Home

Server Installation

 

Necessary Hardware and Software

 

Server Machines

In Lesson 1, we saw that a server was another computer that could participate in a client/server network, as opposed to a peer-to-peer network. A server is used to hold resources and items that other computers would need:

A server is primarily a regular computer. For a small network, identify the computer that you will use as the server. You can use an existing computer or purchase a new one. Before starting to acquire the necessary hardware for your network, when planning a server, you may fit one or the following descriptions:

  • If you haven't bought a server but are planning to purchase a computer for it, check our section below on the subject.
  • If you plan to use one of your (existing) computers as the server, check its hardware and make sure it meets the following requirements:
     
    • A processor with 133-MHz or higher speed; 550-MHz recommended; up to eight processors supported on one server
    • 128 MB of RAM minimum required; 256 MB or more recommended; 32 GB maximum
    • 1.25 to 2 GB of available hard disk space
    • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
    • VGA or hardware that supports console redirection required; Super VGA supporting 800 x 600 or higher-resolution monitor recommended

    If necessary, you can purchase additional items to meet these requirements.

  • You may have a computer with no operating system. Maybe you got/built it (“barebone”) without an operating system or you mya have removed the operating system (for example, either you formatted the hard drive or you created two or more partitions on the hard drive). If you have a computer that doesn't have any operating system and you are planning to use it as the server of your network, make sure it meets the following requirements:
     
    • A processor with 133-MHz or higher speed; 550-MHz recommended; up to eight processors supported on one server
    • 128 MB of RAM minimum required; 256 MB or more recommended; 32 GB maximum
    • 1.25 to 2 GB of available hard disk space
    • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
    • VGA or hardware that supports console redirection required; Super VGA supporting 800 x 600 or higher-resolution monitor recommended

For these lessons, the computer will run Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Monitor

You will also need a monitor attached to the server. If you will not work closely with the server, that is, if you will not "watch" the server all day long, the type of monitor you connect to it may not be important.

 
 

Server Operating System

As its name implies, the role of a server is to serve. To perform this job, it must be loaded with a special operating system. On this site, we cover a network that deals with a Microsoft-based network. The company publishes a server operating system named Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Before acquiring the operating system, you may fit one of the following descriptions:

  • Maybe you will purchase a brand new computer, to use as a server, from a web site. You can purchase a server from a manufacturer on the Internet (HP, Dell, IBM, Gateway,  etc). You can also purchase a computer from an Internet-based store (http://www.tigerdirect.com, http://www.provantage.com, http://www.cdw.com, etc).
    The web sites of HP, Dell, IBM, Gateway,  etc have a link (or a section) named (or labeled) Servers or Small Business. You can shop from that section, based on your budget. If you are using this approach, look for a machine called server. When choosing the machine, make sure it meets the following hardware requirements:
     
    • 133-MHz processor required; 550-MHz recommended; up to eight processors supported on one server
    • 128 MB of RAM minimum required; 256 MB or more recommended; 32 GB maximum
    • 1.25 to 2 GB of available hard disk space
    • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
    • VGA or hardware that supports console redirection required; Super VGA supporting 800 x 600 or higher-resolution monitor recommended

    Besides these requirements, if your budget permits, change or add the following items:

    Tape Backup and Tape Software: This can help to perform regular backup of files.
    Floppy Drive: This drive cannot be completely ruled out yet. Get it just in case (you never know).
    DVD Drive: The web site or company may suggest a CD drive. In most cases this can be enough. Still, try to get a DVD drive instead of a simple CD drive.
    Second Network Card: This can be valuable if you are building a small network and plan to give access to your computers to the Internet. The second network card can help you with Internet connection and security.
    Extended Warranty: No matter what its price and what else, get it (even if you think you will never need it).
  • Maybe you will purchase a brand new computer to use as a server from a web site. The previously mentioned companies also have a telephone number. You can call the company and describe that you want to purchase a server for a network. They will guide you with the requirements. They may (will) also suggest that you purchase the operating system, which is fine. If you have Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (on CD), you can tell them that you have the operating system already. Most of the time, they will sell you the server without the operating system. This is the standard way and it is just fine. You should be able to install the server operating system yourself.
  • Maybe you will purchase the server operating system. If you buy (bought) a computer, as a server, from one of those big companies (such as Dell, IBM, HP, Gateway, etc) on the Internet, you can ask (may have asked) them to provide you with a server operating system. As mentioned previously, you could ask (have asked) them to install the operating system for you. In some cases, depending on the arrangement you make (or made) with the company, they may send (or might have sent) you the computer without the operating system but with a CD (or DVD) that has the operating system. In this case, you can install the OS yourself, which we will cover later on.
  • Maybe you have a computer you plan to use as a server and it has a non-server operating system already. If you have a computer with another operating system such as Windows 9X, Windows XP Home Edition or else, you would need to get the server operating system separately. To do this, you can access one of the following links to purchase it:
     
    http://www.microsoft.com 
    http://www.provantage.com 
    http://www.tigerdirect.com
    http://www.cdw.com
    http://www.amazon.com
    etc
  • You can buy a computer from one of those small computer stores on major streets. When doing this, you can tell them that you want a computer you plan to use as a server. They may offer to install, or not to install, the server operating system. If you don't make arrangements with them to install it, make sure that the computer meets the requirements and that the parts in the computer have been tested. Somehow, you may have to take their word for it. Then, you will need to keep contact with them. If the installation doesn't work, even if they claim it is not their fault, you will still need to check that the parts are functional...

