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To be SBS2003...or not to be...that is the question!

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  • To be SBS2003...or not to be...that is the question!

    Hi,

    We've just taken on a new client with an SBS2003 server - well at least that's what it claims to be in system properties and winver reports the same.

    However, there's no sign of the SBS Console, no SBS programs group, no Small Business Server folder in c:\Program files, the registry hive HKLM\Software\MS\Small Bus Server contains very little and no SBS components in Add / Remove Programs.

    What gives? Anybody seen that scenario before? A migration will be fun for that one...
    Regards,

    Lee

  • #2
    Re: To be SBS2003...or not to be...that is the question!

    Sadly I have. Only time I've seen it the scenario was someone slipstreamed windows sps and RAID drivers into the SBS install media, which breaks SBS thinking that it is SBS. AD works though so you can migrate to full product OK, not much of an issue now that SBS is no more anyway.
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    • #3
      Re: To be SBS2003...or not to be...that is the question!

      Originally posted by LSainsbury View Post
      Hi,

      We've just taken on a new client with an SBS2003 server - well at least that's what it claims to be in system properties and winver reports the same.

      However, there's no sign of the SBS Console, no SBS programs group, no Small Business Server folder in c:\Program files, the registry hive HKLM\Software\MS\Small Bus Server contains very little and no SBS components in Add / Remove Programs.

      What gives? Anybody seen that scenario before? A migration will be fun for that one...
      I've seen that lots of times.

      There's probably nothing wrong with the setup at all. With SBS 2003, the basic installer installs the OS only. When you reboot, the SBS wizard guides you through the installation of all the other components, like AD and Exchange, but you can also just cancel the Wizard, and it will leave a shortcut on the desktop should you ever want to run it again.

      But you can choose to install everything manually instead. There are a number of advantages to that approach, not the least of which is the ability to partition the disk any way you like.

      And here comes the really great part: Should you at a later date decide to install the SBS management tools, they'll still work! OK, so the User Management tools still insists all user objects be created in an OU called "SBS Users" under "My Business", but you can always move them afterwards.

      SBS 2003 is just Windows 2003 + Exchange + Sharepoint with a peculiar licensing scheme. You MUST make the server a DC, otherwise it'll shut down after an hour (or was it two?), but otherwise you're free to install whatever components you like in whatever manner you prefer.

      TL;DR: This setup isn't likely to cause any trouble if you want to migrate to a more recent platform. In fact, you can treat it as any other single-server Windows 2003 AD environment.

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      • #4
        Re: To be SBS2003...or not to be...that is the question!

        Thanks for the replies.

        Yes there is a "Continue Setup" exe on the desktop - Exchange is partly installed - I don't know how that could happen if the install didn't continue.

        There are no AD groups relating to SBS like My Business etc....
        Regards,

        Lee

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        • #5
          Re: To be SBS2003...or not to be...that is the question!

          Originally posted by LSainsbury View Post
          Yes there is a "Continue Setup" exe on the desktop - Exchange is partly installed - I don't know how that could happen if the install didn't continue.
          Whoever installed it must have decided to run setup.exe manually from the Exchange CD instead. Which works just fine.

          Originally posted by LSainsbury View Post
          There are no AD groups relating to SBS like My Business etc....
          Because the SBS Management Tools aren't installed.

          You don't need to have a "MyBusiness" OU just because you have Small Business Server. You can create any AD objects you like using the standard tools.

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          • #6
            Re: To be SBS2003...or not to be...that is the question!

            Originally posted by Ser Olmy View Post
            Whoever installed it must have decided to run setup.exe manually from the Exchange CD instead. Which works just fine.
            Fair comment - the customer isn't using Exchange on this server either - the services re disabled.

            Originally posted by Ser Olmy View Post
            You don't need to have a "MyBusiness" OU just because you have Small Business Server. You can create any AD objects you like using the standard tools.
            Yep - I know they can be anywhere.

            What migration issues would I be likely to run into - if and when?

            Might be easier to start from scratch - there's only 7 or so computers...
            Regards,

            Lee

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            • #7
              Re: To be SBS2003...or not to be...that is the question!

              tbh, if you have any doubts about the previous install, I would automatically go for a fresh install and manually copy files / some profile folders onto the new server - emails can be exported to PST and local profiles can be exported with Migwiz. For 7 users the extra time is probably less important than the potential risk of a migration going wrong later
              Tom Jones
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              • #8
                Re: To be SBS2003...or not to be...that is the question!

                Originally posted by LSainsbury View Post
                What migration issues would I be likely to run into - if and when?

                Might be easier to start from scratch - there's only 7 or so computers...
                You're not likely to run into any problems at all, but it might be a good idea to re-enable the Exchange services and uninstall he product.

                Are you planning to migrate users and data to a new server and a more recent OS?

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