Network Setup

#1
Hello everybody, I got a POS software for my business and the software requires a server so I bought a server. The server has windows server 2008 installed. My problem is that I'm not familiar with this OS and in Puerto Rico is pretty hard to find knowledgeable people for this. I'm pretty familiar with XP so I have some computer knowledge. The POS software has some requirements for the network (I will post the requirements). If someone could point me in the right direction on how to setup this network it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Jose

POS software requirements link Windward Self Help - Online Manual
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#2
Jadames:
Hello and welcome to the forums.
I'm sure there are several people here that may be able to help with general questions regarding the network setup. But, specific questions regarding that particular software may be better addressed by the software vendor.
First check with them regarding any known issues with W2k8 server and if you're using Windows 2008 server r2, make sure you include specifically the reference to r2.
The best practices area of their site referenceing
Server principles
Ensure your network share to be used is set to both R/W (read and write) access.
Ensure a static IP address is set on server to avoid the server changing its IP address during operation.
DNS should resolve properly
Keep server name simple, i.e. "server" or "server2k3"
Seems pretty straight forward but it references 2k3 and not 2k8 so make sure that their latest version of the software supports W2k8 and or W2k8r2, with no known issues.
If you have problems with the underlying network issue let us know and we'll attempt to help.
There best practices area reference client setup
Workstation principles
A mapped drive letter to the server will need to be in place. We recommend drive W: mapped to a share on the server, generally named "WINDWARD" with full Read and Write permissions. Read and write permissions will need to be configured for all users and administrators on each workstation computer that will be accessing the "WINDWARD" share. Please consult with your computer tech for making these permissions changes if you need assistance.
If using a workgroup, user accounts used to sign into workstation should also exist on the server.
If using a domain, ensure configured correctly with correct user permissions. (A Windows Domain is not required but normally a good idea for network administration)
Again sounds pretty straight forward, if you have any problems with drive mapping or permissions, we should be able to help there as well.
You don't make mention of what operating system you are going to be using on the client machines so you may want to include that info in future posts, as there are some considerations regarding the client OS, as it relates to joining a domain, if you should choose the Domain Option as opposed to the Workgroup option.

We'll certainly do our best in assisting you where possible but you should also make sure that you have a good reliable customer support link to the software vendor in case problems arise that are not related to the underlying network infrastructure such as printing issues and the like.
 


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#3
yes they support W2k8r2. I'm going to use the domain option, should I use active directory? The clients are running XP pro. I need some help on setting up the domain and active directory.
 


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Noob Whisperer
#4
OK.
First make sure that the server has a simple name like w2k8svr1 or something else simple avoiding spaces and names that may exceed 8 characters (just simpler later on when addressing issues) and has a static IP address, like private reserved 192.168.1.2 (base this on your actual network configuration for the lan side of the router that you are using for a default gateway.
Then on the 2008 server add DNS to the server, should be under the add role options. Don't have mine running right now but I'm pretty sure.
Then hold the windows key and hit the "R" on the server to bring up the run dialog box and then type ncpa.cpl into the box and hit enter. Select then right click the network interface card that you are using (disable all others to avoid any issues with multihomed DNS problems) and then in the properties dialog box unchekc IPv6, then select IPv4 and click the properties button.
Make sure that the server is pointing at itself and only at itself for DNS resolution by typing the static IP address of the server into the preferred DNS server address box, leave the alternate empty. You may see it later revert to 127.0.0.1, but don't worry about it, that's just the loopback address which amounts to the same thing. Make sure your default gateway address reflects the inside address of the router that you are using and OK your way back out of there. Go ahead and reboot the server, probably unnecessary but it never hurts.
Then add the active directory server role by either choosing it from the available list of server roles or by simply typing dcpromo into the run dialog box. Most of the defaults should be ok for you just make sure when naming the domain you stick with something like mydomain.lan and avoid using real top level domain suffixes like .com or .net etc.
 


