Wireless Networking – Server 2008

I have been asked many questions relating to why Server 2008 networking doesn’t work when the proper drivers are loaded up for the wireless card.  The answer is simple, once you’ve become accustomed to working with this new OS.


 


By default, Server 2008 in it’s many versions installs with virtually nothing we’re used to seeing in past OS builds enabled.


 


To enable Server 2008 to work with your Wireless network card it is necessary to first install the necessary back-end services that bring this all together.


 


From within Server Manager, scroll down to the Features Summary section.  Now select the link for Add Features.  In the next window, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the list of features and check the box for Wireless LAN Service.  Click Next, then click Install.  Close the applet when you’re done.


 


Server2k8_WirelessLAN


 


Install the latest drivers – if you can find 2008 drivers that’s the best case scenario, otherwise, Vista drivers *should* work.  Your mileage may vary!


 


Enjoy your Wireless World!


Paul

Group Policy Preferences – Server 2008

In Server 2008 there are new Preference nodes in Group Policy that allow more elements to be controlled by a GPO rather than using a script to set them.  The client-side extensions to make all this possible can be found here:


 


Windows Vista, 64-bit edition

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=B10A7AF4-8BEE-4ADC-8BBE-9949DF77A3CF

Windows Vista, 32-bit edition

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=AB60DC87-884C-46D5-82CD-F3C299DAC7CC

Windows Server 2003, 64-bit edition

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=29E83503-7686-49F3-B42D-8E5ED23D5D79

Windows Server 2003, 32-bit edition

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=BFE775F9-5C34-44D0-8A94-44E47DB35ADD

Windows XP, 64-bit edition

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=249C1AED-C1F1-4A0B-872E-EF0A32170625

Windows XP, 32-bit edition

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=E60B5C8F-D7DC-4B27-A261-247CE3F6C4F8

To control/configure these settings in the Group Policy Editor you must be running either Server 2008 or Vista SP1 with the RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) installed.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOLLOWS!

These Preference settings have a dotted Red line under each field that is configurable within the policy.  In order to use these fields so that your changes stay as you set them you must use one of four function keys to change the Red dotted line to a Solid Green line (which activates the field).  Making setting changes in any field without activating it results in the preference being reverted to the original setting.

Function Keys and their results:

F5 – all settings activated (solid green line) on the active tab.
F6 – a single setting change from dotted red to solid green (from disabled to active).
F7 – a single setting change from solid green to red dotted (from active to disabled).
F8 – all settings deactivated (red dotted line) on the active tab.

 


Once the field has been activated and changed to your requirement, you can Apply it or simply press OK to commit the change.  As with any Group Policy change, the client will apply it upon next policy refresh interval, a gpupdate /force is run or after the next reboot – it’s important to remember that some settings don’t apply until a reboot is performed.


Many thanks to Mark Heitbrink for the Function Key information!


Have fun with your new Preferences!


Paul