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Dead Server Walking

Yesterday we got a call from a partner who sells / installs digital multi-function machines (those nice big copier / printer / scanner / fax units) who ran into a networking issue with a customer where he was trying to install a new unit and asked for assistance.  He claimed they had a Windows 2000 server and Win2k / XP workstations.  So I met him at this client, and proceeded to figure out why this one Win2k workstation wouldn’t see the network.  Well, I find that I can successfully ping the router, but I’m unable to browse the network.  I went back to the server to see if there was anything going on in the event logs.  Well, there was stuff going on – but nothing that would pertain to this issue.  So I grabbed the netbios name of the server while I was there, and went back to the problem PC to see if I had good name resolution.  I’m not sure why, but I opted to see if I could get to the server’s shares via  Run | \\<servername>  – well that worked.  Just as I was closing that window, I noticed a share on this Win2k Server that caught my eye:


As everyone knows – that’s the share for the ISA Firewall Client.  Now, looking at the shape of this LAN and only 6 PCs – I seriously doubted that they had splurged for ISA.  I went back to the server for a closer look – no SBS consoles or the like.  Then I opened the Add/Remove Programs snap-in and sure enough, there it was:  Microsoft Small Business Server.

Further investigation of the server & workstations revealed:

Two nics in the server – & – both plugged into the switch
All PCs configured with a static IP, using ISP’s DNS servers
No forwarders in DNS snap-in (hence ICW never ran)
Only 2 PCs actually joined to the domain – 4 others in workgroup
Total of 3 workgroups on the network – (Snap Server in it’s own?)
Snap Server not configured to use Windows domain authentication
All users accessing Snap Server via root credentials
Hodge-podge of A/V (whatever came on each PC – Norton here … McAfee there …)

And yes, it is a legal office  :^)      Luckily, we were able to step in just in time – someone had just about talked them into going with Merak Mail Server because   “Exchange is only for big corporations”   Wow . . . there’s a convincing argument . . .

Anyway – after a quick clean-up of some basic settings (like DNS), this looks like it is actually going to turn into a new SBS2k3 deployment in the next couple of weeks . . . I’ve gotta remember to buy Dan (the copier guy) a beer  :^)


  1. angelo

    Window 2003 business server seems to be missing drivers or are old MS drivers. My display. keyboard and sound do not operate and are impossible to config correctly. I was using xp before but needed to install MS 2003 Business server. everything is pretty rough with the disply and sound just for starters. Can you help Dan ?

    Thanks Angelo – Deaf in Switzerland

  2. Wayne Taylor

    I went to a new clients site today, I was speaking with him a couple of weeks back and he wanted to have his Smartphone access his e-mails, I asked if he had SBS, which he replied that he wasn’t sure.

    Went to site this is what I found.

    SBS Standard

    ICW not ran, all of the clients point directly at the router and not the server.

    No UPS

    No RAID

    No BACKUP!!!!!

    No Antivirus!

    Were in talks, he’s going to speak with the guy who installed it in the first place.

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