This is a follow up article to Installing WHS 2011 on SSD or SATA Hard Drives smaller than 160GB that deals exclusively with Small Business Server 2011 Essentials. Soon after writing the original article and publishing it on Using Windows Home Server I realized that SBS 2011 Essentials would need a more detailed description in the cfg.ini file for the automated setup. This would have to include NetBIOS name, Domain Name, and the other particulars when setting up an Active Directory Domain. Since Windows Home Server is stand alone and does not include Active Directory the basic cfg.ini file is sufficient for the purpose it was intended for.
Who this Article is For?
This article is to be used with Small Business Server 2011 Essentials who want to install the before mentioned operating system on Hard Drives smaller than 160GB. This can be either Solid State Drives or even the traditional IDE-SATA drives.
· A USB Flash Drive formatted NTFS
· SBS 2011 Essentials Install DVD
· A PC or Server that meets the minimum hardware requirements (with the exception of the hard drive minimum requirement)
· Monitor, Keyboard, and mouse.
The How to information is intended as a guide or a helping resource to those who are trying to install Small Business Server 2011 Essentials on Hard Drives that are smaller than the usually minimum required 160GB. There is no 100% guarantee that this will install correctly as described in this article. I assume no responsibility for any consequences of the install and the user will assume the full risk of any adverse effects of a bad installation.
1. Remove all Hard Drives currently connected to you system with the exception of the targeted SSD or traditional SATA Drive that will be used for either your SBS 2011 Essentials Operating System .
PLEASE NOTE – Remember to insure all previous Data you want saved from the targeted drive is removed before installation or it will be permanently lost.
2. Format an NTFS USB Flash Drive, and create a file on it using notepad in the root called cfg.ini. (Insure there is nothing else on the USB
3. Open the cfg.ini in notepad or any other text editor
4. Cut and Paste the following into the cfg.ini file below once you have determined the correct values for the automated file parameters with the examples next to them. For more clarification on the values for the unattended answer file please go to the titlerequired.com Blog Site and read the Installing SBS Essentials using an Answer File article by Robert Pearman.
CompanyName=XXXXXX (Example: CompanyName=UWHS)
Country=XX (Example: Country=US)
ServerName=XXXXXXXXXXXX (Example: ServerName=UWHS-SBS2011)
DNSName=XXXXX.com (Example: DNSName=UWHS.com)
NetbiosName=XXXXXXXXXXXX (Example: NetbiosName=UWHS-SBS2011)
Language=en-XX (Example: Language=en-US)
Locale=en-XX (Example: Locale=en-US)
Keyboard=XXXXXXXX (Example: Keyboard=00000409)
UserName=XXXX (Example: UserName=Juser)
PlainTextPassword=XXXXXXXX (Example: PlainTextPassword=Password1)
StdUserName=XXXXXX (Example: StdUserName=Jadmin)
StdUserPlainTextPassword=XXXXXXX (Example: StdUserPlainTextPassword=Password1)
Upon completion your cfg.ini file should look almost exactly like the example below, except of course for your own unique values for the unintended answer file parameters.
5. Close the file and save it on the USB Flash Drive.
6. Insert the USB Flash Drive with the cfg.ini file into the targeted SBS 2011 Essentials Server’s empty USB Slot.
7. Power up your Server and insure that either you’re Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials install DVD has been inserted into your Servers ROM.
8. Once your Server has booted off the install DVD the Installer will read the CFG.ini file and begin the automated install process. There should be NO User Input required during this time.
9. When your Server Installer has finished its first part of the Install and goes to reboot for the 1st time REMOVE the USB Flash Drive and the Install DVD from your Server BEFORE your server boots back up(As shown below). This will allow the Server upon rebooting to find your hard drive and continue the installation from there without further interruption.
10. No Further action on your part will be required and the rest of the install will finish automatically, again without any user intervention.
11. Once the installation has completed please plug in any other drives and continue with completing your server build.
I want to give big thanks to the following People in making this article possible…
UWHS Forum Member Mr. John Inwood (AKA Coalfield) for spending countless hours and referencing many different Microsoft forums for initially finding the solution to circumventing the 160GB minimum requirement in Windows Home Server 2011.
UWHS Forum Member Mr. Gnomatic for helping refining the execution of the installation process of this automated solution for installing hard drives less than 160GB.
Finally Mr. Robert Pearman over at titlerequired.com; for allowing me to refer to his article on refining the Unattended Answer File in Small Business Server 2011 Essentials.