Unable to access or ping Windows 2008 server

After being bitten by this for the second time, I thought I should write a post for future reference. I had setup a brand new virtual machine and I wanted to access the SQL Server 2008 instance. Because of the firewall built into Windows all external connections are blocked – this means I cannot ping the machine, let along connect to the SQL Server instance running.


Disabling the firewall isn’t a problem, in the control panel you simply set the option.


Generally, this solves the problem. However, after doing this on 2008, I still couldn’t ping the machine.  After paying a bit more close attention, I found that the Windows 2008 Firewall has different profiles, each with their own firewall setting. While I had disabled the firewall for the domain, public and private where still active and blocking my connection.


After disabling the firewall on both of those profiles, I could happily ping the machine and connect to the SQL Server Instance running.

Installing Windows 2008 Enterprise Core Server RC1

Based on my previous post, I wanted to see what the difference was when installing the core edition of Windows server.  With the 2008 release, Microsoft have included a really streamlined version of Windows 2008 which you must configure manually based on what you actually want it to do for maximum performance. This is going to be great for splitting tasks (database, mail, web) over multiple virtual machines as they will all be really lightweight.

The install is the same, however you just need to select the core instead of full. When the server boots up, you will be shown the standard login screen.


Pressing Ctrl alt del, no users will be listed but you will be allowed to login as Other User (confusing).


Clicking that, you are shown the screen below. So, I gave it a go and entered Administrator as the username and left the password blank and entered myself a new password.  This worked and logged me in.


I was then shown a cmd prompt.


Thats it! That is Windows Server core.  Everything is done via the cmd – it’s so Linux! Time to get those scripting/command line skills back out. 

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Installing Windows 2008 Enterprise Server RC1

Over the weekend, I decided to have a quick look at Windows 2008 Enterprise Server as RC1 has been recently released.  You can download a free 30 day trail from here.  What I’m going to cover in this post is just how to get started and install the OS. I’m using VMWare 6 to install the operating system.

1) After booting of the DVD, the first task is to select your language and keyboard layout. Much like with Windows Vista.


2) Enter your license key information, leave it blank for the 30 day free trail.


3) Select the version of Windows 2008 to install, notice the difference between Full and Core. You can select three editions, Standard, Enterprise, Data centre based on the Enterprise ISO I downloaded.  Web sever is a separate download.


4) Windows will then go ahead and install the OS.


5) Done! The operating system is now full installed, it just needs a bit of config.  The first thing it does when it boots up is tell you that you need to change the Administrator password by entering a new password.



6) After setting the password, you will be logged in and an Initial configuration tasks dialog is displayed.  This is where you can configure the server, give it a correct name, turn of Windows Update (which is off by default) and configure the roles for the server.


7) If you select to add roles, you will be shown a list of possible roles the server can perform. For example, active directory domain servers, web server, DHCP server so you can mix and match to meet your requirements.


8) The other option is Select features.  This is where you can add different features, such as .Net 3.0 as only 2.0 is installed by default, and other stuff server type stuff!


Best feature: Desktop Experience – Make your Windows 2008 Enterprise Server look and act like Windows Vista!! Aero all the way baby!

That’s really it.  To get started with 2008 is really simple.  You can easily tell 2008 and Vista are closely related.

One thing I did notice, the Administrator account does not get prompted for UAC, but you can create a standard user which will have UAC.

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