Before you install Windows SBS 2011 Standard

Published: March 10, 2011

Applies To: Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard

Before you begin your installation of Windows SBS 2011 Standard, perform the following tasks:

  1. Ensure that your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements. This includes determining if you need additional hardware and verifying that the drivers for your hardware are supported by Windows SBS 2011 Standard.

    For more information, see What are the hardware requirements?.

    To find hardware and software that is compatible with Windows SBS 2011 Standard, see the Windows Server Catalog.


Before you install Windows SBS 2011 Standard on a pre-existing computer, we recommend that you fully format and then repartition the hard disks of the pre-existing computer. By formatting and repartitioning the hard disks, you remove the possibility that hidden partitions remain on the hard disks.

  1. Prepare your network. For information about how to prepare your network before you install Windows SBS 2011 Standard, see Prepare your network for installing Windows SBS 2011 Standard.

  2. Complete the Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard Installation Worksheet. Taking time to collect the information and to complete the Installation Worksheet helps make the Windows SBS 2011 Standard installation process easier. It also documents the initial installation details of your network for future reference.

    To review and print the worksheet, see the Windows Small Business Server 2011 Installation Worksheet.

  3. Determine how to install Windows SBS.

  4. Determine if you will perform an unattended installation. An unattended installation is used by some installers to complete the installation without requiring a person to click through the installation screens. If you want to perform an unattended installation, you must create the required answer files. An answer file contains the information that is needed to complete the installation.

    You can create an answer file that contains your server information, company information, and network administrator account information by using the Windows Small Business Server 2011 Answer File Tool. For information about how to use an answer file to perform an unattended installation, see Tell Me More About Using Answer Files.

    You can create additional answer files to use during the operating system installation stage if you plan to install Windows SBS 2011 Standard from the DVD. For more information, see the Windows Automated Installation Kit for Windows 7.

  5. Read the Windows SBS 2011 Standard release documentation. The release documentation contains the latest information that may be critical to properly installing and configuring Windows SBS 2011 Standard. To view or print release documentation, see Release Documentation for Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard.