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Configure Windows 2012 R2 Server Essentials

Posted on 2014-01-02
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Last Modified: 2014-01-05
I installed Windows Server Essentials on Server 2012 R2 but it won't configure. Nothing  in the error other than try again.

I added <domain>\ServerAdmin$ to Log on as a service but that doesn't seem to help. If I try to start Windows Server Essentials Management Service manually, I get Logon failure. Perhaps that's part of configuration.

I need Windows Server Essentials to connect to the machines on the domain.

What am I missing?
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Question by:Randy Downs
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31 Comments
 
LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39752393
Can you share a little more about your environment? Existing servers, domain controllers, other roles on the new server, etc?
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LVL 30

Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39752423
Currently there is a SBS 2003 server on the domain so the domain functional level is 2003. The plan is to decomission the SBS 2003 server when we have this working. I need the Remote Web Workplace functionality I have on the SBS server.

The 2012 R2 server is a DC and file server. There is also Quickbooks on the server.
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39752448
And you made the 2012 R2 server a DC *before* adding the essentials role?
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Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39752457
We had issues making the 2012 R2 a DC. Most of that seemed to be DNS. We tried adding Windows Server Essentials during that period but everything was removed from roles before 2012 R2 actually became a working DC.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 39752482
Ugh. That's kinda what I figured (and was afraid of.) The changes that essentials tried to make failed and it is not a trivial task to fix all that.

My honest suggestion would be to uninstall essentials and ADDS and gracefully remove the server from the domain.  On the 2003 server you will need to manually clean up DNS and the metadata left behind.

Then reinstall 2012 R2 (generating new SIDs) and do the DC thing again. Make sire it works, os replicating. etc. Then retry the essentials bits.

It may sound like a lot, but the whole thing can be done in a couple hours. that is faster than manually adding accounts, AD objects and containers, and other hoops to "fix" the server.

I do realize an objection will probably be QuickBooks. But back up the DB and restore it on a new install. Add an hour. although I will also give the obligatory "don't run QuickBooks on a DC speech here.
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Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39752523
We pretty much went through all this.
When the ADDS wouldn't install in the SBS 2003 domain we moved to a new 2012 R2 domain.

We ran into issues with Win7 PCs connecting to the new domain since they were looking at the old SBS server for DNS.

We uninstalled ADDS and all roles except File Server and Hyper V on 2012 R2 and then cleaned up DNS on SBS 2003, 2012 R2 and the router (DHCP). At that point we were able to raise the domainfunctional level to 2003 & join the SBS 2003 domain.
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Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39752528
This is a small domain - 5 users. The server doesn't do much other than store some files and run QB.
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39752542
Right, but that is why I explicitly said to reinstall the OS and regenerate SIDS.

And Hyper-V? That wasn't on your lost before. Not that it changes my advice. Don't run Hyper-V and ADDS side by side. If you need Hyper-V, run ADDS as a guest.

And the suggestion about QB on a DC isn't the size of the network or the load on the server. it is how CCs behave and the evolution of security Microsoft is building into newer OSes. Again, virtualized and run QB on a member server. With 2012s 1+2 licensing, there is no added cost.
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LVL 30

Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39752578
So you are suggesting a server rebuild. You think that it's totally beyond repair.

Hyper-V was part of the Dell install. We had no plans to utilize it.

Are you suggesting running QB on Hyper-V? How does that work? Is it really that helpful?

We only need the Windows Essentials for access to the domain PCs. I could just install Log Me In on all of them and call it a day.
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39752586
beyond repair? No. But 6 hours to dog in AD or 3 to rebuild is still an easy choice for me and my clients at my billable rate. If you have a 2012 Standard server license, then yes, I'd install hyper-v, then install one guest and make it a DC and run Essentials. Install a second guest and run QB. The benefits are numerous. Better security, better memory management. better disaster recovery just to name a few.
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Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39752604
I should have said beyond reasonable repair. Anything that takes longer than a fresh install is pointless.

If I just fired up the guest with the server as is wouldn't it work or is that a futile effort?
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39752614
In theory it'd work, but with all the installing and uninstalling on the host, unexpected errors could still creep in. For the extra half-hour it'd take to set up the host clean, I'm not sure the risk/reward ratio justifies the potential saved time.
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Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39752658
I am working remotely so the virtual guest appeals to me but I am guessing I would have to remove ADDS to kick this off and that kicks everyone off the server.
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LVL 30

Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39752696
If I rebuild the server everything would be clean so that makes sense. Any gotchas on a new rebuild? I got this pre-configured from Dell.

