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Hour 3. Configuring Windows Server 2008 Basic Settings

What You’ll Learn in This Hour:

Windows Server 2008 has a slightly different look and feel when compared to the previous version—Windows Server 2003—of Microsoft’s network operating system. It now embraces a somewhat similar desktop to Windows Vista. It also embraces a similar Start menu system and set of Control Panel applets.

Accessing administrative features for the local computer (such as local users and disk management) can still be accomplished through the Computer Management snap-in; however, Windows Server 2008 also provides a Server Manager console that enables you to work with both local computer settings and network server roles and features. This provides more of a “one-stop shopping” approach to managing a server running Windows Server 2008. In this hour, you’ll look at the basic administrative environment for Windows Server 2008.

Working with the Server Start Menu

Windows Server 2008 began as part of the overall development process that resulted in Windows Vista for the desktop and now Windows Server 2008 for the network environment. Windows Server has gone through a long development process known as “Longhorn,” and is a complementary server environment to Window Vista’s client desktop environment (particularly the Business Edition of Vista, designed for networks running Windows servers).

The Windows Server 2008 desktop provides a completely uncluttered workspace. The only icon provided by default is the Recycle Bin. The Start menu has also been updated as it has been with Vista (updated when compared to Windows Server 2003 and the versions of Windows XP).

In the first column, quick access icons to Server Manager, the command prompt, Windows Update, Internet Explorer, and Notepad are provided. Programs that you have used recently also are listed in this first tier of the Start menu. In addition, the first column of the Start menu provides access to all the programs on the computer via All Programs. When you click All Programs to access the Start menu, the list of available software appears in the first column. Clicking Back closes the list.

The Search feature has also been moved to the first column of the Start menu. Click in the Start Search box and type a search term. Results appear as you type. Click any of the links in the Search Results pane (in the first column of the Start menu) to access any of the “hits” that appear based on your search criteria (see Figure 3.1). You can close the Search Results pane by clicking the Close button to the right of the Search box.

Figure 3.1. The Start menu provides quick access to tools, search, and settings.

The second column of the Start menu provides access to other important tools, such as Computer (My Computer in previous versions of Windows), Network (the local network), Control Panel, Administrative Tools, and Help and Support. A link for the current user (such as Administrator) also provides quick access to the folders that have been created for that user.

Did you Know?

If you want to change the Start menu to the Classic Start menu (of previous Windows versions), right-click the Start button and select Properties. In the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog box, select Classic Start Menu and then click OK.

The Start menu also provides easy access to the Shut Down and Lock commands and also provides single-button access to other commands such as Switch User, Log Off, and Restart. As with Windows Server 2003, the Shut Down command requires that you provide a reason for shutting down in the Shut Down Windows dialog box (see Figure 3.2).

Figure 3.2. You must provide a reason for shutting down the system.

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