Installations and Connections

 

New Installation

After acquiring a computer, you may have one that is ready but doesn't have an operating system. You may have a computer with an operating system but that OS cannot be upgraded into Microsoft Windows Server 2003. In one of these cases, you would need to perform a new installation.

Practical Learning Practical Learning: Installing the Server Operating System

  1. If the computer doesn't have an operating system but it meets all the requirements and it can boot from the CD, start the computer. You may receive a message stating "Operating system missing" or something like that. Open the CD drive, put the CD in the drive, and close it. Restart the computer. You should receive a message stating Press Any Key To Boot From CD (or something like that)
    Press any key to start the installation.
    If your computer already has an operating system, start it. Open the CD drive, put the CD in it, and close its door. If the operating system cannot be upgraded, a message box and display and let you know. Accept to perform a new installation and click Next
  2. When the installation starts, it will display a blue screen with Windows Setup on top and some messages on the status bar (bottom of screen).
    After a while, the screen will change and display a new title based on the version of operating system you are installing. For example, if you are installing Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, the title would display
    Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition Setup
    The body of the screen will present options to you. To continue the installation, press Enter
  3. The next screen will show the Windows Licensing Agreement. Read it. Since it is long, to navigate up and down, you can press Page Up or Page Down. After reading it, if you accept the terms of the license, press F8. If you don't like what it says, press ESC and stop the installation.
  4. The next screen asks you to select the partition you want to use to install the operating system:
     
    • If you have only one partition and it looks small, such as less than 8 GB, simply select it
    • If you have only one partition and that, regardless of its size, you want to use it wholly to install the OS, select it
    • If you have only one partition but it is large and you want to create various partitions, first make sure it is selected it. Then, press C to partition it. The next screen would ask how much space you want to use for the new partition. By default, it will propose the total space for it. To reduce it, first press Backspace a few times to delete the numbers, then type the desired number of megabytes, and press Enter. Press the down arrow key to select the Unpartitioned Space option and press C. Continue in the same way until you have created the desired partitions
    • If you have many partitions already, to specify which one will be used to hold the operating system, use the up and down arrow keys to select it
  5. After selecting the partition you will use, press Enter to install the OS in it
  6. The next screen will ask you to format the selected partition and specify the type of file system you want to use. Select the Format The Partition Using The NTFS File System option and press Enter
  7. In the next screen, the partition will get formatted. This may take a few minutes.
    Once the formatting is over, the installation will continue by copying files.
    After a while, a wizard, titled Windows Setup, will come up. Its first page presents you with two options.
    The first choice consists of changing the Regional and Language Options. The default options will be selected depending on your version of the CD. For example, if you bought the OS intended for a US use, the US English would be selected. If you want to change the language, click the Customize button. Another dialog box, titled Regional and Language Options, would come up with English (United States) selected. You can then click the arrow of its combo box to change the language. After making your selection, you can click OK. If you don't intend to change anything, you can click Cancel.
    The second option consists of making changes to the way the keyboard will interpret text. Once again, if you are installing the OS intended for a US audience, the US English is selected by default. If you want to change it, click Details. This would open the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box. You can change the language by clicking the arrow of the combo box. After making the change, you can click OK. To ignore any change, you can click Cancel or press Esc.
    After dealing with the Windows Setup dialog box, click Next
  8. The next screen request that you enter your name or the name of the primary person who will be using the computer. You must type a name other than Administrator or Guest
  9. The other text box, Organization, expects the name of the company. Make sure that you provide this information
  10. After entering the name and the organization, click Next or press Enter
  11. The next page of the wizard requests the Product Key, which you must enter
  12. After typing the product key, click Next
  13. The next page of the wizard shows the options available for licensing. You should accept the Per Server option and click Next
  14. The next page of the wizard, expects you to type the computer name. It also suggests a default, based on the company name you would have entered previously as the Organization. You can accept the suggested name, which you can still change later on, or you can type a new name
  15. We haven't mentioned "user accounts" yet but during installation, a user object is created and it is named Administrator. When setting up the operating system, you must give a password to this account. Obviously the password should not be too easy. Fortunately you can give it temporary password and change it later on as your network, skills, and concerned improve. You must enter the password in the Administrator Password text box and type it again in the Confirm Password text box. Make sure you remember this password because you will need it just after the installation
  16. After specifying the password, click Next
  17. The next page of the wizard allows you to set the date, the time, and the time zone that the server will use. Most of the time, the computer finds out the right date and the right time and it selects them. On the other hand, you should adjust the time zone if the default is not the right one. This page of the wizard also allows you the let the computer adjust its clock when daylight time is switched during the year. The option to change this is selected by default. If you don't want the computer to take care of that, you can remove the check mark on the check box.
    After changing the options or making sure that they are right, click Next
  18. After clicking next, the wizard is closed and the installation continues copying files.
    After a few minutes, a new wizard, titled Windows Setup, comes up. This time, it will ask you to accept or change the network settings of the server. The first option allows you to let the installation take care of networking details. The second option allows you to manually set them.
    Because we will review the details of this wizard in later lessons, accept the Typical Settings option and click Next
  19. The next page of the wizard allows you to actually make this computer into a server.
    Accept the first option not to "join" a domain.
    The wizard suggests WORKGROUP as the name of the "domain". If you don't like that name, change it. If you can't come up with a domain, you can use the one we will use. For our lessons, our domain will be called Neptune. In this case, in the top text box, type NEPTUNE
  20. After entering the name of the domain, click Next
  21. After clicking Next, the wizard will start copying the files, again.
    Once the installation has finished copying the files, the computer will start. When the computer comes back, you will be asked to log in.
    Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to log in
  22. Accept the User Name as Administrator.
    In the Password text box, type the password you entered during the installation
  23. Click OK.
    If you see a window titled Manage Your Server, congratulations: you have finished installed Microsoft Windows Server 2003

