DC Promo & "Stand-alone" server (2003 Small Business)

Posted on 2005-03-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I just installed my first Windows 2003 Small Business Server machine, and during installation it seems that I was forced to install AD and configure as a DC.

My problem is that I have 1 Windows Me machine connected, and my understanding is that this machine cannot join a domain. Is this correct?

So I ran the AD wizard and demoted the server to what I THINK is a stand-alone server. Basically, it just seems to be a member of the workgroup.

My question is: Is this the correct configuration for a stand-alone server?

Finally, my client says that the Word & Excell files they are trying to open on their workstations (docs are located on server) are opening very slowly. Could this be because of the configuration as a stand-alone? If I change DNS from the router to the server could that speed things up?

Thanks for any help!
Question by:bricar
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 13663606
SBS MUST be a DOMAIN CONTROLLER. YOu can't have SBS as a stand alone server...this is one of the limitations of SBS.
LVL 18

Assisted Solution

luv2smile earned 1000 total points
ID: 13663667
You will have LOTS of PROBLEMS and will get constant error messages and your server will randomly restart itself if you try to run SBS as a stand alone server.

It MUST be a domain controller, period! NO workaround for this......

Either get a windows 2003 standard server instead or upgrade the ME machine to 2000 or XP or deal with ME not being a member of the domain. ME can still access domain resources, it just can't join the domain. There I think is some workaround to allow ME to login to a domain (similar to 98), but not join a domain.

However, I have to say that in my opinion ME is not designed for a corporate environment and should not be used for anything besides home use.

PS: You may want to familarize yourself with the limitations of SBS and when it is good and when you need to go with a standard 2003 server......this may prevent you from having similar issues in the future with incompatibility due to the limits of SBS.
LVL 51

Accepted Solution

Netman66 earned 1000 total points
ID: 13663695
Yes, the Windows ME machine does not need to join the domain - it has no machine account since there is no LSA.

Also, as luv2smile states, the SBS server must be the root DC in it's own Forest and Domain - it cannot continue to function otherwise.

There is no problem having a domain present, the ME machine may just need the DSClient to connect to it properly.  As far as the Office documents opening slowly, there are tons of things that could cause this.

Rather than post a pile of links, go here: http://support.microsoft.com/search/?adv=0
and use this as your search:  documents open slowly
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Author Comment

ID: 13723519

As we all know, Windows Me is barely adequate even for home use...  

Thanks for your input. I promoted it back to a DC and all is well. I upgraded "Me" to W2k, and it seems to be working fine except that I can't print to lpt1. Oh well, overall not bad for a Compaq. I walked in on this network...I had no input as to the choice of OS's, but your point is well-taken. I actually did as much reading as I could going in, and I obviously misread something because I would have sworn it said that SBS could run as a stand-alone. Thanks for the help!


Thanks for the input and for the link.

Splitting points.
LVL 51

Expert Comment

ID: 13725809
For the LPT issue, are you just wanting to print to LPT1 from a DOS app?  or are you trying to use a directly connected printer?

If it's a DOS app that needs LPT1 then you must do the following since you cannot "capture" a printer port as you could in downlevel clients.

1)  Share out your default printer - use a short sharename (DOSPRINT)
2)  Create a CMD file (dosprint.cmd) and use this one command - net use lpt1: \\%computername%\DOSPRINT - put in in C:\Winnt (or C:\Windows).
3)  Edit the Registry to create this one entry in the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

String Value: DOSPrint

Now, when the computer starts each time, LPT1 will map to the default shared printer.  

*NOTE* - this will not work if you have a local printer connected to LPT1 and should not be used.


Author Comment

ID: 13730703

It's actually UPS Worldship, a Windows application. The printer is connected directly to the PC. Every time I try to print the printer icon appears in the tray and if I double click the document is listed in the que, but it just doesn't go anywhere.

I did a loopback test in DOS, and that's OK. The printer works fine on another computer so I shared it. THe only problem is that the shipping guy has to walk into another office to pick up his labels.

I'm tucking away your advice in case I need it for DOS apps. Your help is greatly appreciated, NM!
LVL 51

Expert Comment

ID: 13732156
Almost sounds like a bad parallel port - even as unlikely as that might be.

Try going into the BIOS and changing the parallel port setting to ECP+EPP, boot into Windows and try again.  If it fails again, uninstall the port from device manager and reboot so it gets reinstalled correctly.  You might also want to delete the printer first so it all gets detected again.

Let me know.

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