System requirements for installing Windows SBS 2008

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

Before you attempt to install Windows SBS 2008, ensure that your computer meets at least the minimum hardware requirements listed in this section, determine if you need additional hardware, and verify that the drivers for your hardware are supported by the Windows Server® 2008 operating system.


If you purchased a server from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) with Windows SBS 2008 preinstalled, the OEM verified that your server meets the minimum system requirements.

Hardware requirements


Primary server

Additional server



Processor performance depends not only on the clock frequency of the processor, but also on the number of cores and the size of the processor cache.

2 GHz 64-bit (x64)

1 socket (4 sockets maximum)

2 GHz 32-bit or 64-bit

1 socket (4 sockets maximum)

Physical memory

Minimum: 4 GB

Recommended: 6 to 8 GB

32 GB maximum

Minimum: 2 GB

Maximum for 32-bit: 4 GB

Maximum for 64-bit: 32 GB

Disk space

The disk space requirements for the system partition are approximate. You may need additional available hard-disk space if you are installing over a network.

60 GB

Minimum: 10 GB

Recommended: 40 GB

DVD drive



Network adapter

One supported Ethernet adapter

One supported Ethernet adapter

Monitor and video adapter

Super VGA (SVGA) monitor and video adapter with 1024 x 768 or higher resolution

Network devices

One router that supports IPv4 NAT or IPv6

For a list of supported routers, see the Windows Hardware Compatibility Web site (

Optional network devices

  • Device required by Internet service provider (ISP) to connect to the Internet

  • One or more switches to connect client computers and other devices to the local network


Some Internet functionality may require a Windows Live ID Account

As you prepare your hardware for installation, choose how to partition the drives on your server. For increased performance and easier backup and restoration, consider placing your system and data partitions on separate physical hard disk drives. At a minimum, you should create one partition (on drive C) for the operating system and applications, and a separate partition for data. As an option, you may consider using redundant storage technologies, such as RAID5 or RAID1, to help protect your data. For more information, see the Disk management in Windows SBS 2008 section of this document.

Depending on the needs of your small business, you may want to use additional hardware, such as the following:

  1. An external storage drive that supports USB 2.0 or IEEE 1394. You can use multiple external storage drives for backup, and you can rotate the drives between onsite and offsite storage locations. This can improve your disaster preparedness by helping you recover your data if physical damage occurs to the hardware onsite.

  2. Uninterruptible power supply (UPS). It is recommended that you connect your computer running Windows SBS 2008 to a UPS to protect your computer from damage that can occur due to a loss of power. You can configure the UPS to shut down the server if the power goes out. For information about configuring a UPS, see the documentation from the UPS manufacturer.


Hardware detection in a Windows Server operating system can cause some UPS devices to switch to battery mode, which may cause the installation to fail. When you install the operating system, unplug any UPS devices. After you finish installing the operating system, you can plug in the UPS devices.