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What is the best way to add new PC to SBS 2003

Posted on 2006-05-23
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Hi,

I am new to SBS and as such I am trying to understand everything and alos learn best practises as I go along. I'm quite used to peer to peer networks so Domains tend to strike a little fear into me as I am not always certain of the best option to take I have historically fallen back on my old bad habits rather than learn or figure out the best way.

So, I have spent many an hour installing, testing, uninstalling configuring and reconfiguring SBS2003 to get myself a very nice stable running server. So far everything seems to work exactly as I want it to and its time to add some PC's to the network and al of a sudden I am faced with several more dilemas as there seems to be a number of conflicting areas of information.

So, here I am in an ideal world with a new clean install of SBS up and running. All of my pc's which are about to join the network are new with clean installs of XP Pro and the network PC's contain nothing else yet (although I will want to install Office on each) The SBS Server has 2 network cards, one for WAN and one for LAN, exchange is running and mail is accessible via the web for the single test user account that I set up.

So the question is, What is the best way of adding these PC's and users?
Should I install office on the local machines first or does that make no difference.

Thanks

Steve

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Question by:stevendawson
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by:Zadkin
Zadkin earned 400 total points
ID: 16741958
SBS is a wizard thing,  so find the apropriate wizards on the Control Panel
- Add User Wizard
- Add Computer Wizard

1. The add user wizard allows to add a user,  specify the computer(s) and specify wich client software (office) is needed. Client software needs to be present, under \Clientapps, on the server but not installed, so certainly don't install office on the server.

2. The final step is on the client computer with a http://servername/connectcomputer step
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by:stevendawson
ID: 16742088
Thanks for the speedy reply which threw up 3 more related questions.

So, do I need to install office on the local PC's first or is SBS going o install it for me?

I am now running the wizard to connect the first PC, it is suggesting a name which I am happy to accept. Is the connectcomputer wizard going to rename that PC as it joins the network then?

Also, in the wizard it is asking me "During client setup allow the selected applications to be modified" and "after setup is finished logoff the client computer" I read the more information but that is not at all clear. Which options should I choose.

Thanks

Steve
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by:Zadkin
ID: 16745496
Correctly joining PCs to the SBS domain is the most important.  

But it is possible to do an Office 2003 install  centrally:
1 Do an administrative install of office 2003 on the server with "setup /a" on \Clientapps (Outlook 2003 is probably already there)
2 Server Console - Computers - Set Up Client Applications
3 Server Console - Computers - Assign Applications to client computers

"During client setup allow the selected applications to be modified" allows the user to decide on location and chosen packages when he logs in and the install starts.

"After setup is finished logoff the client computer" Allows the administrator to start up the install on the PC knowing that his session will be closed.
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by:stevendawson
ID: 16751613
Hi,

Thanks for that. As I said this is all new to me so I would apprecaite a little more clarification. As I said, I am trying to understand what is best practice rather than just making it work. I know I can install office on all the network PC's and use connectcomputer but...


1. Is it best to install office on each PC or is it best to install it on the server and push the application in that way.

2. You said do an administrative install of office 2003 on the server with setup /a" on \Clientapps - I really don't understand how to do that. Do I simply create a folder for office 2003 in \Clientapps and copy the files? I notice that folder already contains office2003_SP1. Can you explain in more basic terms how I add an application to the server please.

Thanks

Steve
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by:Zadkin
Zadkin earned 400 total points
ID: 16755348
1.  Go for the safest and easiest route,  you have most probably more experience in individual installs,  but the other way is also OK.  For individual installs it can be better to copy nevertheless the CD to C:\Clientapps, to make subsequent modifications, without the constant need of a CD,  of the office configuration more easy. (Keeping C:\Clientapps out of the backup is also a good idea)

2. You can install office on the server,  as an administrative install this is not copying the CD but by doing an office setup with the /a option (initiated on command line level,  not the GUI).  Why, because the best way to work is to do an install with all the Service Packs already present.  A SP is then installed one time,  on the administrative install,  and not after each install or modification.  But doing that is guru stuff.
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by:stevendawson
ID: 16755500
Hi again,

I don't want to appear rude but I am not sure you really answered my question, yes of course you are correct I have installed office hundreds of times on PC's but is that the best route that I should take in the future every time I set up SBS 2003 and have nice shiny new PC's on the network? (remember I am trying to learn best practice)

The way I figured it might work is that if office was on the server then autoupdate would download once and rollout to the network automatically?

You also said I can copy the whole CD of office to \clientapps but should the folder into which office is then placed have a specific foldername?

As for Q2 you seem to offer an option and then remove it by saying "But doing that is guru stuff." so should I ignore that as an option? I'm not sure I really followed it anyway.

Thanks

Steve
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by:Zadkin
ID: 16755799
To learn,  see http://www.petri.co.il/office_system_2003_sp_slipstreaming.htm
but use rather C:\clientapps\Office2003 than   D:\Office2003
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 600 total points
ID: 16756569
You are mixing up two different issues. One of them is joining a computer to your domain, the other is installing Office.  While these can be done together, it's best to not mix up the issues.

Joining the computer to the domain:  There is ONLY ONE WAY to do this and that's through the connectcomputer wizard.  (See http://sbsurl.com/connectcomputer to see what all gets done with this tool).

If you haven't already installed Office on your workstations, Connectcomputer will automatically install Outlook 2003.  I suggest that you install Office first, because when SBS installs Outlook separately it puts it in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Outlook instead of C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office .. and then when you install Office, it doesn't see Outlook and installs Outlook again, separately.  (kinda silly... but that's what happens).

If you don't have more than 15 workstations, then it's probably easier to just install Office manually on each machine.  There is no real long term benefit from doing an administrative install.  However, I do suggest that you consider deploying Windows Software Update Services (WSUS) if you want to be sure to keep everything up to date.  SBS will always deploy Office Service Packs... but not the interim updates.

WSUS how-to:  http://sbsurl.com/wsus

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16756571
P. S.  This is also a good article on how to add a PC to an SBS domain:  http://sbsurl.com/add

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:stevendawson
ID: 16759458
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your help and those articles were a big help. All installed exactly as you described but I do have one small question which is just clarification of an observation really.

On the SBS 2003 server I added a user as a mobile user then I ran the /connectcomputer and I allowed SBS to rename the local PC and all is fine. What I noticed though is that in the local PC - Users - that user is in the group "Debugger User" is that correct?

I increased the points for the extra question.

Thanks

Steve
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16765705
No, it's not correct and I haven't found out why that happens yet.  It has something to do with MSDE or SQL I think, but it is a problem that needs to be corrected manually.  (It happens to me all the time but I've yet to figure out the consistency).

If you remove the user from the DeBugger Group and put him in the Local Administrators group, he'll end up back in the DeBugger if you don't delete that group... I've found no reason to keep the group so go ahead and delete it after moving the user to the local admins.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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