The hardware:
Dell Optiplex GX240

The software:
Microsoft Windows 2003 Server (initial release)

Total Time:
Roughly 45 minutes

The Instructions
1. Insert the Windows Server 2003 CD into the CD Rom.
2. Reboot
3. Press F12 on the initial loading screen (Dell Logo) to enter the Boot Menu.
4. Select boot from Optical Drive (in this case the On-board SATA CD Drive)
5. Press Enter when you are at the Windows Setup screen. This will set up Windows now.
6. Agree to the End User License Agreement (commonly referred to as EULA) by pressing F8.
7. Delete any partitions by selecting and them and pressing D.
8. Confirm your choice by pressing L when prompted.
9. Create the partition(s) by pressing C and specifying the size. The Optiplex 240 comes with a 20GB Hard Drive, of which 19GB is usable. For our intentions, we don’t need much space on the C: Drive, but we would like a sizable portion for data. We created a 6GB (6000MB) drive for C:, which will hold our applications. Then, we created a 12GB D: Drive for the data. The remainder, about 3 GB, we will leave as unpartitioned space.
10. Format the hard drive. Choose the quick format option only if there is nothing there, or your crunched for time. The regular format process is much longer, particularly on larger drives, but will result in a cleaner drive.

Windows will now format the drive and begin the automatic installation. (Feel free to walk away, unless you’ve used a floppy disk on installation, which will need to be ejected prior to the automatic reboot.) Then, Windows will load the installation files and reboot starting Windows XP. At this point, Windows continues the automatic installation and continues to provide a status bar, showing you what progress is being made.

11. Set the regional or language settings (e.g. keyboard inputs, etc.)
12. Enter a name and organization name.
13. Enter the product key (activation code).
14. Enter your Licensing information.
15. Enter the computer name and an administrative password (twice).

Two Cent Tip: choose an easily remembered password for your administrator account on installation. This is only for local administration and you will likely not use it much, if you are operating in a domain. It will have to meet Windows 2003 password complexity requirements.

16. Enter the time and time zone.
17. At the Networking Settings screen, you can put in either your Typical or Custom Settings. Typically, I go with Typical. Click Next.
18. At the Workgroup or Computer domain, leave it on workgroup. Click Next.

Windows will reboot upon completion and upon restart Windows will prompt you to login to a fully operational server.

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