I am assuming the Hyper-V will install the O/S from my 2012 R2 disk. The defaults for virtual OK in Hyper V? If I am running 2 guests do I need to use the real server for anything or is that allowed?

I don't plan on going into site until tomorrow. Thanks for all your suggestions
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39752731
You'll use the 2012 R2 disk to install the OS and then enable the Hyper-V role. Creating guests is not difficult. I can't say "use the defaults" but there is very little by way of hidden settings either. Use reasonable settings for disk and ram and you'll be fine. To take advantage of server standard's virtualization rights, the host cannot be used to host other services or roles besides hyper-v.
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Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39752766
Thanks, the only other application I have is Restrospect backup. My guess is that would be separated from ADDS too.
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39752775
Ideally yes. As far as I know there is no conflict between retrospect and QB though, so they should be able to love on the same member server VM.
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LVL 30

Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39752825
The client would rather just add Log Me In to the desktops to cover for Windows Essentials. 3 of 5 desktops will need it anyway since they are giving up their static ip. The DC seems to work OK.

They are OK with separating QB onto a virtual so I will just leave ADDS on the main server. Hopefully that falls withing the guidelines of 2012 R2 licensing.
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39752828
Running Hyper-V and ADDS side by side goes against best practice. And if you only have one 2012 R2 standard license, it breaks licensing and would be illegal.
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LVL 30

Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39752908
OK, I'll have to see if I can start up 2 virtuals & move ADDS.
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LVL 30

Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39752924
Actually I could just move ADDS to a virtual and leave QB on the real server. Is that legal?
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39752942
No. Leaving ANY role or service (and quickbooks provides a service) on the physical nullifies using the same license in any VM.

If you want to take advantage of the virtualization licensing, the host can ONLY run Hyper-V and those services directly required for managing the server (backup agent, antivirus agent, monitoring agent, etc.)
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LVL 30

Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39753102
I was afraid of that. Thanks for the info. I am inclined to just ignore Hyper-V
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LVL 30

Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39753106
Maybe removing the Hyper-V role will help my original problem
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LVL 30

Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39756328
Client has elected to not rebuild server so we will just use Log Me In. It's a quick fix for their server. I appreciate all the recommendations but we will just make do with the server as is. No virtuals and QB running on a DC. While it's not ideal it's a step up from running on an old SBS 2003 server.
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LVL 30

Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39756331
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for Number-1's comment #a39752578

for the following reason:

Log Me In was my alternative all along. We had hoped for an easy solution for Windows Server Essentials but rebuilding was not an option my client would accept.

Thanks for all the info on licensing.
0
 
LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39756332
While you may have chosen not to use the essentials role, answers were given that were accurate for the question you asked and should still be given credit,
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LVL 30

Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39756365
rebuilding the server is not an acceptable solution for my client. Sorry
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39756440
I understand that. But that isn't the point. You asked a question. You got a valid answer to that question. You chose to go a different way based on that answer. THAT is fine. But you could not have made the decision you did without the information provided, and it doesn't maker the actual answers wrong.

To use an analogy, if your car has problems and you take it to a mechanic, he may diagnose the issue as so bad that the engine needs to be rebuilt. You may decide the value of the car doesn't justify that because of its age or miles. His/her diagnosis isn't wrong; you'd just choose to go another way (buy a new car use public transportation, etch) ...the engine was still in bad enough shape that, to get it working, it'd need to be rebuilt.

Same here. You asked a specific question regarding essentials. We diagnosed it, we discussed licensing. You got valuable information so you could make the "best" decision for your client. And then you close the question as if no answers or guidance was given. The answers given WERE valid and accurate and should be accepted.
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LVL 30

Author Comment

by:Randy Downs
ID: 39756468
I understand your position but my position is that the answer you gave was not anything I could use. I could always suggest that someone rebuild their PC or server and it would likely resolve their issue. In fact, I have made those recommendations and the questions were closed without credit.

I grant you that you gave me important information on licensing but I don't see it as part of my solution. I had the Log Me In backup solution before I posted the question. Likewise I could have guessed that a rebuild would be helpful but it's not a solution I could use.

Again I appreciate all your input on licensing.
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