Friday, January 07, 2011

More about SBS 2008 Installation. . .

The SBS 2008 installation process on an HP Server is buggier than a bucket of roaches.  If you don't hold your mouth right while setting it up it just won't take.

  • Use the Manufacturer's "Easy Setup" CD to perform the setup, but DO NOT EVER put in a password for the Administrator, leave it blank or there is a good chance that the installation will fail, particularly the setup of Exchange.
  • SBS 2008 can take a very long time to start up, especially after applying updates.  Don't panic, give it time to finish and it should be fine.  In my experience I worry the most at the black screen with a working mouse pointer but nothing else - just leave it be, it may take a half hour before it comes up!  (Update 14-Jan-11 - My half-hour black screen was due to a defective hard disk, it was a one week old server, and I received SMART errors on startup.  Restored to a new HDD and boot times are in line with what they should be!)
  • Don't apply updates during the installation even though this is the course of action recommended in the dialog, you should install them after the installation completes and you have run the Connect to the Internet Wizard.  Running the updates during the setup has resulted in a failure of Exchange to properly complete setup.
  • Run all updates after completing the initial setup (including setting up your Remote and certificates) and before adding any other applications, users, or computers.
  • Use the SBS 2008 Best Practices Analyzer and do what is says.  I don't know why MS doesn't implement these practices during the install process, but it will make for a smoother server experience.