Installing SBS 2008 and Connecting to the Internet

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Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

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Set up and run Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 making it deliver a big business impact with this book and eBook

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by David Overton | April 2009 | .NET Microsoft

This article by David Overton covers the installation of SBS 2008 on a new system, either as a first server in an organization or as a new server into an organization with SBS 2003. We will cover:

  • Installing the operating system
  • Installing the SBS components
  • Migrating network settings
  • Getting updates
  • Confirming company information
  • Creating an administration account
  • Naming servers
  • Installing anti-malware tools
  • Resolving installation issues

The steps involved will get you to the point where you are connected to the Internet. There are some steps that are different, depending on whether this is a new installation or a migration.

SBS 2008 installation

The installation process is split into two sections:

  • Installation of the operating system and other files to the disk
  • Installation of everything that makes it SBS 2008

You cannot separate the two or stop the second half from happening; although, you will be required to provide input to the server at each stage.

Operating system installation

If you are performing a migration from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008, you must have your USB memory stick with the SBSAnswerFile.xml file loaded onto the root directory.

You must also have a network cable plugged into the SBS server, connected to a hub or switch, for the installation to succeed.

Migrating to SBS 2008 in a virtual environment

If you are installing SBS 2008 into a virtual machine, such as under Hyper-V from Microsoft then you cannot simply plug in a USB memory stick as USB ports are not available within the virtual machine. For the install process to read it, either you must add it as a pass-through hard disk or you can create a Virtual Floppy Disk with the file on it. To add the USB Disk as a hard disk in Hyper-V, mark it as offline in the DISKPART tool and then add it as a drive before starting the virtual machine. For detailed instructions, take a look at http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?12.

If you have a DVD for the system, insert the DVD and boot the system and follow the instructions to boot from a DVD for your system. You will normally have to press a key to start the process. You will see the grey bar progressing across the screen as the DVD is read. If you have a system from a hardware manufacturer then the operating system may already be installed on the hard disk. If this is the case, simply turn on the machine.

If your machine will not boot from the DVD and you have a DVD drive on the system, then check the BIOS settings to ensure that the DVD is the first boot drive.

 Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

You will then be asked to set the Language to install, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method to match your needs.

 Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

If you are migrating, you must ensure that you have installed the USB memory stick before you click on the Install Now button. However, if you are performing a clean installation, then simply press the button.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

If you wish to carry out a trial installation that gives you 30 days without activating your installation and fixing your hardware to your product key, do not enter a product key into the Product key box. If you are performing your final installation, then enter the key from the SBS 2008 package or the Certificate of Authenticity on the system case if SBS was pre-installed on the server.

If you do not enter a product key, you will be prompted to enter the key within 30 days. You can extend the time without a key, but ultimately, you will need to activate SBS 2008 to continue using it.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Next, accept the license and click on Next.

 Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Select the Custom (advanced) installation option.

 Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

You should see one or more disks presented to you in a list. There are two schools of thought here on how to configure the first disk. One school has all the data on the first (or primary) partition and the other creates two partitions and splits the data and the operating system. The idea here is that the system partition can be correctly sized and backed up with a different strategy to the data partition. You can also easily move the second partition onto larger disks should there be a need to in the future.

There are merits to both arguments, but if you only have a single disk, I would simply select this and install SBS 2008 to this disk without partitioning first. For SBS 2008, this should be absolutely fine as your data needs are not going to grow too rapidly. If you do have significant data requirements with multiple disks, then having the data and system separate does make sense.

No hard disks showing

If you do not see a hard disk shown in the screen, maybe because you need to load RAID disk drivers, click on the Load Driver button and insert the CD or floppy disk that came with your computer or motherboard. Provided your system supports Windows 2008, this will resolve this problem.

Let's have a look at the following screenshot:

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Click on Next and the actual installation will finally start and take over an hour to complete. You will find yourself watching the progress on a screen similar to the one shown in the following screenshot. There is no interaction to this process, which means it can just be left on its own; however, it is best to check in ever so often to ensure that an error message has not interrupted the installation. The only error I've seen was when there was a read error from my DVD (I had scratched it!). I cleaned the disk and re-started the install again without any issue.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration Set up and run Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 making it deliver a big business impact with this book and eBook
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Book Price: $39.99
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SBS 2008 installation continued

Once the system has rebooted, you will see a screen informing you that the installation was successful and that it is now time to continue. Some of the screens shown only relate to a system that is part of a migration, while others only relate to a clean installation. If this is a clean installation and not a migration, then you simply need to click on Next.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

If you are performing a migration, you will see the Start the Migration Guide screen that re-affirms the importance of a backup. I'm assuming you do have a backup.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Check the two boxes regarding a backup and the migration guide, and click on Next.

The Microsoft migration guide can be downloaded from http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?X. This was used in putting together the information for this article. If you are keen to explore more details around the installation process, then this guide is a valuable source of information. I also have a forum on my web site at http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?13.

