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This chapter is from the book

Upgrading to Windows Server 2003

When upgrading to Windows Server 2003, all your configuration settings are retained from the previous installation. However, you still should complete several very important tasks before you perform the upgrade.

Backing Up the Server

As with any major change on your server, something could go wrong. A complete backup of your operating system and data can make the difference between an inconvenient rollback and a complete disaster.

Verifying System Compatibility

When you install the Windows Server 2003 CD-ROM into an existing server, the autorun feature should start the installation program. One of the options on the first page is Check System Compatibility. When you click this button, you have the choice of checking the system automatically or visiting the compatibility Web site.

Checking the System Automatically

When you check automatically, you next have the option to download any setup files that have been updated since your CD was released. The compatibility checker will connect to Microsoft via the Internet, download any updated software, and apply them to the setup upgrade.

Next, you will receive a report on the system compatibility. Any problems that Microsoft was able to detect will be shown here. An example would be that a service (such as IIS) will be disabled during the upgrade to prevent malicious attacks on the server. After you review the report, click Finish.

Performing Additional Tasks

Before proceeding with the installation, you can also select Perform Additional Tasks. These tasks enable you to set up a Remote Desktop Connection (RDC), browse the contents of the installation CD, and review the setup instructions and release notes.

Performing the Upgrade

At this point, your data is backed up, you have verified compatibility with the new operating system, and you have read the release notes. It's time to upgrade, so proceed with the following steps:

  1. Select Install Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition Server to begin the Windows Server 2003 Setup Wizard.
  2. From the setup screen, you need to select the installation type. Select Upgrade and click Next to continue.
  3. After reviewing the license agreement, select I Accept This Agreement and click Next to continue.
  4. If the installation media you are using require a product key, enter it here. The 25-character product key can be found on a sticker on the back of your Windows CD case. Enter the product key and click Next to continue.
  5. The Setup Wizard next checks your computer for compatibility with Windows Server 2003. You can review details about each item by clicking the Details button. Also, you can save the compatibility report by clicking the Save As button.
  6. After reviewing any discrepancies and ensuring that no show-stoppers exist on the list, click Next to continue.
  7. The Setup Wizard then finishes copying installation files and restarts the computer.

The process of completing the installation and activating Windows is the same for an upgrade as it is for an initial installation.

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