After you have selected a Windows Home Server system, it’s time to dig in and get WHS set up and running.

Setting Up Your Home Server

If you have purchased a retail/OEM Windows Home Server, your setup process will be very simple. The process of setting up Windows Home Server on regular PC-class hardware is a little more time consuming, but is no more complicated than setting up Windows Vista on similar hardware, perhaps even a little simpler.

Setting Up Windows Home Server on PC Hardware

Like the process of setting up a client Windows operating system such as Windows Vista, setting up Windows Home Server is a straightforward process. Because of the manner in which Windows Home Server handles storage, there are some additional considerations if you are using drives that already contain data.

A step by step guidance to setting up WHS is given here-in:


You must have a monitor, keyboard, and mouse attached to your home server for the duration of the setup, so if you don’t already have them hooked up, this is the first step.


The next step is to get the machine to boot from the Server Installation DVD. Many computers will boot from DVD automatically, but on some computers you must make some changes to the BIOS settings in order to boot from the DVD. The simplest way to discover if your machine is set up to boot from the DVD is to try it. Put the DVD into your system’s drive and power it on.

Your computer may automatically boot from the DVD, or it may display a brief message to “Press a key to boot from CD or DVD.” If you watched the rebooting process closely and didn’t see any opportunity to boot from DVD, you’ll need the next few steps to configure your BIOS. If you booted successfully, skip ahead to the “Running the Setup Program” section.

There are many different BIOS manufacturers, and they all handle this a little differently. The first step is to enter the BIOS configuration utility. This is usually accomplished by pressing a key during the initial boot up time, usually F2, Del, or Insert. Just watch your computer screen when you first power on the server, and it will generally indicate which key you need to press to get into the BIOS setup.

Once you’re in the BIOS setup utility, look for a section labeled “Boot Order” or “Boot Priority.” Make sure that the CD-ROM or DVD drive is listed before the Hard Drive

Sometimes the DVD drive may actually have any number of labels depending on the manufacturer of the BIOS. If you look through the available options, there is usually only one option that looks like it should be the DVD drive.

After you set the DVD drive to be first in the boot order, you need to save the settings. Again, how you do this will vary, but on most computers this will be labeled “Save and Exit,” “Exit Saving Changes”.

After you configure your server to boot from DVD, place the Server Installation DVD in the drive, and power on the machine. If you are prompted to “Press Any Key to Boot from CD-ROM,” press a key on the keyboard to initiate booting from the DVD.

We will continue this discussion in the next congruent article of this series.

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