#5
I did everything you said. the controller was created and it joined the domain. but when it restarter I got 2 "check for licensing compliance is incomplete. is that normal?
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#6
Yep, most of the time when you by a server license it will include a 5 client (per user /per server) license pack. So you may need to launch the licensing service (snapin) on the computer, usually found under administrative tools and enter your license information. Double check the event viewer and make sure that your sure as to what is complaining about license compliance so you don't end up chasing the wrong issue. If, as you said, you "bought a server" then I would have expected that some of that would have been taken care of already. But if you bought the server and the OS seperately then you have to do everything yourself. Use the built-in help applet to help point you in the right direction to resolve some of these issues.

This may help: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/client-licensing.aspx
 


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#7
The Server came with the OS already installed and I activated it already.I don't know if it matters but the version that I got is windows server 2008 foundation edition that has a limit of 15 clients.I would only have a maximum of 10. I would check on what you told me tomorrow. I'll let you know of what happens. Thanks
 


#8
licence issue is resolved.

I got a pretty good idea oh how to do it but I would like to make sure is right.

"A mapped drive letter to the server will need to be in place. We recommend drive W: mapped to a share on the server, generally named "WINDWARD" with full Read and Write permissions. Read and write permissions will need to be configured for all users and administrators on each workstation computer that will be accessing the "WINDWARD" share."
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#9
Pretty much self explanitory. But make sure you note their caveat regarding UNC evidently their software doesn't support the normal universal naming convention way of browsing and mapping a network drive on the clients.
So after you setup the share on the folder called windward (I think that name and folder is a product of installing their software on the server and not something that you have to create) (set share permissions full control to everybody group) then use the security tab to make the folder security more granular, be as specific as possible, granting individual users read and write to the shared folder. You may even want to create a new security group called POS and add the users to it, and then you can just select that group when granting NTFS permissions under the security tab.)
To map the network drive on the client machines according to their recommendations you will need to use the net use command
net use w:\\ServerName\windward /persistent:yes
 


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#10
do you know how I can migrate the local user account on the client computers to the domain?
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#11
No I don't and that is probably not what you want to do because typically what you would do is from within active directory users and computers, you would create a new user account (actually multiple user accounts but start with one). Then after you have joined the computer to the domain making sure that it is pointing to your Domain Controller/DNS server for name resolution, you would log on to the client computer with the domain credentials you just created. Then after that domain user has established a local profile on the client machine you might want to migrate or actually copy his old local profile to his new local profile. I hope I understood your question and didn't make things more confusing. The only value of having profiles for users on the server would be if they were logging on locally to the server and that's probably not what you want to do nor is considered best practices from a security standpoint. Here's an article about copy profiles for XP users, since you said that your client machines are XP pro.
Microsoft Corporation
We'll be here if you have further questions....not always but frequently.
EDIT: And if you're talking about roaming user profiles, then that will require a great deal more explaining.
 


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Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#12
Also as an aside, when copying profiles it will help if you have included the domain user account to the local computers administators group (not domain administrators group) just on the local XP machine.
And also when you do the copying do not be logged on as either user that you are copying from or too, as certain files will fail to copy if they are in use. So use a different user account with adminstrator privledges.
 


#13
Ok I think your right I don't really need a domain For each computer that I have. If the computer are logged in on a local account it will work for the POS software. And if I am the only person that work with the server I don't need more domain accounts, would the domain administrator account suffice? Am I getting this or am I completely lost?.
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#14
Ok I think your right I don't really need a domain For each computer that I have.
I think we're not understanding something here. A "DOMAIN" is something that you already have, you configured DNS and ran DCPROMO, and so basically the DOMAIN is present. Now all you are doing is adding to it by joining computers to it, making them "DOMAIN COMPUTERS" and adding users to it, making them "DOMAIN USERS". So yes each client computer will need to join the DOMAIN and each user that actually logs onto one of those client computer will also need to become a domain member, for this DOMAIN model to function properly.
If the computer are logged in on a local account it will work for the POS software.
No it probably will not, that's the idea of the DOMAIN model and using DOMAIN users and computers.
And if I am the only person that work with the server I don't need more domain accounts,
This is not accurate, since the DataBase and other pieces of the POS software reside on and will be hosted by the server you will need more domain accounts, but not to log on to the server. To log onto the client computers with DOMAIN usernames and passwords, that will permit them to access the software share "WINDWARD" on the server.
would the domain administrator account suffice? Am I getting this or am I completely lost?.
Generally it is not considered best practices to use the Domain administrator's account to do normal day to day work, nor is it considered a best practice to use it on client machines throughout the domain. So no, don't use the domain administrators account for anything except those tasks that require it but definitely not for normal business activity. It seems that you may be having a bit of a problem, with the domain concept and that's not at all unusual it's probably not all that easy to understand.
But if you think that it is going to cause an issue down the road and make things more difficult instead of easier then you should probably abandon the domain model and go back to the workgroup model before it's too late.
 


