First published on TechNet on Feb 28, 2006
We've heard several inquiries now about installing the new features in Windows Server 2003 R2 in to an SBS 2003 environment.  The chances that any SBS customer actually needs ADFS, FRS-R, or UNIX Identity Management are low.  Very low.  There seems to be a lot of confusion about what Windows Server 2003 R2 really is and how it integrates in to an SBS environment.  [Edit] As most people know by now, SBS 2003 R2 does include File System Resource Manager (FSRM).

When you buy a retail copy of Windows Server 2003 R2 today, there are 2 CDs for the operating system.  From the Reviewer's Guide :

"the Windows Server 2003 R2 operating system is comprised of two product installation CDs. The first installation CD contains Windows Server 2003 with SP1. The second installation CD contains the components specific to Windows Server 2003 R2. Both CDs use the same product key."

We also know from the SBS FAQ that:

Q. Does SBS 2003 R2 include all of Windows Server 2003 R2?

A. No. Most of the new features in Windows Server 2003 R2 are designed for medium- to large-sized businesses, and therefore are not applicable to the small business customer. SBS 2003 R2 will only include one Windows Server 2003 R2 component and that component is Windows SharePoint Services Service Pack 2. SBS 2003 R2 will also include updates to Exchange Server 2003 (Service Pack 2), and new automated patch and update management (WSUS 2.0). The Premium version of SBS 2003 R2 will also include SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition.

So, the question comes up, "I've purchased a Standard or Enterprise version of Windows 2003 Server R2, and I want to install the CD2 bits in to my environment.  What's the best way to do this?"

Our recommendations before installing any of the CD2 components are as follows:

  • This goes without saying, but make a new System State backup of all DCs before making any changes.  Preferably, also make ASR and/or full system backups in addition to the System State backup.
  • Carefully consider whether you really need the features included on CD2.  The CD2 apps are not needed to complete the R2 install.  If you finish the install off of CD1, there is no requirement to do anything with CD2.
  • Since the R2 bits are not supported on SBS now, nor will they be when SBS R2 releases, carefully consider your planning requirements and placement of services - all Windows Server 2003 R2-specific must reside on a Windows 2003 R2 domain controller or member server.  The reviewer's guide covers the specifics in more detail.

The procedure to install the R2 CD in an SBS environment is as follows:

  1. Put the R2 CD in CD-ROM drive of your SBS server.  Dismiss the auto-run (see below - we are only running adprep to extend the schema here;  no binaries will be installed)
  2. Run adprep.exe on your SBS server using the instructions from
  3. Take the CD out of the SBS box and complete the install of R2 on your Windows 2003 Server R2 box

Note: You cannot install the R2 CD #2 components on your SBS server.  Attempting to run the install will result in the following error message: