Installing Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 on a Dell Precision Workstation 380

I have a Dell Precision Workstation 380 that currently has Windows XP Pro installed on it. It has been determined that Windows SBS 2003 R2 will benefit us greatly. However, the only machine we currently have that could be used as a server is the one I have mentioned. Is there any reason I should not attempt to install Windows SBS 2003 R2 on this computer?
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Michael WorshamStaff Infrastructure ArchitectCommented:
What are the specs of the PC (i.e. CPU, Ram, Hard drive size, RAID (if any))?
aadrakeAuthor Commented:

CPU - Intel Pentium 4 -  2.8 GHz
RAM - 2 Gb
Hard Drive Size
   40 Gb
    300 Gb
Michael WorshamStaff Infrastructure ArchitectCommented:
Systems specs should be enough.

Do note that once this PC becomes a SBS server, you cannot run applications directly from it anymore. SBS expects to run by itself -- handling Exchange, file sharing, fax on demand, etc.

Also, what kind of PCs do you have connected to the network already? SBS requires XP Pro or Vista Business/Ultimate PCs. XP/Vista Home versions don't work.

What kind of hardware router do you have hooked up for your network as well?
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aadrakeAuthor Commented:
That's good to know about not running applications directly from it anymore. Is this a recommendation or an OS-imposed limitation.

All the PCs we have connected to the network already have Windows XP Pro installed.

We have a wireless router, Linksys WRT54GS, hooked up for the network.

I assume that installing SBS will require a reformatting of this machine's hard drives and then installing SBS?
Michael WorshamStaff Infrastructure ArchitectCommented:
It is a OS-imposed limitation.

I recommend upgrading the router to a Linksys business class version (i.e. RV082). The RV units are easier to setup and a bit more secure, robust and have many more features (which you will most likely need) than the Linksys 'home router' versions. If wireless is needed, you can setup the wireless router as an access point (AP) to keep wireless clients still available to access the network.

Also remember to setup the SBS server as the DHCP server. You will need to also turn off DHCP at the router as they will compete with each other and the SBS server will run into several problems (up to blocking network connections and/or rebooting itself).

Yes, SBS will need to reformat the machine. I recommend that you keep the 40GB as the primary drive for SBS and the other drive partitioned for Application/file sharing needs, User Directory storage and Exchange environment.

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aadrakeAuthor Commented:
Once again, you have gone that extra step to give a thorough response with great advice. Thank you.
Michael WorshamStaff Infrastructure ArchitectCommented:
I recommend in addition to EE for setting up the SBS server, contact a Microsoft Small Business Specialist to setup a consultation so they can help layout any groundwork you might have forgotten.

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