Installing This Version of Windows Server 2008

Updated: January 22, 2009

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

This document provides information about installing the Windows Server® 2008 operating system. It also provides information that you can use to troubleshoot problems that may occur during the installation.

Setup works in several stages. You will be prompted for some basic information, and then Setup will copy files and restart the computer. After the final restart, you can complete your configuration of Windows® Small Business Server 2008.

Pre-installation information

System requirements

The following system requirements are specific to this version of Windows Server 2008. If your computer has less than the minimum requirements, you will not be able to install this product correctly. Actual requirements will vary based on your system configuration and the applications and features you install.


Processor performance depends not only on the clock frequency of the processor, but also on the number of processor cores and the size of the processor cache. The minimum processor requirement for this product is 2.66 GHz 64-bit (x64).


This product requires at least 4 GB of physical memory.

Disk space requirements

This product requires at least 60 GB of disk space for the system partition. Additional disk space may be required if you install the system over a network. For more information, see the Microsoft Web site (

Important information for x64-based operating systems

Ensure that you have updated and digitally signed kernel-mode drivers for x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008.

If you install a Plug and Play device, you may receive a warning if the driver is not digitally signed. If you install an application that contains a driver that is not digitally signed, you will not receive an error during Setup. In both cases, Windows Server 2008 will not load the unsigned driver.

If you are not sure whether the driver is digitally signed, or if you are unable to boot into your computer after the installation, use the following procedure to disable the driver signature requirement. This procedure enables your computer to start correctly, and the unsigned driver will load successfully.

To disable the signature requirement for the current boot process
  1. Restart the computer, and then during the startup, press F8.

  2. Select Advanced Boot Options.

  3. Select Disable Driver Signature Enforcement.

  4. Boot into Windows, and then uninstall the unsigned driver.

For more information, see the Microsoft Web site (

Before you start Setup

Before you install Windows Server 2008, refer to the “Windows Small Business Server 2008 Installation Guide” at the Microsoft Web site ( Follow the steps in this section to prepare for the installation.

  • Check for application compatibility.   To help with this, you can use the Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit. Although it is primarily used to provide compatibility information about network applications, you can also use it to prepare for Windows Server 2008. For more information, see “Application Compatibility and User Account Control” at the Microsoft TechNet Web site (

  • Disconnect UPS devices.   If you have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) connected to your destination computer, disconnect the serial cable before running Setup. Setup automatically attempts to detect devices that are connected to serial ports, and UPS equipment can cause issues with the detection process.

  • Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool.   You should run this tool to test the random access memory (RAM) on your computer. To use the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool, follow the instructions in the Windows Memory Diagnostic Users Guide at the Microsoft Web site (

  • Provide mass storage drivers.   If your manufacturer has supplied a separate driver file, save the file to a floppy disk, CD, DVD, or universal serial bus (USB) flash drive in either the root directory of the media or in the amd64 folder for x64-based computers. To provide the driver during Setup, on the disk selection page, click Load Driver (or press F6). You can browse to locate the driver or have Setup search the media.

Known issues

For the most up-to-date information about known issues with Windows Small Business Server 2008, see the online version of the release notes at the Microsoft Web site (

Additional information

For more information about system requirements and general information about planning your Windows SBS 2008 network, see the online version of “Planning Your Windows Small Business Server 2008 Network“ at the Microsoft Web site (


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