A few things to avoid if you are installing Server 2012 Essentials R2

Most companies that purchase a Server 2012 Essentials R2 server will receive the unit preloaded.  However, if you are loading the server yourself there are a few things you need to watch out for in order to make your life a tad easier!

  • If the server has multiple NIC’s, use only one and disable rest in BIOS.
  • Make sure that you have no devices on the LAN that serve up DHCP or somehow “bridge” the network to another network.
  • Make sure you have properly configured your firewall to allow outbound traffic from the LAN.
  • Follow the wizards and DON’T get ahead of yourself!  Let WSE2012 do the heavy lifting for you.
  • Work though all of the Setup steps in order.  You can skip the things you don’t need but make sure you roll through all the steps in the order the are laid out.
  • If you are using a non-PNP firewall (any Enterprise-grade unit like a Sonicwall will NOT be PNP) then make sure you make the appropriate rules in the firewall to allow WSE2012 connectivity.  At bare minimum you need 443 pointing at the server.
  • Resist the urge to ladle on additional services or configurations until you have ALL the basics in place and functioning.  WSE2012 is somewhat like older SBS installs; you need to let it do its thing, completely, before you start to mess with it.

These few simple things will go a long way towards making your install go smoother.