Troubleshooting Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials Installation

Updated: April 17, 2011

Applies To: Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials

General troubleshooting steps

  1. Verify that your server hardware meets the minimum requirements. For information about hardware requirements, see System Requirements.

  2. If you received the Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials installation DVD from MSDN, verify that the DVD is valid by checking the SHA1 sum. For more information, see Availability and description of the File Checksum Integrity Verifier utility (

  3. If you have more than one Network Interface Card (NIC) on the server, verify that only one NIC is enabled.

  4. Verify that the NIC on the server is connected to a router using a network cable.

  5. DO NOT manually restart your server during while installing Windows SBS 2011 Essentials. The server restarts automatically several times during setup and initial configuration. After you see the server installation successful dialog box, it is OK to restart the server.

  6. DO NOT disconnect the network cable or restart the router while installing Windows SBS 2011 Essentials.

  7. Review the Installation and initial configuration section of the Release Notes for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials for known issues.

  8. If you receive the error message “An error occurred while setting up your server” during installation, use the Server Recovery DVD and the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your hardware to restore the server to factory default settings.

Troubleshooting driver issues

The most common issue when installing Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials is storage controllers that need to have drivers manually installed. Windows includes drivers for many storage controllers, but it may not include drivers for your specific hardware.

You may also need to manually install network-card drivers for your specific hardware.

For the latest information about Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials issues, see the Release Notes (

Adding Storage Controller Drivers

If you have hardware that requires storage drivers that are not included with Windows SBS 2011 Essentials, use the following information to complete Setup.

If you see the following message during Setup, you need to manually add drivers for your storage controller:

Windows Server Setup Error

Hard disk drive capable of hosting Windows SBS 2011 Essentials was not found. Would you like to load additional storage drivers?

Use the following procedure to set up your server.

To manually install a storage-controller driver

  1. Find the drivers for your storage controller. These are provided by the hardware manufacturer, and they might also be available on the manufacturer's Web site.

  2. Create a folder called DRIVERS on a floppy disk or a USB flash drive, and then copy the drivers into the folder.

  3. Boot the computer from the Windows SBS 2011 Essentials DVD. Make sure the floppy drive or USB flash drive is attached before you boot the computer.

  4. At the Windows SBS 2011 Essentials Setup Error dialog, click Yes to load the additional storage drivers.

  5. On the Please select your driver's inf file dialog box, navigate to the .inf file in the DRIVERS folder on your floppy disk or USB flash drive, select it, and then click Open. The driver loads.

    Verify that the file name extension (.inf) is in lower-case letters.

  6. Click Yes to make the storage driver available during the text-mode phase of Setup.

  7. Setup now continues normally.

Adding Drivers for Your Network Card

If you have a network card that is not supported by Windows SBS 2011 Essentials, your server will not have network connectivity after Setup completes and your computers will not be able to connect to your server.

At the end of Windows SBS 2011 Essentials installation, you are informed if a network-card driver was not automatically installed. If a network-card driver was not installed, you need to manually install it. You can also use Control Panel (click Start, click Run, type Control), Network Connections to check if a network card is installed. If you do not see a network connection associated with the network card in your server, you need to manually install the proper network-card driver and then reboot the server.

To manually install the driver, obtain it from the manufacturer, and then follow their installation instructions.

Restart your server after you manually install the network-card driver. The installation of the Windows SBS 2011 Essentials Connector software on your client computers may fail if you do not restart your server.