Installing a Clean Version of Windows Server 2008 R2 Operating System (part 1)

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The setup GUI for Windows Server 2008 R2 is a significant departure from the blue background and white text of previous versions. After the installation software loads into memory, the configuration setup pages have a consistent look and feel. Each step outlined in the following sections also has integrated links to relevant Help topics. Many of the choices and options that were part of the preinstallation setup process in Windows 2000/2003 are now relegated to postinstall configuration after the base OS installation has completed. Thus, the steps required during initial installation are minimized, allowing for a faster installation and more streamlined initial process, consolidating operations pertaining to settings specific to the final role of the server to the postinstallation phase.

The following sections outline the elements that must be entered during a clean installation of Windows Server 2008 R2.

1. Customizing the Language, Time, Currency, and Keyboard Preferences

The first element when installing Windows Server 2008 R2 is entering the Language to Install of the server. Typically, the language selected is English; however, the language selections vary based on a region. Examples of languages include English, Arabic, French, Dutch, Spanish, and much more. The next element to be specified is the Time and Currency Format. This setting dictates how the server will handle currencies, dates, and times, including daylight savings. The final element is the Keyboard or Input Method. Specify the country code, such as US, Canada, or China, and click Next to begin the installation. These languages and other preferences can be seen in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Specifying the language and other preferences.

2. The Install Now Page

The next page in the installation process prompts you with an action to Install Now. Click Install Now to commence the Windows Server 2008 R2 installation. Alternatively, before running the installation, you can click on the two operational links such as What to Know Before Installing Windows and Repair Your Computer. The What to Know Before Installing Windows link provides a list of prerequisite tasks, error messages, and general information about the installation. The Repair Your Computer link should be utilized if there is a need to fix a Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system that is already installed.

3. Selecting the Type of Operating System to Install

The next page is Select the Operating System You Want to Install. One of the first items that needs to be addressed on every new installation of Windows Server 2008 R2 is which type of operating system will be installed. The options include a Complete installation or a Server Core installation. A Complete installation is a traditional installation of Windows and includes all of the user interfaces and supports all the server roles. As mentioned earlier, a Server Core installation is a scaled-down installation of Windows Server 2008 R2 with the intent to reduce surface attack and management. A subset of the server roles is present and the server is managed through the command prompt; therefore, the GUI does not exist. Click Next to continue, as depicted in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Specifying which operating system to install.

4. Accepting the Terms of the Windows Server 2008 R2 License

The Please Read the License Terms page is invoked next. Review the license terms and check the I Accept the License Terms check box if you comply with these terms. Click Next to continue.

5. Selecting the Type of Windows Server 2008 R2 Installation

On the Which Type of Installation Do You Want page, you have the ability to either select to upgrade an existing Windows server or install a clean copy of Windows. Because this is a clean installation and a legacy operating system does not exist, the Upgrade selection will present a message to this effect and prevent the installation from proceeding. Therefore, in this scenario, select Custom (Advanced) to perform a client installation of Windows Server 2008 R2. Click Next to continue, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Specifying whether to upgrade or install a clean copy of Windows.

6. Selecting the Location for the Installation

On the next page, the Install Windows Wizard asks where you want to install Windows. You need to specify where you want to install the OS and then click Next to continue, as illustrated in Figure 4. This section replaces the portion of both Windows 2000/2003 server installs where decisions about disk partitioning and formatting are made during the initial steps of the installation. At this point, you can supply additional disk drivers, or add, delete, extend, or format partitions in preparation for the install. It’s another small change to the process for preparing a system for loading the OS, but that change simplifies and organizes the process in a logical way.

Figure 4. Specifying the location for the installation.


With older versions of the Windows operating system, you had two options when partitioning the hard drive: NTFS or FAT/FAT32. When creating and formatting partitions with Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, FAT and FAT32 are no longer supported as NTFS is the only file system that can be sustained.