After the installation process for Windows Server 2003 R2 is complete, you may or may not insert the R2 disc as prompted. However, you should definitely allow that step to proceed during the post installation process, mainly to ensure that the system correctly displays its versioning as Windows Server 2003 R2. This is the same situation for the Standard and Enterprise versions of Windows Server 2003.Once the base installation is complete and after the first boot, it's time to insert the disc (see Figure A). Figure A
If this step was skipped on a system that was built as Windows Server 2003 R2, yet the splash screens and system information screen do not reflect the Windows Server 2003 R2 designation, the problem is easy to correct.
On the second disc of Windows Server 2003 R2, simply run the R2Auto.exe file and perform the copy operation. This will install the Windows components that designate Windows Server 2003 R2. It would be a good idea to rerun any updates jsut as you would when pulling anything off of the original product CD (such as installing a feature and needing to access the I386 directory).
For domain controllers to function at the Windows Server 2003 R2 level on the domain (schema level 31), some domain tools are kept on the second disc CD for this to function. While you can run schema level 31 on non-Windows Server 2003 R2 domain controllers, the adprep and other tools to raise the domain functionality to this level are kept on the Windows Server 2003 R2 second disc. By raising the domain functionality to schema level 31, it will enable distributed file system replication (DFS-R), among other Windows Server 2003 R2 features, when used in Active Directory environments.
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Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.