Use the Windows EBS Preparation Wizard

Applies To: Windows Essential Business Server

The Preparation Wizard scans your network to verify that it is functioning properly and that it meets the specific technical requirements that you need to successfully deploy Windows EBS. If Windows EBS requires changes or updates in your environment, the wizard identifies the issue, and it guides you to Microsoft Knowledge Base articles for more information and procedures.

You must complete the Preparation Wizard before you can run the Planning Wizard. If the Preparation Wizard finds an error when it scans your environment, you must correct it and then rescan your environment to complete the wizard. You can keep the wizard open while you correct an issue.


The Preparation Wizard does not change any system or network settings. It analyzes your current environment and recommends actions that you should take to resolve issues it has found.

Firewall IP address

The Preparation Wizard collects information from you about the internal IP address settings for your existing network firewall. You should type the internal network address of the primary firewall or gateway device in your environment. If you are migrating from Windows Small Business Server (SBS), and you are using your Windows SBS server as a network firewall, you should type the internal network address of your Windows SBS server. The IP address settings that you type appear later in the Planning Wizard to help you plan the deployment of the Security Server in Windows EBS.

If you are deploying Windows EBS in an environment that does not have a network firewall (for example, a test network that connects to the Internet independently of your production network), you can still complete this page of the Preparation Wizard. In this scenario, type a valid IP address for your network (for example, a gateway address that is provided by an Internet service provider). If warning messages about these settings appear in the Preparation Wizard, you can safely ignore them in order to complete the preparation and planning steps.

Choose an Active Directory forest

When you run the Preparation Wizard, you choose how you plan to configure Active Directory Domain Services in Windows EBS. Your choice determines the checks that are included in the health scan.

Two options are available for configuring Active Directory Domain Services:

  • Connect to an existing domain. If your current environment includes Active Directory, in most cases you will join Windows EBS to the existing domain. When you run the Windows EBS Installation Wizard, your Active Directory environment is upgraded, and then the Management Server and the Messaging Server join your domain as domain controllers. Network services in your current environment that depend on Active Directory migrate automatically to Windows EBS during installation.

  • Set up a new root domain in a new forest. When you install Windows EBS, the Management Server and the Messaging Server become domain controllers in the root domain of the new forest. Select this option if you are not currently using Active Directory in your environment, or if you are planning to create a new domain. After you install Windows EBS, you need to manually move server roles (such as the DNS Server service and the DHCP Server service) and redirect mail flow from your existing environment

If you choose to connect to an existing domain, the wizard scans your Active Directory infrastructure and related network components to verify that they are functioning properly. If you plan to create a new forest, the Preparation Wizard verifies only that basic network services are working in your existing environment.

Health scan

After it establishes connections to components in your network, the Preparation Wizard scans components such as Active Directory Domain Services, the DHCP Server service, the DNS Server service, Exchange Server, network adapters, domain controllers, and other network services and components.

The Preparation Wizard uses Windows Management Interface (WMI) to scan several network components. You may be required to install WMI provider software (such as the DNS WMI provider) so that the Preparation Wizard can perform the health scan in your environment. This is likely if server workloads in your environment are running on the Windows 2000 Server operating system. If installing WMI provider software on a server is necessary, the wizard guides you to the Microsoft Web site to obtain the software. After you install the WMI provider software, restart the server before you scan the environment with the Preparation Wizard.

Depending on the configuration of your environment, the wizard performs more than 100 tests within a few minutes. The results of the scan are reported in the wizard. You can save or print a report for later reference.


If your network firewall prevents the Preparation Wizard from collecting data, you may need to stop your firewall for the duration of the health scan.


If the health scan reports the error “The name or security ID (SID) of the domain specified is inconsistent with the trust information for the domain,” you must change the SID on the computer that is running the Preparation Wizard. To do this, first remove the computer from the domain, and then run the NewSID tool. After the NewSID tool finishes, join the domain, and run the Preparation Wizard to complete the health scan. For download instructions and more information about NewSID, see the Microsoft Web site (

The Preparation Wizard scans and verifies the following:

  • Configuration of sites in Active Directory

  • Configuration of subnets in Active Directory

  • Replication of Active Directory

  • Replication of the file system and administration of the SYSVOL shared folders

  • Name resolution by DNS


    One test performed by the Preparation Wizard detects whether domain controllers are associated to a DNS zone. This association indicates that DNS is integrated with your Active Directory environment. If DNS is not integrated with your Active Directory environment, you need to perform additional steps to configure and migrate DNS settings after you install Windows EBS. Guidance for performing these steps is available at the Microsoft Web site (

  • Configuration of the network adapters of all servers in the network

  • Health of the domain controllers

  • Configuration of the Network Time Protocol (NTP) for all domain controllers

  • Configuration of Exchange Server

  • Configuration of the network

  • Entries in the Event Log that could indicate installation issues

  • Readiness of the environment to install Windows EBS


    The tests for readiness to install Windows EBS are described in the following section.