The Role of a Server

After you have installed Microsoft Windows Server 2003 as we did above, it is primarily a regular computer. To use it as a server, you must properly transform it. Fortunately, this is an easy process. When the computer comes up and displays the desktop, the first window you see, titled Manage Your Server, allows you define the "role" of the computer. A convenient link is available in the middle of the window.

 

Practical Learning Practical Learning: Configuring Active Directory

  1. Read the text in the window and click Add Or Remove A Role
  2. The first page of the wizard presents a summary of the actions you must have taken before continuing:
     


    Read it and click Next
  3. A dialog box will display briefly and then display a list of the roles you can assign to the server.
    In the list, click Domain Controller (Active Directory)
     
  4. Click Next
     
  5. Click Next to Run The Active Directory Installation Wizard
  6. Another wizard, titled Active Directory Installation Wizard, comes up. Read its text and click Next
     
  7. In the second page of the wizard, read the text again, and click Next
     
  8. In the third page of the wizard, you must specify whether this is the first or an additional domain controller. As this is the first, accept the first radio button and click Next
     
  9. In the fourth page of the wizard, accept the first radio button and click Next
     
  10. In the fifth page, you must enter the name of the domain. The name should be followed by an Internet domain name (.com, .net, .org, .us, etc). If you have a domain in mind, type it. If you don't have a domain in mind, for our lessons, type netconsulting.com
     
  11. Click Next
  12. In the next page of the wizard, a suggested NetBIOS name displays, intended for earlier versions of Windows":
     

     
    Accept it and click Next
  13. The next page allows you to specify where the Active Directory information would be stored:
     

     
    Accept the default and click Next
  14. The next page specifies where the domain's public files would be stored:
     


    Accept the default and click Next
  15. After a few seconds, the next page allows you to install DNS.
    Read the options:
     


    Accept the suggested second radio button and click Next
  16. The next page allows you to set the default permissions:
     


    Accept the suggested second radio button and click Next
  17. The next page prompts you to create a password used to start the server in "Restore Mode". Enter a password in both text boxes:
     
  18. Click Next
  19. The next page displays a summary of your selections:
     


    Read the text and click Next
  20. The wizard will start creating and configuring Active Directory:
     

     
    After a while, if you don't have the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 CD in the drive, you may be be prompted to supply it:
     


    Do so
    After a few seconds, you may receive a message box informing you that your computer has a static IP address. Click OK
    When the dialog box comes up, simply click OK
    Another message box will come up. Click it and click OK. The wizard will continue copying files.
    After a few seconds, the last page of the wizard will display. Read its summary and click Finish
     
  21. You will be asked to restart the computer:
     


    If you have a CD in the CD drive, remove it and click Restart New
  22. When the computer comes up, click the Options button and make sure that the name of the domain is selected in the Log On To text box.
    Make sure that Administrator is specified in the User Name text box.
    Enter your administrator's password
  23. Click OK
  24. After the computer displays the desktop, a dialog box titled Configure Your Server will let you know whether the installation of Active Directory was successful:
     


    Click Finish

 

 

Previous Copyright © 2007 Yevol Next