This chapter covers new features in Windows Server 2003 that relate to setup and post-setup configuration when installing the operating system from CD:
New server packaging.
There are four different versions of Windows Server 2003, each with a unique feature set. They are Web Edition, Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition, and Datacenter Edition.
New hardware requirements.
Windows Server 2003 requires more memory, faster processors, and more storage capacity.
Separate 64-bit Intel Architecture (IA64) versions of Windows Server 2003, Enterprise and Datacenter Editions, are available. This chapter covers system setup using the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) and preparing GUID Partition Table (GPT) disks.
NTFS format done during Setup.
Earlier versions of Windows NT/2000 formatted the boot partition as FAT then converted it to NTFS. Formatting the boot partition directly as NTFS reduces Master File Table (MFT) fragmentation and eliminates a restart during Setup.
Unlike Windows 2000, Setup in Windows Server 2003 does not install Internet Information Services (IIS) by default. This is good news, because there is no reason to make a server vulnerable to web assaults unless it's necessary to support operations. However, IIS installation still places the Inetpub folder at the root of the boot partition, a serious security deficiency. Always use an unattended installation script when installing IIS to select a different partition for the web folders.
Dropped support for legacy software striping and mirroring.
When upgrading from NT, Windows Server 2003 does not convert legacy Fault Tolerant (FT) disk sets to Logical Disk Manager (LDM) striped and mirrored volumes. This is a departure from Windows 2000, which does the conversion automatically. If you have an FT disk set on an NT server, you must back it up then restore from tape following Setup. A Microsoft utility called FTONLINE can recover the disk set following Setup by mounting it in read-only mode so you can back it up.
Support for I2O.
You can install the operating system directly onto I2O (Intelligent I/O) mass storage devices without loading alternate drivers.
This is a suite of Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) readouts in a simple-to-use format.
Microsoft has incorporated a copy protection scheme into retail versions of Windows Server 2003. Activation links the product identification key of the software with a particular computer to prevent piracy. Volume license versions of Windows Server 2003 do not require activation.
Windows Server 2003 leverages its integrated Terminal Services by automatically enabling two concurrent sessions by default on all servers. In Windows 2000, this requires a special component selection.
Automatic Boot.ini updates.
When new drives are introduced into a server, the Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) path in Boot.ini is updated automatically.