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failure to install SBS 2008

peter_lawrie
peter_lawrie asked
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Hi
A customer asked me to install sbs2008. I usually install Linux servers. I have experience of MS server 2003 sbs2003 but this is my first sbs2008. As I have set up several HP ML115 G5 desktop domain servers with Linux/Samba recently I recommended the ML115 G5 to my customer who purchased the server and software himself. It came with only 2Gb of RAM and I was unable to find ECC memory locally. (This was Friday). I ordered 2Gb of the appropriate ECC RAM from a specialist for special delivery on Sat AM, but found when I fitted it that one of the two 1Gb modules was faulty. The customer requirement was for the server to be working on Monday, so I bought 2*2GB of non-ECC DDR2-800 RAM locally. i have tried four times to install SBS2008 (reformatting each time). It will unpack the software and most times reaches the stage of asking for server name, domain etc before the 30 minutes+ loading windows. It locks up at this step, either completely or just stops with disk activity but no progress.
I have run a continual memtest overnight, it is now on the 10th cycle with no errors found. Obviously ECC is disabled and I note that although it knows there is 4096Mb, it states 'testing 116K - 2816M 4095Mb', sometimes showing (4096Mb - 5376Mb 4095Mb). I think this may be due to this ECC/ Non-ECC memory issue, but would appreciate some confirmation of this.
Also is 4Gb ECC memory sufficient for 4 users on sbs2008?
ON another issue, to replicate the IP settings in the customer's office, when I took the machine away, I used a netgear WGR614 router plugged into my own network. (I have a 10.0.1.x range, but the customer has 192.168.1.x) I noted that the sbs2008 took over the router! I had to reset it and disable uPNP. I understand that sbs2008 insists on handling dhcp, but I want control through the router myself of open ports etc. Is this normal behaviour?  
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Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
First, it sounds like your hardware if obviously suspect. Servers under load are definitely susceptibe to RAM issues, and mismatched RAM particularly so. Get good RAM, get it all ECC, get it all the same speed, and try to get it all from the same manufacturing batch if possible.

Secondly, 5 gigs is not enough for SBS. 8 gigs minimum op a production server, preferrably more.

Finally, SBS will, after a completed install, offer to configure the router. But is is part of a wizard and when it performs that step, it is very clear what is happening. If your router got changed before you were at the wizard and approved the configuration changes then you have something else going on entirely. What you describe is *NOT* normal SBS behavior.

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Commented:
I managed to get it to complete the install with the 4Gb non-ECC RAM after disconnecting the blu-ray dvd. It still took more than 4 hours with almost 3 hours on the final stage with lots of disk and internet activity and no apparent progress.
I have another 4Gb ECC ddr2 ram on order to add to the original 2Gb, so that might speed it up. At the moment it's formatting the second drive 465Gb drive, it's managed 17% in 2 hours which is about the slowest disk format I've seen!
If server 2008 will run in 512Mb or 2Gb recommended what is sbs 2008 doing with all this memory?????
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
As with all MS minimum requirements, take what they say and double it.  In other words, I wouldn't run a plain-vanilla 2008 server on less that 4 gigs. 8 is preferrable.
For SBS, 8 is a painfully bare minimum I've found, and 12 to 16 is usually required for any amount of workload.
As far as what SBS does with that memory, one word: Exchange.