Microsoft SBS 2003’s Wizards vs. MMC

October 17, 2008

At Onsite Computer Services in New Orleans we regularly encounter Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 installations that were not configured using the SBS Wizards.  Those familiar with administration of Microsoft Server 2003 might utilize an MMC snap-in instead of the wizard.  Failure to use the SBS wizards can result in all sorts of aberrant SBS behavior.

The SBS 2003 wizards perform several operations that are transparent to administrators.  The MMC snap-ins are not designed to accomplish multiple tasks in a small business environment.  As an example, the adding new users wizard handles several administration tasks with one entry.  The Add New User wizard creates a new user account in Active Directory, creates a mailbox for the account in Exchange, and configures user permissions for the SBS intranet.

Onsite Computer Services recently encountered issues with Remote Desktop that can be avoided when using the wizard for adding client computers.  According to a Microsoft publication, SBSITPRO.doc, “… the SBS Network Configuration Wizard, which sets up the client computer to be a part of the Windows SBS network and configures it with certain preset options for ease of use, like pre-populating My Network Places with new Windows SBS locations, and configuring Internet Explorer Favorites as follows:
•    The default browser home page points to My Company (http://companyweb).
•    Several links related to Windows SBS are added to the Favorites menu in Internet Explorer.
•    My Network Places is configured to show personal and shared folders on the server running Windows SBS, as well as document libraries on the http://companyweb Web site.
The Small Business Server Network Configuration Wizard also configures client machines by:
•    Installing the Shared Fax client software.
•    Putting the printers that are published in Active Directory into Printers and faxes.
A really cool aspect of the Small Business Server Network Configuration Wizard is how it sets up applications on the client computer automatically. Before you use http://ServerName/ConnectComputer to connect the client computer, you need to complete the Set Up Client Computers Wizard. This is where you can tell Windows SBS the computer name of the client computer you want to add, what applications you want added to the client computer (for example, Outlook 2003, Internet Explorer 6, Shared Fax client software, and the latest operating system service packs as of shipping time), and what advanced configuration options you want to set (for example, Outlook profile configuration). When you then log on to the client computer and use http://ServerName/ConnectComputer, the Small Business Server Network Configuration Wizard sets up the machine by using the configuration options you chose in the Set Up Client Computers Wizard.”

The MMC simply adds the computer without installing or configuring several important components.  The client computer firewall precluded the successful operation of Remote Desktop.  The firewall in automatically configured using the SBS 2003 wizards.

If you’re searching for New Orleans computer service or repair of your Microsoft based system or network, then call the Microsoft specialists at 504-469-6991. Onsite Computer Services, Inc. in New Orleans

You may also be interested in Onsite Computer’s Blog.

This New Orleans On-Site Computer Service post was provided by Eli Lucas. Eli can be reached at eli@onsitenola.com. Onsite Computer serves the Microsoft computing needs of small businesses throughout the Greater New Orleans area including Uptown, Lakeview, Broadmoor, Mid-City, Metairie, Jefferson, Kenner, Westbank, French Quarter, and the Warehouse District. Please visit our website for New Orleans Computer Service.

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