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 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.
You will then be asked to set the Language to install, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method to match your needs.
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.
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.
Next, accept the license and click on Next.
Select the Custom (advanced) installation option.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Check the two boxes regarding a backup and the migration guide, and click on Next.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.