Windows 2008 Impressions: Post installation configuration

As I mentioned in my previous post on the subject, the installation process for Windows 2008 has changed.
It no longer includes the portion that enables you to set the initial configuration for the system.
The following defaults are set:

Administrator password: blank
Computer name: Randomly generated
Domain membership: Workgroup
Windows Update: Off
Network Connections: Obtain IP from DHCP
Windows Firewall: On
Roles Installed (more about these later): None

So, after the installation process completes (or in other words the files are copied to the system) you are given
the chance of setting the initial configuration.
The process itself starts out at the logon screen: you are asked to
set the password for the administrator account. Once you do so, you can logon and you are greeted by a wizard/screen
that automatically pops up and enables you to configure your system.

This page is divided into three parts:

1.       Provide computer information:

a.       Set the Administrator Password

b.      Set the time zone

c.       Configure networking

d.      Provide computer name and domain

2.       Update this server:

a.       Enable Windows Update and Feedback

b.      Download and install updates

3.       Customize this server:

a.       Add roles

b.      Add features

c.       Enable Remote Desktop

d.      Configure Windows Firewall –Note that the firewall is on by default.

This wizard/page has all that is needed to provide for the initial configuration of a server. It is logically divided
and the three parts reflect the usual order of tasks to be undertaken when a server is configured. Most options on
this wizard/page are self explanatory except two:

1.       Add roles– I will describe this feature in a later post, until then keep in mind that Add/Remove Programs is gone.
Components can be added to the server by assigning a role and a role is a main function of a server. The following
roles can be added to a server: DHCP, DNS, Temrinal Services ( a full list will be provided in a later post).

2.       Add features– As mentioned above, a role is a main function of a server while features are supporting services. To
name a few: Group Policy Management, Network Load Balancing and a very surprising (in my opinion) appearance of WINS.

It is possible to control the opening of the ‘Initial Configuration Tasks” page at logon using the following registry key:

HKLM>Software>Microsoft>Initial Configuration Tasks
0-Enable opening

1-Disable opening

This new method of installing a server and then configuring it, seemed a bit odd to me at first, yet as time passes and I consider
the function/goal of each part I feel more comfortable with the new method. It may seem a bit awkward at first but in the long run
it makes sense.

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