Windows Essential Business Server readiness

The Preparation Wizard health scan verifies that your network environment meets the licensing and the technical requirements for deploying and running Windows EBS. These requirements include the following:

Requirement Purpose

Microsoft® System Center Essentials 2007 is not installed in your environment.

Windows EBS includes System Center Essentials. If you already have System Center Essentials, you must uninstall it before you run the Windows EBS Installation Wizard. In the System Center Essentials console, in the Administration view, select all agent-managed computers. Then in the Actions pane, click Uninstall. After you uninstall the management agents, use Control Panel to uninstall System Center Essentials.

Domain controllers in your existing environment that are running the Windows Server 2003 or the Windows 2000 Server operating system are updated with the most recent service packs.

Your existing domain controllers must be updated with the most recent service packs to be compatible with Active Directory Domain Services in Windows EBS. (Domain controllers that are running Windows NT® cannot be updated to work with Windows EBS.)

Operations master role owners are in the same local Active Directory site.

If you are joining an existing domain, the Windows EBS Installation Wizard requires that all of the operations master roles exist in your local Active Directory site. The Installation Wizard will transfer the roles to the servers running Windows EBS.

Your Active Directory forest does not have a trust relationship with another forest.

The licensing requirements for Windows EBS do not allow trusts outside of the Active Directory forest. Any trusts outside of the forest will be removed automatically after a grace period that follows the installation of Windows EBS.

Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004 has Service Pack 3 installed.

If a computer in the domain is running Windows Small Business Server 2003, and ISA Server 2004 is installed, this requirement ensures that Windows EBS will import firewall rules successfully.

The number of users and devices in Active Directory complies with the licensing agreement for Windows EBS.

In Windows EBS, your environment can have up to 300 licensed user accounts or client devices, in any combination. In addition, you are required to have fewer than 30 servers. These requirements are enforced after a grace period that follows the installation of Windows EBS.

Dynamic updates are enabled on DNS root zones

If you are currently using Active Directory with integrated DNS, dynamic updates must be enabled. (This option is turned on by default when DNS is integrated with Active Directory.) This requirement ensures that the servers for Windows EBS will be registered correctly in DNS when you run the Windows EBS Installation Wizard.

Resolving issues found by the Preparation Wizard

If the Preparation Wizard finds an issue that requires attention, the wizard describes the problem, indicates the severity, and links you to guidance at the Microsoft Web site (such as a Knowledge Base article) to help you resolve the issue.

For more information about troubleshooting issues in your Active Directory environment, see the Microsoft Web site (

Two kinds of issues are reported by the Preparation Wizard:

  • Errors   Issues that must be corrected to complete the Preparation Wizard and to continue with the deployment of Windows EBS. In most cases, an error would prevent the successful installation of Windows EBS. For example, an existing domain controller may be unable to replicate data.

  • Warnings   Issues that may interfere with the configuration or operation of Windows EBS. You are not required to correct these issues. However, it is recommended that you investigate and correct them.

After you make changes to correct issues, scan your environment again with the Preparation Wizard to verify the corrections. You may need to scan your environment several times to find and correct all potential issues that are found by the Preparation Wizard. After you resolve all the issues that require attention and complete a scan that verifies the health of your environment, you have completed the Preparation Wizard.


Changes to the configuration of DNS or Active Directory may take several hours to propagate completely through your network. You need to wait before you rescan your environment to confirm your corrections.


When you install Windows EBS, the Installation Wizard may require additional configuration changes in your Active Directory environment. You may be required at that time to update the Active Directory schema level on an existing domain controller so that it is compatible with Windows Server 2008. If this is necessary, you are prompted to run the Schema Upgrade Tool that is included on the Prerequisite Planning Tools disc.