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Getting started with Windows Server 2012

Posted on 2015-01-25
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Last Modified: 2015-01-30
We need to set up a new server to run Kaseya.  The server we now have running Kaseya is very old, running Server 2003.

With the exception of the Server 2003 software that I somehow set up years ago, I know almost nothing about Windows Server.  But now that I need to upgrade our hardware and software, I am going with the recommended Server 2012.  Kaseya tech support has told me that all I need is Server 2012 standard edition, and no CALs are needed.  So, to reduce costs, I bought Microsoft's product P73-06165, which is described online as "Windows Server Standard 2012 R2 DSP-OEM with DVD X64-Bit 2CPU-2VM, NO CAL's".

Will this version work for my purpose?

I installed it and it seems to look like a normal desktop, etc.  I have not yet moved forward with the Kaseya server software installation, but I ran into this issue that seems strange to me: If I restart or cycle the power on the new server computer, the Server 2012 software will not come up and run unless I have the software CD in the drive.  I have multiple reasons to believe that it is not RUNNING from the CD, yet if I start up the computer without the CD in the drive, it just hangs on a black screen with a flashing cursor, and never goes to the Windows Server 2012 login screen.  Any ideas what I might be doing wrong?  TIA
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Question by:sasllc
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by:rindi
ID: 40569580
If it doesn't bootup without the DVD, it hasn't installed the bootloader properly or at the proper location. What hardware are you using, how did you setup your RAID array, how did you partition? Maybe also post a screenshot of your diskmanagement.
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by:sasllc
ID: 40569754
The hardware is a Lenovo I-7 PC, which I'm told is not ideal for a server, but several people on e-e told me it 'should' work for this Kaseya server application.  I do not have RAID set up.

When I first went to install the Server 2012 software, it said "...cannot be installed on this disk.  The selected disk has an MBR partition table...".  So, right there on that screen I removed all three partitions from the Win7 installation, and then it let me proceed with the 2012 install.

To fix this boot problem, should I put in a fresh hard drive right out of the box?

I have attached a screen shot of disk management.
ScreenShot001.bmp
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40569822
boot from the dvd
at any time press f10
type 'diskpart'
select disk 0
clean
exit

exit or close the command window and reinstall the operating system.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40569832
There is no active partition. Make the 100MB Partition on your disk active using diskmanagement, and it should boot without the DVD.
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Author Comment

by:sasllc
ID: 40569904
No luck yet.  First I tried to set the 100MB partition active, but I could not find any way to do so.  Next, I did the diskpart steps and reinstalled, but still no partition shows as active.  I tried to click everywhere I could on the disk management screen, but I never can see a way to set it active.  The attachment shows where I right clicked on the one that now says 99MB, but all the options are greyed out except for Help.  Note that on the C: partition to the right on the screen, if I right click on it, several of the options are available--but not so on the 99MB partition.  Any ideas?
ScreenShot002.bmp
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Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 100 total points
ID: 40569913
from a boot disk go to the command prompt
diskpart
list par
select #   (the # of the 100mb partition)
active

reboot
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Author Comment

by:sasllc
ID: 40569932
To make any headway with this last suggestion, I had to modify the syntax a bit.  I keyed in:

select disk 0

list partition

select partition 2

active

And then I got this message: The selected disk is not a fixed MBR disk.  The ACTIVE command can only be used on fixed MBR disks.
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by:sasllc
ID: 40570331
Next I did a 'Detail Disk' and it shows that the 99MB partition is FAT32.  Maybe this is my problem, but I don't see a way to change it--nor to keep it from setting up as FAT32 during the installation.  Is there a solution to this problem?
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40570390
Download Paragon's Rescue kit and check whether it's "Boot Corrector" helps:

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/rk-free/requirements.html
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Author Comment

by:sasllc
ID: 40578523
I'm having a hard time understanding how to use Boot Corrector--despite the documentation.  I could find no way to use the Windows version of the boot CD, but with the Linux version it does show the 99MB partition as FAT32--but it also shows it as Active.  So I don't know what I should do, or how I should do it, using Boot Corrector.

Meanwhile, Server 2012 still boots up fine if I have the Server 2012 CD in the drive, OR if I have the Paragon Rescue CD in the drive.  Why this is happening makes no sense to me.  

If there is no solution to my problem, is it OK to run Server 2012 this way in the future, where I must have a CD in the drive to make it boot up?
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40578560
The easiest thing would be to first disable UEFI boot and Secureboot from the BIOS. Then try the OS installation again. Make sure there is only one HD in the system during the installation, and that it isn't larger than 2TB. That way it should install to an MBR disk. Currently you have a GPT disk and that is probably causing some problems.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40578600
disk 0 partition 1 (300mb) should be the active partition
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Author Comment

by:sasllc
ID: 40580278
I could not find a way to disable UEFI and Secureboot from the BIOS, and I could not find a way to set partition 1 active.

I also tried a fresh hard drive right out of the box, but got the same results.

Could this be related to me trying to run this on a Lenovo 7052B2U Intel I-7 tower that was designed to run Windows 7?

Maybe it is time to give up on fixing this problem.  Is it OK to run Server 2012 this way in the future, where I must have a CD in the drive to make it boot up?
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Accepted Solution

by:
rindi earned 400 total points
ID: 40580317
There must be a way to turn off UEFI and secureboot. Turning off UEFI is often also called CSM. Usually those options are under advanced options,
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Author Comment

by:sasllc
ID: 40580417
It works now.  The only thing I could find in the BIOS was a choice for Boot Mode, which it said was to select boot policy.  It says you can choose from Auto, Legacy, or UEFI to prioritize boot options.  It was set to Auto, so I changed it to Legacy.

I still don't understand how this affects the way Windows 2012 partitions and formats the drive, but clearly it solved the problem.  Now that I installed the software again, disk management only shows two partitions.  The one that is not the C; drive shows 350MB, System Reserved, Active, Primary, NTFS.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40580431
UEFI boot would create a GPT disk, and GPT can sometimes cause issues, particularly if something doesn't work properly during the installation. Now the new installation created an MBR disk because it didn't boot into UEFI mode. The 350 MB partition is used for booting.
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