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I have an existing Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard dedicated server at a server farm, all set up. Monitoring tools, public and private NIC's, out-of-band management tools, the whole shebang; it's great.

If I run a typical SBS 2011 Standard install, all of that goes away because the first thing that occurs in the install process is a new OS is written to the drive. No NIC's, no monitoring - very, very sad face.

Since I already have the correct OS (2k8R2) installed, I would like to jump into the SBS install portion of the process.

Any ideas?

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It appears that you think that SBS is merely an extension or add-on for Server OS. It's not. It's a complete OS and has differences to other versions of Server, so it can't be applied to any previous installation. –  John Gardeniers Jan 19 '13 at 6:12

2 Answers 2

What for? If you explain what you're looking to do, I can give you an action plan -- i'll edit on the fly --but in general, yes. If you install the OS on that hardware, everything you did is gone.

SBS 2011 is just a simplified version of Server 2008 R2 Standard. It has things like SharePoint and Exchange integrated into it, and certain licensing models include SQL Server as well.

However, once an organization outgrows SBS (I can't remember the exact number of users offhand) there are migration documents to bring an SBS 2008R2 box online, and begin to transfer services from SBS to the standard server.

In effect, you're going backwards. What's your goal?

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The end goal is to have SBS 2011 standard on a server located off-site. I was given a completed 2008R2 server (off-site) that I am trying to install the SBS 2011 onto. While I can simply do a full install of SBS 2011 onto this box, it blows away all of the nice things that I get from the existing 2008R2 install. For the foreseeable future, the 75 user limit is acceptable. –  user1489765 Jan 18 '13 at 22:36

You can't do what you're wanting. It's either a "normal" (non-SBS) version of Windows, or SBS. You can't "upgrade" to it and keep your previous settings or programs.

So, if you're determined to go to an SBS edition, you'll have to either install over the 2008 R2 OS and lose it, or get a second server and install SBS on it.

But before you blow away your existing OS, or run out and buy a new server, have you considered Hyper-V? (It's Microsoft's virtualization platform.) You could (at least, in theory) install the Hyper-V role on the 2008R2 box, and then install SBS as a VM, allowing you to use both servers - most of the major roles would have to be migrated to the SBS box because of the way SBS works and its licensing restrictions, but there's no reason you have to choose between a new SBS box and your existing install.

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Thanks, it doesn't sound too promising. If I got a second server, it would be built just like the first. I'll just suck it up and do the wipe/install; and spend the next week creating a usable server. Argh –  user1489765 Jan 18 '13 at 23:40
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@user1489765 No, virtualization. Multiple servers running on one physical machine. Before you wipe your employer's server, at least read up on Hyper-V. –  HopelessN00b Jan 18 '13 at 23:46
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Before you take the step to SBS read up on it, and Hyper-V for that matter. I have an SBS2011 install killing a good server i'm stuck with and I wish it was 2008 R2 or virtualized! –  HaydnWVN Jan 21 '13 at 9:01

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