Evaluating Hardware and Software Compatibility
Updated: March 28, 2003
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
You must evaluate hardware and software compatibility before you perform an unattended installation because incompatibilities can cause an unattended installation to fail. For example, if Setup attempts to install a device or an application that is incompatible during an unattended installation, Setup cannot display a warning dialog box or prompt a technician for alternative installation instructions. Instead, Setup simply stops running, and the installation fails. Therefore, you must replace or upgrade incompatible hardware and software before you perform an unattended installation.
Evaluating Hardware Compatibility
You can use several resources and tools to verify hardware compatibility.
The Windows Catalog contains a list of software and hardware products that are designed for, or are compatible with, Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003. You can search the catalog by manufacturer, product type, product name, or model. If you do not see a product in the Windows Catalog, it does not mean the product will not work with Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 — check with the product’s manufacturer to determine whether the product works with these versions of Windows. For more information, see the Windows Catalog link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.
Windows Upgrade Advisor and Windows XP Upgrade Advisor
Windows Upgrade Advisor and Windows XP Upgrade Advisor are tools that check your system hardware and software to see whether they are ready to be upgraded to Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003. Although the tools assume you are upgrading to Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003, you also can use them to identify software and hardware that are not compatible during a clean installation of Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003. To download either of the tools, see the Windows Upgrade Advisor link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources. You also can run either tool by using the /checkupgradeonly parameter with Winnt32.exe. Winnt32.exe is included in the i386 folder on any Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003 operating system CD.
Evaluating Application Compatibility
In addition to Windows Catalog and Windows Upgrade Advisor, you can use the Application Compatibility Toolkit to verify software compatibility. The Application Compatibility Toolkit contains documents and tools to help you diagnose and resolve application compatibility issues with Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003. For more information about application compatibility, see "Planning and Testing for Application Deployment" in Planning, Testing, and Piloting Deployment Projects of this kit. For more information about the Application Compatibility Toolkit, see article Q294895, "Description of the Application Compatibility Toolkit 2.0 for Windows XP," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. To find this article, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.