Introducing the Windows Small Business Server 2008 Best Practices Analyzer

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

The Windows Small Business Server 2008 Best Practices Analyzer (BPA) examines a server that is running Windows Small Business Server 2008 (Windows SBS 2008), and then it presents a list of information and errors, which are sorted by severity, that you should review. The list describes each issue, and it provides a recommendation about what you should do to resolve the issue. The recommendations are developed by the product support organization for Windows SBS 2008. The Windows SBS 2008 BPA collects information about the configuration of your server from many sources, including the following:

  • Active Directory Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

  • Registry

  • Metabase

Key features of the Windows Small Business Server 2008 Best Practices Analyzer

The Windows SBS 2008 BPA is designed specifically for Windows SBS 2008. This section describes key features of the BPA.

Integration with the Windows SBS Console

When you install the Windows SBS 2008 BPA on the server, you can choose to integrate the tool so that, if it finds errors during the scan, it triggers an alert in the Windows SBS Console. If you enable this feature during installation, Windows SBS 2008 BPA Setup schedules a task to run a Windows SBS 2008 BPA scan each day at 2:05 A.M. If the scan detects an error, a Critical alert appears in the Other Alerts section of the Windows SBS Console. If this alert appears, manually run the Windows SBS 2008 BPA to view details of the error and to view information about how to solve the problem.

The Windows SBS Console refreshes the status of the Windows SBS 2008 BPA scan each day at 2:05 A.M. Therefore, if you change the configuration of your server, any changes to the results of the Windows SBS 2008 BPA scan do not appear in the Windows SBS Console until after the next scan.

To ensure that the Windows SBS Console updates the results of the Windows SBS 2008 BPA scan each day, make sure that the server is running at 2:05 A.M. If you want to change the time that the scan runs, open Task Scheduler to the Task Scheduler Library node, double-click Windows SBS 2008 Best Practices Analyzer Task, and then edit the Trigger.

You can integrate the Windows SBS 2008 BPA with the Windows SBS Console only when you first install the Windows SBS 2008 BPA. You cannot disable or uninstall this feature separately. If you want to disable this feature, reinstall the Windows SBS 2008 BPA and do not enable the feature during installation. Reinstalling the Windows SBS 2008 BPA does not remove the previous scan report file.

By default, Windows SBS 2008 sends a notification e-mail message when an event log error is detected, including errors that are detected during a Windows SBS 2008 BPA scan. If you do not want to receive these notifications, click View notification settings on the Network page of the Windows SBS Console, and then clear the associated check box on the Event Log errors tab.


You can use the Updates feature in the Windows SBS 2008 BPA to select whether you want to automatically check the Web for a newer version of the Windows SBS 2008 BPA installation and configuration files each time you run the tool. If a newer version of the installation file is available, the Update feature automatically downloads the file, removes the outdated configuration file from the server, and then installs the new configuration file.

If an updated version of the installation file is not available, the Update feature checks to see if an updated configuration file is available for download, and then updates the configuration file accordingly.


Because the Update feature removes the outdated configuration file, settings for that file are lost. You need to reconfigure those settings manually, after you install the new configuration file.

Command line support

The Windows SBS 2008 BPA now includes a command line utility that enables you to run a scan manually or to schedule a scan from a command prompt. The file bpacmd.exe is located in the root folder where you installed the Windows SBS 2008 BPA.

To run the Windows SBS BPA from a command prompt

  1. Open a command prompt with elevated permissions. To do this, click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

  2. At the command prompt, open the SBSBPA root folder. In a default installation, this folder is in C:\Program Files (x86)\SBSBPA.

  3. To run a scan immediately, type bpacmd.exe. The scan results are saved to the default BPA scan result folder: %AppData%\Microsoft\SBSBPA.


To display a complete list of switches that you can use with the Windows SBS 2008 BPA, type bpacmd.exe /?.

Where to obtain the Windows Small Business Server Best Practices Analyzer

You can download the Windows SBS 2008 BPA from the Microsoft Web site (