford, the author of Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices (SMB Nation Press) and it my pleasure to post up a few pages of thisbook per day. My goal is post the entire book by the time SBS 2008 ships!

Today we start the SBS 2003 workstation installation plan. In previsous installments of this book, we planned for and installed the SBS 2003 server machine.

Have fun and enjoy the read.

Cheers….harrybbbb

Harry Brelsford, Small Business Specialist (SBSC) and CEO of SMB Nation www.smbnation.com

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Notes:

 Visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet for the latest updates for any Microsoft product.

Workstation Installation Plan

The following tasks are necessary to be completed prior to performing the SBS hands-on workstation configuration tasks, such as adding users and setting up the workstations. These tasks include the following:

1.         Setting up a staging area. Be sure to find a place to set up the work­stations if you purchase new workstations for your SBS network.

 Visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet for the latest updates for any Microsoft product.

This workstation staging area is typically a conference room. If you are converting from an existing network, or the users already have their workstations in place, you probably won’t need a workstation setup area.

BEST PRACTICE: If you indeed use a workstation staging area, it is very helpful to have a network hub (connected to the SBS network) in the center of your work area. That way, as you build each workstation, you can complete the workstation setup tasks in a good ol’ blue-collar assembly line-like fashion. It’s very efficient.

2.         Building the new workstations. If you have new workstations, physi­cally build the workstation by unpacking all the components from the shipping boxes (monitor, computer, and keyboard). Be sure to reseat each adapter card inside the new workstation in case it came loose during shipping. After connecting all the workstation compo­nents, turn on the power and verify that the workstation is functional. I recommend that you check the workstation BIOS settings similar to how the server BIOS was observed in Chapter 3. (You typically press the Delete key during the power-on phase to see the BIOS settings.)

BEST PRACTICE: Be sure to confirm that the workstations you specified and ordered while you read Chapter 2 are the same as the workstations now in your possession. And does each workstation have a network adapter card as specified and ordered?

Whether the workstation is new or not, take a moment to confirm that your workstation meets the minimum system requirements specified by Microsoft for participating on an SBS network (see Chapter 2 for discussion on this). In particular, make sure that you have enough hard disk space to accommodate the SBS client applications you intend to install in a few moments. The most popular SBS workstation setup error I’ve witnessed is a shortage of hard disk space on the client workstation. Unfortunately, you aren’t always advised of such space shortage problems until well into the SBS client workstation setup process. The workstation space requirements in SBS have grown to over 300 MB if you install each client component.

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3.         Completing the installation of the workstation operating system. New workstations typically have no operating system completely installed. As of this writing, the workstation would likely have a par­tial installation of Windows XP Professional. This is typically the case when you purchase from name-brand manufacturers, such as HP. With true clone workstations (sometimes called “white boxes”), such as the PC that your Uncle Chas built, it might or might not have any operating system (here it varies on a case-by-case basis). Regardless, it is essential that each workstation have a functional operating system, such as Windows XP Professional (my bias). So now is the time to make sure that each of your workstations indeed has a supported operating system installed and ready to run. In fact, the SBS client applications and networking functionality cannot be fully installed on a workstation until a supported workstation operat­ing system is installed. Recall from Chapter 2 that SPRINGERS has standardized on Windows XP Professional for its workstation oper­ating system on a company-wide basis.

BEST PRACTICE: Be sure to check the SBS site at Microsoft (www.microsoft.com/sbs) for which client operating systems are supported by SBS 2003. Because this list changes over time and will not stay current as of this writing, I’m simply directing you to the Web site.

However, I do feel secure sharing with you that the following operating systems are not supported by SBS 2003 in any way, shape, or form: OS/2, CP/M, Apple DOS, and Apple ProDOS. If you have such a workstation, do yourself a favor and strongly consider purchasing an Intel-based workstation running one of the supported operating systems so that you can participate on the SBS network.

And perhaps the “wild card” in this whole workstation equation will be XBOX from Microsoft. Wouldn’t it be cool to have XBOX as a client computer on an SBS 2003 network?

