Friday, October 29, 2010

Windows 2003 Standard Server

Microsoft started offering many software to students for FREE at DreamSpark. I got a copy of Windows 2003 Standard Server and installed it over the weekend. It is much faster and memory efficient than my old Windows 2000 server. But it is quite annoying to configure it as a daily workstation too. Here are some tips that I want to take a note for.

1) Add a new user: Start -> Run…, type lusrmgr.msc and this opens the user and group management. Select Users, right click and select New User, then create a new user.

If you want to add admin right to the new user, right click on the newly create user. Select properties, open Member Of tab, click Add… , in the Enter the object names to select textbox, type Administrators and hit Check Names button (it will fill the full name of admin role), then click OK.

2) IE security tuning: IE’s default security profile is set to High, and this makes is very unusable because it keeps bugging you to add virtually every website to trusted zone. Here is how to set to a lower security level: open IE, go to Tools…, go to Internet Options…, select Security tab, in “Security Level for this zone” change High to Medium and confirm the change.

3) Install Kaspersky 6 desktop version: Kaspersky is for desktop computers only and there exists server version and it is quite expensive. I have successfully installed KAV 6 on Windows 2000 server before, but installing it on Windows 2003 server SP2 is much trickier.

  • Modify KAV msi file using ORCA MSI editor: open KAV msi file using ORCA, then do a ctrl-F search for “MsiNTProductType=1″, replace each occurrence with “MsiNTProductType>=1″ and save the msi file. Then you can install it without any problem.

  • After installation and adding the license file, when you restart, Windows 2003 server will show a blue screen. Press the famous F8 and select “safe mode with command line”. I tried to select GUI safe mode, but it just didn’t respond to keyboard.

  • On the command line. Type “edit” command and this will give you a basic text editor, create a file called kav.reg with the following content:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

  • Save it and exit the editor. Then, type “regedit /s kav.reg” to import this change to the registry. Reboot the machine using “shutdown /r” command.

  • Finally, no more blue screen!

4) Hardware drivers: driver support is not so good on 2003 server. I could not find a driver for my RAID IDE-SATA converter card. I should have used software to backup drivers before upgrading. Here is a good one called Driver Genius.

5) Adding “show desktop” icon to the task bar: for the newly created user, there is no show desktop icon. You can either copy a file called Show Desktop.scf from C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\ to C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch.

Or you can directly create a new Desktop.scf in C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\, here is the file content:


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