Table of Contents


Once you choose your hardware after several discussions involving opinions and beer (possibly lots of beer), then ensure that the hardware bios is fully up to date.  Visit the hardware manufacturer page and install updates for the bios before you install the operating system.  Install all raid card updates and use the raid card boot media to ensure that the raid is installed as you prefer.  Download any easy setup cd from the server manufacturer rather than using any media you have as the latest drivers from the manufacturer as it loads up the base for the operating system.  Even after installing the server, sign up for alerts for updates to drivers and update as needed.  This wiki write up assumes that you are doing a clean install and in fact if this is the first time you’ve looked at SBS 2011 even if you are planning a migration to SBS 2011 just so you get a feel of how a normal clean install process works.  In addition we STRONGLY advise that you practice migrations as well.


If you are installing on HP Hardware you can follow a tip by Kevin Royalty. **Note SBS 2011 requires use of HP SmartStart 8.7 x64 or newer if using the SmartStart method. (info here:


OS Installation

  Insert the dvd into the dvd drive of your server (if physical) or ISO in HyperV.  Let the computer boot and read the dvd.  Enter the language selection.  When you get to the section regarding the product key, you can opt to install without a key and enter a key at a later date.  When selecting the location to install remember that you can install it on the c:drive and move the date to your additional partitions later.  The install initially lay down a Windows operating system, reboot and then ask you question about the domain name and business information.


When the server reboots, the Windows 2008 R2 OS is installed and the SBS install part begins. The system will ask if you'd like to install updates during the install process. At this time there are no updates that directly impact the install process. Some updates may throw off 'bogus' error messages during the install process that will not impact the server but will give off incorrect messages during the install. Many opt to not get updates as a result.

If you have any issues during the install you can hit F10 during the install, type in explorer.exe and launch to the c drive. Once there browse to the C drive and review the log files for the setup process. You can review the listing of installation errors. Please note that while that list looks long, it's rare that an install will fail with a clean install. To return to the outline of the SBS 2011 build document, click here.