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Introduction to Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition RC2: Part 1 Page 2

By Jason Zandri (Send Email)
Posted Feb 20, 2003


You can view the current Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) on Microsoft's Web site or you can FTP the text files for the desired Operating System. (On the site there is a section that reads "Windows Server 2003 (coming soon)")

A number of Technical Overviews can be found on the Microsoft Web site as well.

If you elect to upgrade your current server operating system, be aware that the Setup program will automatically install Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition into the same folder as the currently installed operating system, regardless of its naming convention.

You can perform direct upgrades to Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition from the following versions of Windows:

  • Windows NT Server 4.0 with Service Pack 5 or later
  • Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition, with Service Pack 5 or later
  • Windows 2000 Server

Remote Storage is not included on Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition. If you are using Windows 2000 Server with Remote Storage, you will not be able to upgrade the system to Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition. You have the option to either: 1) upgrade to Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (as Remote Storage is included), remove Remote Storage through Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel, and then upgrade to Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, or 2) install Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition as a new installation (which will effectively negate any remote storage attached to the system).

You cannot upgrade from Windows 9x, ME, Windows NT Workstation, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows XP Home or Professional directly to any of the Windows Server 2003 versions. (Clean installations from within those existing operating systems to other partitions or over the existing partition is allowed, however.) Also, if you have Windows NT 4.0 Server Enterprise Edition running Service Pack 5 or later, you can upgrade directly to Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition but not to Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition. A clean installation to Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition is available. (See items below.) If you have a version of Windows NT earlier than 4.0, such as Windows NT Server 3.x, you cannot upgrade directly to any product in the Windows Server 2003 family. You can first upgrade to Windows NT 4.0 and apply Service Pack 5 and then perform a direct upgrade if desired. (This is not recommended, however.)

As mentioned above, you cannot "downgrade" (so to speak) from Windows 2000 Advanced Server to Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition as part of an upgrade installation to Windows Server 2003.

You also have the option of performing a New Installation in this situation.

You can to confirm that your hardware is compatible with Windows Server 2003 by running a pre-installation compatibility check from the Setup CD.

Typing \i386\winnt32 /checkupgradeonly either from a command line or the RUN box will launch the Setup Wizard to perform only a system check of the current hardware from within an existing operating system. You can also perform this from the context menu that appears after AUTORUN starts.

The results screen will appear with any pertinent information after a few moments.

Regardless of whether you run the pre-installation compatibility check step ahead of time, the Setup Wizard checks hardware and software compatibility at the beginning of a "standard" installation or upgrade and reports any known incompatibilities

.

As you can see, an error is generated, as I am not allowed to upgrade from Windows 2000 Professional to Windows Server 2003. (Again, it reads "Windows .NET Server 2003" and not "Windows Server 2003" as it should, once it is released to market.)

This does not prevent you from installing Windows Server 2003 as a clean installation in this particular instance, however.

Well, that wraps up Part 1 of Introduction to Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition RC2 (3718). I hope you found it informative.

If you have any questions, comments or even constructive criticism, please feel free to drop me a note. I want to write solid technical articles that appeal to a large range of readers and skill levels and I can only be sure of that through your feedback.

Until the next time, remember:

"Security isn't about risk avoidance, it's about risk management."

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