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  1. #1
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    Can Win SBS 11 E be set up as a workgroup?

    I would like to install Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials as only a Workgroup. I do not need active directory, DNS or DHCP services, nor do I want it to create a domain. Is this at all possible?

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  3. #2
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    In theory, I think you could demote the SBS installation and then remove it from a domain. However, I think you would need to domain join it first during the installation and then remove it later.

    In practice though, I think you will be creating much more work for yourself and the resulting installation my end up a nightmare to manage.

    Without AD, DNS or DHCP, it might be worthwhile thinking about what server roles and features you do you want to use. Then consider if there is a better way of implementing them rather than using a crippled Server installation. For example, if all you need is a simple network storage location, then maybe a simple NAS box connected to a workgroup would do the trick.

  4. #3
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    Thanks for the reply, Tinto Tech. So far I can't find any way around setting up a domain during the installation. I agree that it will probably be more grief to demote it later; hence, I'll set up the domain and convert all the workstations to that domain. Although from what I've read that also does not often go very smoothly. Just as a follow up: the installation is in a small office with 15 computers, therefore a server OS is required. They were attached to a machine running Server 2003, which was functioning solely as a file server on a workgroup. Everything ran fine until a short blew out the motherboard. Although the pricing on Essentials is a good deal, once again Microsoft has dumbed it down so much as to be selling us crippleware!

  5. #4
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    hikesalot,

    if there are 15 machines in the office, using an SBS installation with AD, DNS, DHCP, plus Exchange, VPN etc, etc makes a lot of sense.

    Creating a domain and installing the SBS is relatively straightforward following the wizards, and there are plenty of resources available to assist if you need it. Personally I would (and have) installed SBS in situations like these, but it is dependendant on your preferences: if you feel SBS is not for you, change to a peer-to-peep topology and look at network resources such as NAS, or even install Server 2008 R2 on the workgroup to act as a simple file server.

    A final thought: the biggest hurdle you may face with an SBS is that your client PC's need to be running a business class OS such as XP Pro, Vista Business or Win7 Pro in order to join the domain. That sticking point may force you down the route of a peer-to-peer network in which case you don't need the SBS.

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