Attaching The Client Computer (PROCEDURE) for SBS 2003 [book excerpt]

Good saturday to u. I am harry brelsford, the author of Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices (the purple book). Each day I am posting up several pages of this tome until SBS 2008 ships.

Today we complete the a–important client computer connection process at the procedural level in SBS 2003!

enjoy the read….harrybbbbb

Harry Brelsford, Microsoft Small Business Specialist (SBSC)

CEO at smb nation,


Attaching the Client Computer

So now for one of the more interesting updates in the SBS 2003 time frame: adding the client computer. In prior SBS releases, you’d use a client computer setup diskette (e.g., Magic disk) at each workstation to configure it for an SBS network. Word is that the diskette not only went the day of the dinosaur, but somehow didn’t pass Microsoft’s internal security audit of the SBS 2003 product (as part of Microsoft’s internal security code review).

You will now launch your client computer from a power on state (that is, turn on the computer!). Assuming the computer is physically attached to the local area network that houses the SBS server machine (and receives it IP address dynamically), then follow these steps:

1                    Log on to the client computer (this would be a local logon).

2                    Launch Internet Explorer from your Start menu. Type http:// springers1/connectcomputer in the Address field. It is this URL address that will display a Web page that allows you to connect the client computer.

3                    The Network Configuration screen appears as seen in Figure 4-27. Click Connect to the network now.



Figure 4-27

The new and very cool client computer setup process commences right here. Read the screen carefully about receiving a security warning notice (which you would approve to continue).

1                    The User Account and Password Information page appears in the Small Business Server Network Configuration Wizard. Type Administrator in the User name field and Husky9999! in the Pass­word field. Click Next. This step is necessary to provide domain-level administrator credentials to allow the machine to be joined to the domain (we need a God-like account to configure the machine, which makes sense).

2                    On the Assign users to this computer and migrate their profiles page, select Administrator and NormH under Available Users. Click Add and these two user names should appear under Users assigned to this computer as seen in Figure 4-28. Click Next.


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BEST PRACTICE: Three points to surface here.


(A) This step is effectively adding the user as a local administrator in order to install software on the local machine. At the Worldwide Partner Conference hosted by Microsoft in New Orleans in October 2003, CEO Steve Ballmer entertained a question from a concerned attendee that this seemed like a case of very generous security to grant a mere mortal (agreed!).


(B) At a future date, if you want to add more users (such as new users) as being assigned to this machine, you’ll need to do it manually. So one attendee in the October 2003 hands-on lab in New York City (Sharon Tirosh, who is well known on the SBS Yahoo! Group) suggested that you manually add a security group (e.g., from the domain to the local machine) to the local machine and then put the additional users in that security group. Note that you CAN NOT do this security group addition trick from the Assign users to the computer and migrate their profiles page. So, this is not native to SBS 2003, but can be performed under the hood.


(C) Click the More Information in Figure 4-28 and learn more about the ability to migrate profiles from existing workstations. This capability invokes a process that searches the local machine for existing profiles (e.g., a local profile in an existing peer-to-peer network scenario) and displays the found profiles in a drop-down under Current User Settings. You would then select one of the profiles (obviously the profile that is the best fit) to migrate that profile to the domain membership for a user and preserve his settings. In lecture, I typically refer to this as the grandchild capability wherein the business user can arrive Monday (Humor Zone: That’s Tuesday in Australia, as they are one day ahead of the US!) and still see the grandchild’s photo that is the local machine desktop. Hell hath no fury like a user who can’t see her grandkid’s photo after joining an SBS network!


Note: I’ll investigate these above points in greater detail in my advanced SBS 2003 book in mid 2004.

Figure 4-28

Assigning users to the local machine. Note that you aren’t creating domain user account here (this was accomplished earlier on the server machine via the Add User Wizard).

1                    On the Computer Name page, select PRESIDENT and click Next.

2                    On the Completing the Network Configuration Wizard page, click the here link and proceed to save the configuration on the local machine (much like you’ve created your network notebook on the server machine). Click Finish to start the network configuration process. A reboot will occur immediately to join the machine to the domain.

3                    After the first reboot and automatic logon, additional domain joining activity occurs and there is a second reboot.

4                    After the second reboot, log on as NormH with the password Purple3300.


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10.       Then the client computer configuration process continues when you click Start Now on the Client Setup Wizard.


11.       Click Next on the Welcome to the Client Setup Wizard page.


12.       The Application Setup Process page appears and the core SBS cli­ent-side applications are installed (Outlook 2003, Shared Fax client, operating system updates). This is shown in Figure 4-29.


Figure 4-29

Observe the setup of the applications.

13.       The machine reboots (again!) and you will log on as NormH again (password is Purple3300). The setup process is now complete and you’ve officially added a client computer in our beloved SPRING­ERS methodology.

BEST PRACTICE: If for some reason the client computer applications, such as Outlook 2003, didn’t completely install correctly, there is a manual workaround. Simply navigate to \\SPRINGERS1\ClientApps (this is the UNC path back to the SBS server machine) and launch

the appropriate native setup routine (e.g., setup.exe) for the

applications you want to install on the client machine.


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