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Performing a Clean Installation

To install Windows Server 2003 on a server that is not configured with a previous operating system, set up the system so that it boots to the CD-ROM drive (using the computer's BIOS settings utility). The clean installation consists of two different phases: a text phase and then a Windows phase. During the text phase, you specify (and create, if necessary) the partition that will be used as the target for the Windows Server 2003 installation.

When the text phase is complete. The system reboots into a pre-Windows environment. The Windows phase of the installation consists of a series of Windows-based screens that enable you to select configuration items such as the computer's name, the time zone and time for the computer, and the password for the computer's Administrator account.

Text Mode Installation Phase

  1. Place the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 CD in the server's CD-ROM drive. Reboot the system, if necessary.

  2. The server boots to the CD. After loading some initial setup files, the server provides you with the Setup Notification screen. To continue the installation process, press the Enter key.

  3. The next screen (the Setup screen) provides you with the options of starting a new installation or repairing a previous installation. To continue with the "fresh" installation, press Enter.

  4. The Windows Licensing Agreement appears. After reading the licensing information, press F8 to continue. (This means that you agree to abide by the agreement provided.)

  5. On the next installation screen, you are asked to specify a partition that will be used as the target for the Windows Server 2003 installation. You can create a new partition or use an existing partition on the server. To create a new partition, select a drive (containing free space) on the server and then press C. You then must provide the amount of the free space on the selected drive that you want to use for the partition. Specify the space to use (in megabytes) and then press Enter.


You can also select an existing partition and delete the partition (or partitions). This enables you to "reconfigure" all the drives on the server and divide up the storage space on the server's drives as you see fit.

  1. The new partition is listed in the partition box. To install Windows Server 2003 on the partition (make sure the partition is selected), press Enter.

  2. You are asked to format the new partition. You are provided with a choice of NTFS or FAT. Because domain controllers require an NTFS partition to run the Active Directory, you typically want to select NTFS. (If you will configure the server as a member server, such as a file server or an extra DNS server, FAT is okay, but NTFS is still preferred for all Windows servers because it provides a greater level of security.) Select the file format (using the error keys) and then press Enter.

  3. The setup program formats the partition and then copies installation files to the server. After the appropriate files are copied, the server reboots. This ends the command-line portion of the Windows Server 2003 setup.

Windows Installation/Configuration Phase

After the system reboots, the system runs the Windows configuration phase of your Windows Server 2003 installation.

  1. The first screen asks you to customize language and regional settings for Windows. By default, the standards settings are set to English. The default location is set to the United States. You can use the Customize button to change the language or regional settings. To continue with the installation, click Next.


The Regional and Language options screen also allows you to change the input language for the server installation and the input device you use. The default is the U.S. keyboard layout.

  1. On the next screen, provide your name and organization. Then click Next to continue.

  2. Next you must provide your product key, which is on the back of your Windows CD case. After you enter the product key, press Next to continue.

  3. The next screen asks you to select your licensing method. You can license your network either per server or per seat (see the discussion of the differences between the licensing modes found earlier in this hour). If you select Per Server (the default), specify the number of concurrent connections using the spin box. After you select the licensing mode, click Next.

  4. You then are asked to supply a unique name for the computer and to enter the Administrator's password for the local computer. Type the computer name. Then enter and then re-enter the Administrator account password. Windows Server 2003 stresses the use of strong passwords. A strong password contains at least six characters; does not contain user, real, or company names; does not contain complete dictionary words; and contains a combination of numeric, alphanumeric, and nonalphanumeric characters. (More about passwords and Windows Server 2003 security is discussed in Hour 2, "Windows Server 2003 Security Overview.") After you enter the computer name and password, click Next.


If you enter a password that Windows Server 2003 does not consider strong, a message box appears letting you know what a strong password is. If you want to continue with your current password, click Yes. If you want to choose a new stronger password, click No.

  1. The next screen enables you to set the time zone for your computer and the current date and time (if necessary). After you set these parameters, click Next to continue.

  2. Next you are asked to configure the network settings for the computer. You can go with the default of the client for Microsoft Networks, File and Print Sharing, and the TCP/IP protocol. If you want to change this configuration, you can click the Custom settings option button on this screen. In most cases, it is probably easier to install additional network protocols such as NWlink (the Microsoft IPX/SXP– compatible program) after the serving is up and running. Click Next to continue.

  3. You can choose whether this server belongs to a workgroup or a domain. The default setting is that the computer is not on a network or is on a network with a workgroup instead of a domain. The default workgroup name is WORKGROUP. Whether you will use the server in a workgroup or a domain, at this point it is best to go with the default and complete the Windows Server 2003 installation and configuration. Changing the workgroup name or making the server a member server of an existing domain is covered later in the hour. Press Next to continue.

  4. After you click Next, the installation program copies and installs files to your new Windows Server 2003 as it completes the installation process and configures your server's hardware and peripherals. After the installation is complete, the server reboots. After the server restarts, press Ctrl+Alt+Del. At the password prompt, supply the password you set for the Administrator account during the installation process. You will be logged on to the server.

When you are logged onto the server, the Manage Your Server Window appears. This provides you with the capability to add roles to your server and also provides links to Help information on the various roles that your server can play. For an overview of server roles, see Hour 5.

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