Monday 21 April 2008

SBS Setup and Intel (or other) Adapter Teaming

When the first phase of the SBS 2003 setup (blog post SBS setup checklist) is complete, one goes on to install all of the relevant drivers and configures the partitions for production service.

From there we move the swap file over to its dedicated partition and verify that the hardware and base OS are happy before proceeding on to second phase of the SBS setup.

One thing one should never do is team the LAN facing adapters before running SBS Setup Phase 2.

Remember that one of the questions we get asked once we have initiated the second phase is which adapter is the Internal one?

Since a teamed adapter is virtual in that it is comprised of two or more physical adapters, we run into a problem once SBS setup takes over: SBS setup only wants one physical adapter enabled during the process.

If SBS setup finds any other physical adapters enabled during phase 2, it disables them. The SBS setup routine does not figure out that when it disables the physical adapters, the virtual teamed one will disappear ... but that is exactly what happens.

The only time we will see any indication that there is a problem will be when we see the red X on Server Tools, and once SBS setup is finished with a list of errors including the inability to install SharePoint.

By then it is too late.

Timing wise and stability wise it is expedient to blow away the box and start fresh. Troubleshooting and trying to work around the errors presented is not advisable on a new SBS box.

This is one situation where if this mistake was made, we must choke on the cost of rebuilding that box ... and facing the music if we need to move the SBS install date at the client site.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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