The beginning: Install Windows Server 2008

I’m going to publish some articles describing the new functionality found inside Microsoft’s newest OS. Windows Server 2008 aka Windows Longhorn.

Of course the first thing to do is to install this os.

For this blog I used Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, yes you read that right, no Vmware Server, Workstation, or Hyper-V. Why, now let’s just say that running Windows Server 2008 as the host system, will leave you with some choices, Vmware workstation V6 actually works on Server 2008, but auto starting VM’s can be done, but it’s not nice (it boils down to starting them as a service in the 0 session of Windows, or use the startup folder (which requires the user to actually log-on to windows, not nice). No Vmware workstation for me that is. Vmware server looked promising, but the beta 2 version did not play nice with my intel load balancing team (two intel nic’s that form one nic, for loadbalancing and fault tolerance).

Vmware server was in short out of the door as well. Leaves the Microsoft solutions for virtualisation, Hyper-V of course would be the most logical choice, but at time of writing, there is still only an RC1, not a final release, and altough I was very impressed with the beta, the RC0 left me with doubts, also I’m running Asterisk (pbx in a flash) and Sipx both running under centos, and Hyper-V seemed to have some issues.

Finally my choice (for now !) is Virtual Server 2005 R2, it does auto start VM’s, works nicely with my load balancing team, and it performs pretty well.

Let’s get started and install Server 2008, now I have installed this baby using WDS (windows deployment services) which simply boils down to boot from the network, press F12 and Windows setup will load, of course you could also use the actual DVD, or an image. One downside to using Virtual Server 2005 is that it doesn’t support 64 bit, that’s why my choice for Virtual server 2005 is a temporary one.

Anyway, when booted I’m presented with this screen:

Yep all the images on the DVD

Here you can select the version of your choice, I have selected Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (Full Installation) of course the architecture I’m presented with is X86 (32 bit). Press next.

Accept the license terms and press next, which will lead you to the installation type screen, since this is an empty system, the only choice is custom.

Now it’s time to partition the harddrive in the following screen:

I’m accepting the defaults for now, but this screen will let you properly partition the harddrive, by choosing Drive options. I merely pressed next.

That’s it, now the install program is copying files and basically install the operation system without any user intervention.

This screen shows the progress during installation:

Longhorn installation progress

After the install program has done it’s work, the computer is rebooted and we are presented with the following screen:

Finally proper password enforcement

Yes ! you MUST set a password here, and it needs to follow the following rules that are defaulted in the local security policy:

  • Not contain the user’s account name or parts of the user’s full name that exceed two consecutive characters
  • At least six characters
  • Contains characters from at least three of the following four categories:
  1. English upppercase
  2. English lowercase
  3. Base 10 digits
  4. non alphabetic characters like (! # $ %)

Good move.

Once booted and logged on, we are presented with the Initial configuration tasks screen, where we can set the time zone, configure networking, Provide computer name and domain, set auto update options, and add roles and features. Also we can enable remote desktop and configure the firewall. Nice screen to do those initial tasks.

Initial task screen

I have used this screen to quickly perform some of those initial tasks.

After these initial task I’m presented with a real gem, the Server Manager. It’s kind of a central program to manage your server, almost all relevant mmc’s are gathered here (depending on the roles and role services you have installed, it also gives you access to options formerly found under computer management.

Server Manager

This concludes the install procedure, in the near future, I want to add some roles and take this first post further. The next instalment will cover SSTP which is an exciting new feature in Server 2008.

Come back for more 🙂

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