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How to setup XP computer on SBS network after reformat?

sasllc asked
We have a small SBS-based network with XP computers for the users.  I'm about to reformat one of the XP computers and reload all the apps, etc., but I need some info on the steps to take to get this computer properly connected to SBS and Exchange after the reformat.

I've recorded the computer name and domain name, the login info, the drive letters it uses to connect to the server, and the IP setup.  After the reformat I would want to be able to connect with the server just like always, with the same login.  If I enter these same settings after the reformat, can I expect SBS to recognize the computer just as in the past, or are there additional steps?

I know when I first set up this computer on the network that SBS installed Outlook 2003 for me, and I know Exchange keeps a copy of all the e-mails that are in Outlook on this computer.  What steps will I need to take to get SBS to once again load Outlook 2003 on this computer and place all the e-mails and addresses on the computer, along with the current Outlook setup?  Can SBS do all that automatically, or are there things I will need to do manually?

And, I know that SBS keeps a copy of this user's 'my documents' folder on the server.  Once I reformat and get connected to the server, will SBS automatically sync the files in 'my documents' on the server to the newly reformatted computer?  Or, should I copy them manually?

Any other guidelines or 'warnings' would also be appreciated, before I do the reformat.  TIA
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1. SBS has the ability to assign an IP automatically. So, even you can easily set in your client with windowsXP to detect and have the IP automatically. Of course you can also set the IP manually.
2. usually the Exchange Server (for email) in SBS saves the emails and other settings such as contact etc, in the server, not in the client computer. So, if you login with the same username, you can set the "account" of Outlook with that name... and you gel all exactly the same.
If you have put your files in your client computer, of course you have to copy it and re-save it in the "new formatted" client computer. Then by setting the "account" of Outlook, you will get exactly the same
3. SBS automatically create a folder for each user. If you put your "My document" there, you can get it with any computer with the same login (user) name. But if you put your "My document" in another folder, of course you have to locate it.
IMPORTANT THING! Make back up all your files, perhaps you need also your desktop, favourites, etc.
Sometimes somebody put the files not only in "My document".
By the way, connect WindowsXP in SBS network is easy.
Dave StringfellowIT manager
install the PC with XP as normal, create a computer account using the SBS wizard, and then maing sure the Windows XP PC has an ip address from the SBS server (cmd>ipconfig) open an internet explorer and go to the address http://<your sbs server>/connectcomputer

this will add the XP to the domain properly for an SBS domain.

Good luck :)


You say to "create a computer account using the SBS wizard", but of course the account was already created in the past for this XP computer.  Can I/should I use the same account as before, or am really supposed to start all over with a new account?  This computer name was "JIM01" in the past, and I think SBS saw it as that as well, so I'm wonder how all this is going to work if I don't use that same name.
Principal Consultant
Most Valuable Expert 2016
Top Expert 2014
Actually you MUST use a different name on the workstation than it had before.  It will not connect properly using the same name because it's Security Identifiers (SIDs) have changed which will cause a mis-match with SBS.

So you should remove the computer account on the server and create a new one with a different name.  (You can use JIM02 instead).  Then join the workstation using http://<servername>/connectcomputer



OK, I removed JIM01 and added a JIM02 computer account on the server.  Then, since I had tried so many things, I restored the XP computer to where it was a couple of hours ago--right after the XP re-intsall had finished.  Then I run and click on a link to proceed (I don't have the exact wording in front of me any more).  Then on the next screen it says that I may not have rights or may have my security settings too high, but also gives me a chance to install an activex control, which I do.  Then, showing at the top it keeps "working" for about another minute--apparently doing something--and finally settles on a screen that says "Run the wizard to complete networking setup".  The same web address is showing at the top.

Where do I go from here?  Have I done something wrong?


OK, I got it...instead of using the IP address of the server, I tried sbs-server/connectcomputer and now it's working.  I mistakenly assumed both formats would be correct.

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