#15
Ok, now I understand. I have applications intalled locally on the client computers, would I be able to use them when I'm logged as a domain user?
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#16
Yes certainly. There may be an adjustment or two required but I believe that a domain user account is added to the local users group for domain joined computers so it shouldn't be an issue. If it looks like a problem then we can flip a switch or two to fix it.
 


#17
Would you be able to tell me how to do it? I know I'm asking a lot of questions and I appreciate your patience and understanding, seriously I dont have nobody else to consult and here in PR. is hard to find people knowledgeable in this field specially so deep in the country as I am. well imagine the name of my store is Country Auto Parts.
 


Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#18
Sure, I'll do what I can, when I can. I'm not always online so there will be times when my answer isn't going to be as prompt as it could be but I'll help as much as I can.
First have you created a new user in Active Directory Users and Computers on the Domain Controller?
If you haven't then start with that.
Second, do you have a client computer that you have joined to the domain?
If not, on one of the XP machines, right click My Computer and Choose properties.
Then at the top select the Computer Name tab
Then click the change button
Select the Domain radio button and enter the name of your DNS Domain that you created with DNS and DCpromo.
You'll be prompted for a username and password...use the Domain Admins account and password
If it produces an error message about not being able to find the authentication server that means that your client machine is not pointing at your domain DNS server. You will need to set the ip address of the Domain Controller into the properties of IPv4 in the properties of each client machines network card. Use only your Domain Controller's IP address and no other, leave the second box blank, you shouldn't need it if DNS is working properly.
Once you have successfully joined the client computer to the domain, you should be able to log on as domain administrator, or as any domain user.
This is where it might be a good idea to include the domain users group into the local administrators group on the client machine.
You need to be logged on to the client machine as the domain administrator and then on the client computer (XP machine) right click my computer and choose manage
In the left pane expand "Local Users and Groups"
Then highlight "Groups"
In the right pane double click administrators and select the "add" button
Make sure in the Locations section it's looking at your domain name, if not click locations button and change where it's looking.
then click advanced
then find now
then scroll and select "Domain Users" and OK your way back out of there.
Reboot and log back on as the new domain user you created earlier.
The user should be able to run any program that has been previously installed on the local computer as well as get updates, install new programs, and anything else he or she needs to do on the local client machine.
 


#19
All right the POS installation happend today with no problems at all thank you very much. everything is working perfect. but I have a little problem, one of my client computer show up twice in the network page on the server, and for some reason there is two local administrator account on the computer itself. one is administrator and the other one is administrator.T2 (the T2 is the name of the computer)
 


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Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#20
All right the POS installation happend today with no problems at all thank you very much. everything is working perfect. but I have a little problem, one of my client computer show up twice in the network page on the server, and for some reason there is two local administrator account on the computer itself. one is administrator and the other one is administrator.T2 (the T2 is the name of the computer)
Glad to hear that the software install went well. The issue with the one client computer showing up multiple times could be just a matter of latent NetBIOS information and will probably correct itself on it's own or you could try to flush the netbios information from the server by opening a command prompt and typing nbtstat -R or
and just as likely the problem is due to some residual DNS information regarding the host name of the client computer and an old IP address which has not been scavenged yet. This will also probably resolve on its' own or you can open DNS and edit the entries regarding that client manually if you would like.
The other issue regarding multiple administrator accounts is also not a problem it is only indicating that perhaps at sometime in the past you or someone else had logged onto the client machine with the local administrators account and subsequently logged on with the domain administrators account, each time building a respective profile and the .T2 is windows way of tracking the two accounts and allowing you to track which one is which.
Hope this helps, sorry for the late reply but I have been unavailable lately.
Hope to continue to see you around
Good luck.
 


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