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Complete and total server n00b who knows just enough to be dangerous. :o) I bought this Dell T110 server and it came with Windows Server 2012 Essentials. I want to use this as a web server to host websites.

I know, from what I've accomplished so far, that the server can be used to host websites. I have one up and running. However, it reboots every 5 or so days due to a licensing restriction:

License Error: Enforcement FSMO Policies. The automatic correction of a noncompliant FSMO role condition was not successful because error 0x8007203A occurred in function f1301

After some googling, it appears the server wants to be a Domain Controller, which (again, based on google and limited understanding) means the server wants to only handle security issues and not applications?

So, is it possible to make this server an operational web server that doesn't automatically reboot itself every 5 days? Or do I need a different version of Windows to do this?

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The constant reboots will definitely be an annoying event. It would be best to reload Windows Server 2012/2016 as a trial or if you have the money, you can buy a valid license.

If you don't mind the constant reboots, there are plenty of tutorials online to setting up IIS (Internet Information Services) by Microsoft.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/iis/get-started/whats-new-in-iis-8/installing-iis-8-on-windows-server-2012

Installing IIS 8 with the Default Settings

To install IIS 8, use the following steps:

  1. Open Server Manager.
  2. Under Manage menu, select Add Roles and Features: enter image description here
  3. Select Role-based or Feature-based Installation: enter image description here
  4. Select the appropriate server (local is selected by default), as shown below: enter image description here
  5. Select Web Server (IIS): enter image description here
  6. No additional features are needed for IIS, so click Next: enter image description here
  7. Click Next: enter image description here
  8. Customize your installation of IIS, or accept the default settings that have already been selected for you, and then click Next: enter image description here
  9. Click Install: enter image description here
  10. When the IIS installation completes, the wizard reflects the installation status: enter image description here
  11. Click Close to exit the wizard.

Once you get past the default installation, you can now check the default IIS page by opening a web browser and going to http://localhost/ or http://127.0.0.1/ and you will see the default IIS page. If you want to access the page from another computer on your local network then you would navigate to http://192.168.0.10/ or whatever your server's IP Address is.

To upload your own webpage files you need to change the files located in C:\inetpub\www. The index.htm file is the default file loaded by web servers which is usually the start page if you will. Change this to whatever you want to be your home page and that should get you going.

If you want to access your website from the Internet then you will need to set your web server a static IP, reserve that IP from your DHCP server, which would usually be your home router then port forward all HTTP/80 traffic to point to your web server's IP address.

If you successfully setup your webserver and forwarded it properly, you should be able to get to your page from the internet by browsing to your public IP address. You can use this page to get it for you http://whatismyipaddress.com/.

If you want to use a domain name like mywebsite.com to get to your website, then you can get a free/paid domain name from https://www.noip.com/, just an example. There are many more domain name providers out there. For a free domain name from No-IP.com, just create an account, add a host and the host should point to your outside IP address and you can select the name you want to give your free domain. Once you have that, you need to give it some time to propegate and then try navigating to that domain from elsewhere.

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