If you have selected to run unattended in the answer file settings, then you will not see many of the following settings screens. If you did not ask for an unattended install, then all the answers you have entered will still be used, but you will be asked to verify the details. The next sections cover off those sections you will need to complete.

Time Verification

Even if you selected an unattended install, you could have still set for the time to be manually confirmed. As with the SBS 2003 system you are migrating from, you are next asked to verify the time for the migration to work. Correct time is an essential part of the security settings.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

The small clock picture does not show the time, so the only way to verify the date and time is to click on the Open Date and Time link. This brings up the normal date and time dialog box scene as shown in the following screenshot. As this is a new system, it is quite probable that the date and/or the time will be wrong or the time zone will not be correct, so verify all the items.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Network settings for migrating systems

For the migration to work, the source (SBS 2003) and destination (SBS 2008) servers need to have their IP or network addresses confirmed. Since this information was in the Answer File, it should simply be a case of confirming it if the unattended installation is not selected. Normally, the IP addresses should both be of the form of 192.168.x.y where x is the same for both addresses and y is different.

 Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

The next items that may need confirmation are the settings for the domain. Do not add certificate information as it can cause issues; leave this setting blank. Again, this should simply be a case of clicking on Next to confirm the settings from the Answer File.

 Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Getting installation updates

You are now presented with an opportunity to download updates for your server. These updates can cover both the process of the installation and the security of the server. Since it can take only minutes for a machine connected to the Internet to be compromised, I strongly suggest that you get the installation updates. Select Go online and get the most recent installation updates to get updates.

You will need a working Internet connection to be able to get updates.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Confirming Company information

The Company information is used to populate information in the Fax settings, the intranet site, and Exchange 2007. Even if you are using an Answer File, you may be prompted to re-confirm these settings. Fill in the details and click on Next.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Creating an administrator account for new installations

If you're performing a clean installation, you need to create the administrator account. To do this, fill in the First name and Last name fields with the name of the administrator of the system. The Administrator user name should be related to the administration of the system, but should not be Administrator as this is a security risk.

Think carefully about the name of the administrator as this will be the name used to manage the system. It should not be administrator, and it should not be a regular user's account either. It may be that someone is both a user and administrator of the system, which should mean that two accounts are created.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Naming your server and domain for new installations

If this is a new installation, you will need to name your server in the Server name box and enter an internal domain name, which should not be confused with the Internet domain name. If your Internet domain name was mycompany.com then your internal domain name might be mycompany. Enter this and then click on Next.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration Set up and run Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 making it deliver a big business impact with this book and eBook
Published: April 2009
eBook Price: $23.99
Book Price: $39.99
See more
Select your format and quantity:

Getting installation updates

You are now presented with an opportunity to download updates for your server. These updates can cover both the process of the installation and the security of the server. Since it can take only minutes for a machine connected to the Internet to be compromised, I strongly suggest that you get the installation updates. Select Go online and get the most recent installation updates to get updates.

You will need a working Internet connection to be able to get updates.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Confirming Company information

The Company information is used to populate information in the Fax settings, the intranet site, and Exchange 2007. Even if you are using an Answer File, you may be prompted to re-confirm these settings. Fill in the details and click on Next.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Creating an administrator account for new installations

If you're performing a clean installation, you need to create the administrator account. To do this, fill in the First name and Last name fields with the name of the administrator of the system. The Administrator user name should be related to the administration of the system, but should not be Administrator as this is a security risk.

Think carefully about the name of the administrator as this will be the name used to manage the system. It should not be administrator, and it should not be a regular user's account either. It may be that someone is both a user and administrator of the system, which should mean that two accounts are created.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Naming your server and domain for new installations

If this is a new installation, you will need to name your server in the Server name box and enter an internal domain name, which should not be confused with the Internet domain name. If your Internet domain name was mycompany.com then your internal domain name might be mycompany. Enter this and then click on Next.

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Summary

You now have a system that is part of a network domain, either an existing domain if you're running a migration or a new domain, your first, if this is a clean install. The server should be able to send and receive information with the Internet, but is not yet configured to take advantage of the many abilities that SBS 2008 offers a small business.

About the Author :


David Overton

David Overton has been in the IT industry for over 25 years and has worked at Microsoft in the UK for more than eleven years. David fell in love with Small and Medium Business when he was given responsibility for engaging with journalists at the time of the launch of Small Business Server 2003 in the UK. For the next four years David was responsible for improving SBS deliveries by Microsoft partners.

As well as his day job, David is also a writer: he has written for consumer publications Windows XP and Windows Vista magazines, and he blogs at http://davidoverton.com, where he helps readers find solutions to questions and problems. In 2009, David published his first book on SBS 2008 which was well received.

When not working or writing, David likes to spend time with his family and also tries to fit in sailing any time of the year in any weather.

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