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We're just purchasing a dedicated windows 2003 server (in fact I think it's a VPS)

How do we actually go about installing software on to it? Simply searching for "installing PHP5 on windows server" just produces material about installing it as if one had access to the computer with a keyboard and mouse.

Am I being thick? I've had experience managing a linux server before but that had everything pre-configured and we accessed it via Web Hosting Manager.

I don't get the actual concept of connecting to a remote PC and...downloading files?

If there's any good books available please point me in the right direction.

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If you don't get the concept of remotely connecting to a server and downloading files on it, this is probably not an appropriate site for you, being for professional Systems Administrators. – HopelessN00b Aug 28 '12 at 15:39

You need some sort of remote access. With windows, it's mostly either remote desktop, or in some special, rare cases, a special access console (software) to access the virtual machine (something like remote desktop, but the windows on the other side thinks it's a local display/io-device).

After getting that, you can follow the tutorials you've found.

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