Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How the Connect to the Internet Wizard works

Last month I posted how the Internet Address Management Wizard works.  Today, over on the official blog, the Customer Support folks have enlightened you on how the Connect to the Internet Address Wizard works.

It's a very important blog post to read, especially if you want to optimize your installations of Windows SBS 2008.  Key things to know from this post include:

  • Automatic Router discovery only works on 192.168.x.1 and 192.168.x.254 for locations for your Router IP address
  • DHCP disabled on the router is the best configuration, to allow things to progress smoothly through setup
  • You can only setup SBS 2008 as a single-NIC environment, on a private IP address, like 192.168.x.x
  • DHCP on the SBS server will be setup in a Class-C Subnet ( in all cases
  • SBS will consume the network addressing of your router, if it's discoverable

Some things that weren't mentioned that I wanted to point out are the following:

  • If you change your Router at any time during the lifecycle of your SBS server, simply just run the Connect to the Internet Wizard again
  • If you want your IP address at a different IP than .2, you can simply change it within the network card, and run the Fix My Network Wizard.

Understanding the tools that come with Windows SBS 2008, will only make you faster and more efficient at your installs, so check out the Official SBS blog on CTIW!


Anonymous said...

Though I know it isn't the most common thing to do on an SBS server... I was wondering if it is possible to run a 2 NIC setup with both being pointed to the LAN with one NIC acting as a backup for redundancy. Has anybody done this yet?


Sean Daniel said...

Both the Connect to the Internet wizard, and Fix My Network wizard will disable any additional network cards on the same LAN, but after you have configured your network, you can add additional network cards, including setting up a Team.

Please note though, that if you run any of these wizards down the road, it will disable all but the first network card it finds. You may also need to disable the team to obtain support in some cases.

Very possible though.

Aristarkhos said...

Hi Sean,
"DHCP disabled on the router..."
Wanted to know why this is done. If I am a small business guy, i would not want to mess with my router configuration/settings...why is this a necessary step.

Sean Daniel said...

Hi Aristarkhos,

Router configuration is inevitable. You either need to disable DHCP and let SBS be the DHCP server, or configure the router's DHCP server to include SBS as the primary DNS server, otherwise the AD won't work.

From the 2003 product, we discovered that a very LARGE number of people don't know how to correctly configure the DHCP server on the router, and end up having AD DNS issues.

As a result, we strongly recommend running DHCP on the server, so we can ensure it's configured correctly. It's easier for folks to find the "off" switch for DHCP, then drill into the configuration.


Aristarkhos said...

Thanks Sean.
(I did not know DHCP had to be on for the AD to work. What if I want to continue using fixed IPs in the SBS network? I make them exceptions?)

As a side note:
I like the wizards, they do make things easier. The out-of-the-box SharePoint site is a nice touch.

Sean Daniel said...

Hey Aristarkhos,

You can continue to use Static IP addresses, although it seems like a lot of extra work to me. The trick here is that since you probably already have DHCP OFF on the router, the SBS 2008 box will discover your router, and then enable DHCP. If no one takes a lease, then there wouldn't be any conflicts. In the Advanced management console, you could choose to disable DHCP on the connectivity sub-tab.

What is the advantage of Static IPs? I'm not sure I follow why networking should be manually configured. Just seems like a lot of work. If a PC here or there needs the same IP, why wouldn't you use DHCP exceptions and always assign the PC the same IP address from the DHCP server? then it's all centrally managed.

Aristarkhos said...

Yes, I totally agree with you. I would use DHCP too. It's just that the current set up uses static IPs, since it is a really small office. Am just testing SBS out in this environment...if I were given a choice, I would always use DHCP. It is a pain finding out which IP is free...
Thanks for clearing my doubts.

mforys said...

I have already setup in our router NOT to use 192.168.x.x, but to use 10.10.1.x ... I already get the "cannot configure your router to open ports 25,80,443,987 etc.." warning/error when completing the Set up your Internet Address wizard... should I bring the router back to a 192.168.x.x scheme and reset the server nics, etc.. so i wont experience any problems down the road, or will there be any probs other than these warnings? (I manually setup each of these ports on the router to forward traffic to the local static IP of the sbs server)



Sean Daniel said...

You can use the 10.x.x.x subnet (as it is a non-routable subnet) with SBS 2008, the rason you are seeing the error that the wizard cannot configure the ports is because your router does not support UPnP protocol. It doesn't matter what the subnet is.

You will manually have to open these ports and point them to the 10.x.x.x IP address of the server in your local networker.

There is no loss of functionality with SBS 2008 for using either subnet. However, the Connect to the Internet Wizard may not detect your router on the 10.x.x.x subnet, but you can manually enter it.

Hope this helps!

Unknown said...

I searched For the topic finally i found this article really it is nice,I had found the Details about How the Connect to the Internet Wizard works thanks but i want the solutions to how to make my internet very very fast My uploading speed is very very slow Downloading is Ok..I checked out those speed in the site ip-details.complease help me thanks in advance..

Sean Daniel said...

Hey Hiprich, your internet speed is controlled by the speed of your computer (if it's struggling it can be the limiting factor, although typically not), the router and the connectivity modem (cable modem) you are using. Plus the allowed speed with ISP. I would check out for speed tests.

The server itself does nothing to speed or slow the internet connection.