4.         Testing the workstation’s network connectivity. Perform a work-station-level green light test: Plug a network cable (that is, CAT5

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10BASE-T cable) into the workstation’s Ethernet network adapter card jack. Make sure the other end of the network cable is connected to an active hub connection (for example, the hub in your worksta­tion staging area). Much like the testing you performed on the server in Chapter 3, make sure that both the hub and workstation network adapter card jack have a green or active light. If you use existing workstations on an existing network, you can also perform this test with little effort. Simply turn on the existing work­station and see whether the network adapter card jack is green or active. Then trot over to the network hub and confirm the same.

5.         Completing the workstation installation worksheet. Be sure to revisit the SBS network user list shown in Chapter 2 (see the “User List” section and complete the Workstation Installation Worksheet for each user. The Workstation Installation Worksheet has been completed for Norm Hasborn, SPRINGERS president (see Table 4-1). The entries for the remaining employees are provided in Appendix C.

BEST PRACTICE: Remember that it is far better with SBS to populate each wizard page field, even if that means you enter N/A (Not Applicable or Not Available) because you don’t have valid data to input. That way, you know at a later date that you didn’t overlook any user and computer setup configuration field. Also, SBS user and computer setup configuration information is used in other areas of the SBS network, making it important to complete each and every user and computer setup configuration field.

Notes:

 

 

Chapter 4 SBS 2003 Deployment and Management Tools Visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet for the latest updates for any Microsoft product. Table 4-1:  SBS Workstation Setup Sheet Setup Field Input/Value/Description Where Used User’s Full Name (First, Last) Norm Hasborn Add User Wizard Logon Name NormH Add User Wizard Telephone 206-123-1234 Add User Wizard Password Purple3300 Add User Wizard E-mail alias NormH (default) Add User Wizard Exchange Server SPRINGERS1 (default) Add User Wizard Exchange store Mailbox Store (SPRINGERS1) (default) Add User Wizard Description for User Founder and President Add User Wizard Allowed to change password No Add User Wizard (Y/N)? SBS User Template Power User Add User Wizard Workstation NetBIOS PRESIDENT Set Up ComputerWizard SBS Programs to Install Complete: Set Up ComputerInternet Explorer Wizard Outlook 2003 Shared Fax Client Operating System Windows XP Professional Set Up ComputerWizard Verify available workstation Yes Misc hard disk space based on SBSPrograms to install listedimmediately above (forexample, 300 MB required) Turn off programs at work­Yes/No? Misc station such as anti-virus programs. SBS server-based Shared NORMH Misc. Folders this user will access. USERS COMPANY ACCOUNTING OLD APPLICATIONS Printers HP5 Misc.

4-41

 

 

 

Network Protocols

TCP/IP

Misc.

IP Address (Static or Dynamic)

Dynamic

Misc.

Mapped Drives

S: SPRINGERS1\NORMH T: SPRINGERS1\USERS U: SPRINGERS1\ ACCOUNTING V: SPRINGERS1\OLD W: SPRINGERS1\ APPLICATIONS

Misc

Workstation Shares (shares on workstation)

N/A

Misc.

Additional Applications to install (for example, GreatPlains Dynamics accounting):

Great Plains Dynamics client FRX Report Writer

Misc.

Special configuration issues

Triple-check security. This is the president’s PC.

Misc.

Comments

Complete this one last afterall other workstations.

Misc.

Tested Logon (Y/N)

No

Misc.

Repairs/ReconfigurationNeeded

 

Misc.

 

BEST PRACTICE: Remember that the workstation name is typically based on job title or function. Thus, the workstation names associated with the users at SPRINGERS are closely related to the user’s job title. This naming convention is helpful when you have staff turnover, but the jobs remain the same.

Another useful practice, although not used with SPRINGERS, is to name machines after something neutral, such as fruits. A former client, Larry P, did this because he observed that while people change jobs, machines don’t.  The same job titles typically keep the same machine. Or sometimes you have people leave and the job is restructured with a new title. You get the point. Hey, if I’m going to have a machine named after a fruit, I want the machine named KUMQUAT01!

Note that for all users, access to the Internet is allowed by default just as it was in SBS 2000 (such wasn’t the case in SBS 4.5).

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