Below is an overview of a typical installation of the Windows Server 2008 Network Operating System (NOS) and your server configuration. Although the details vary, the overall process is similar for other NOSs.
Install a network operating system
In most cases, the best way to install Windows Server 2008 is to reinstall it directly from the DVD installation media. Although upgrade installations are possible, your server will be more stable if you perform a new network installation. (For this reason, most network administrators avoid upgrading to Windows Server 2008 until the server hardware needs to be replaced.)
To begin the installation, insert the DVD distribution media into the server's DVD drive and restart the server. It starts the server directly from the distribution media, which starts the setup program.
In the next setup program, you will be guided through two different installation phases: information gathering and Windows installation. The following sections describe these installation steps in more detail.
Phase 1: gathering information
In the first phase of installation, the setup program requires the necessary preliminary information to begin the installation. A setup wizard prompts you for the following information:
- Language: Choose the language, time zone and keyboard type.
- Product key: Enter the 25-digit product key that came with the installation media. If the configuration says that you entered an invalid product key, check it carefully. You probably entered the key incorrectly.
- Operating system type: You can use the setup program to select Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition or Core. Select Standard Edition to install the full server operating system. Select Core if you want to install the new plain text version.
- License Agreement: The official license agreement is displayed. You must agree to the terms to continue.
- Installation type: Choose an updated or clean installation type.
- Location: Select the partition on which you want to install Windows.
- Upgrade to NTFS: If you want to upgrade a FAT32 system to NTFS, you need to say so now.