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How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server

Install the Windows 7 client as you normally do and launch Internet Explorer. In the screenshot you see that you need to enable Intranet Settings. Click the Yellow Bar to see the options. One other thing is that you connect to a file that is named WindowsVista.aspx though you are joining a Windows 7 client.

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Last year (October 2008) SBS 2008 developers did not know precisely what kind of OS Windows 7 would be and they did not even know that it supposed to be named Windows 7. There were lots and lots of rumors but nobody knew for certain. Basically Windows 7 is the same OS as Windows Vista but it has been optimized and tuned to work quicker. And for sure it does!


Use the Connect Computer Program to join your client

  1. Browse to http://connect/windowsvista.aspx
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  2. Choose ‘Enable Intranet Settings’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  3. Click ‘Yes
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  4. Click ‘Start Connect Computer Program
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  5. Click ‘Run’ and if the UAC kicks in click Yes.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  6. Choose ‘Set up this computer for other users’ and click ‘Next’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  7. Click ‘Next’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  8. You need to fill in the credentials of a Network Administrator, click ‘Next’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  9. This is the place where you set the name of the workstation. Normally the name change would take place during a normal installation with for example Vista or XP but here SBS 2008 fails to join a Windows 7 client. You must NOT change the name here. If you do that the wizard will fail and does not run as it supposed to be doing. Later we will explain how to change the name of a workstation.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  10. Add the users you grant access to this PC. Click ‘Next’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  11. If you want to move existing user data and settings you can choose old logon names from the drop down menus. We don’t have any because this is a brand new workstation.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  12. Now you can assign the Level of Computer Access. It depends a bit on the applications you have on your Windows 7 client and sometimes you need to assign ‘Local Administrator’ permissions. For now click ‘Next’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  13. If you agree to the assigned settings click ‘Next’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  14. Click ‘Restart’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server

Rename a Windows 7 client that is joined to a SBS 2008

This step is really only needed because the Wizards while joining a Windows 7 client fails. We saw that in the previous chapter of this article.

  1. Logon to the Windows 7 client with a user name that has ‘Network Administrator’ permissions and right click ‘My Computer’ and click ‘Properties’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  2. Click ‘Change settings’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  3. Click ‘Change’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  4. Fill in the new Computer Name and click ‘OK
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  5. Click ‘OK
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  6. Click ‘Restart Now’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  7. After the Windows 7 client has been restarted right click ‘My Computer’ and choose ‘Properties’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  8. And indeed is the computer name changed in DESKTOP-01.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  9. And if you look in the Windows SBS Console you see that the computer name has been changed.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server

How to configure folder redirection

  1. On your SBS 2008 open the Windows SBS console, click ‘Shared Folders and Web Sites’ and in the right pane click ‘Redirect folders for user accounts to the server’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  2. Choose the documents you want to redirect and click on ‘User Accounts’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  3. Select user accounts for folder redirection and click OK.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  4. You will see a warning that you will need to logon three times before the policy change is applied.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server

Check folder redirection on the Windows 7 client

Now that we have configured folder redirection on the server we want to see what happened on the Windows 7 client.

  1. After 3 times logon open your ‘documents’ folder from the start menu.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  2. On the ‘My Documents’ folder you see the little green dot with the yellow sign in it. That means that folder is redirected to the server and made available offline.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  3. In your taskbar you will also see that sign. Double click it.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  4. In the Sync Center you can check your settings for offline files.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server

The final check in the event logs.

  1. Open a command prompt from the start menu and in the ‘Search programs and files’ box type ‘cmd’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  2. Click ‘cmd’ to start the command prompt.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  3. In the command prompt window type ‘gpupdate /force’ and type ‘Y’ to accept that we need to logoff.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  4. From the start menu type ‘event’ and click ‘Event Viewer’ to open the ‘Event Viewer’.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  5. Within the ‘Application Log’ you will several (in my case 5) informational events telling me that the folder redirection was successful. Double click on such an event to view the details.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  6. Here are the details of that event.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  7. Open a command prompt and type ‘gpresult /h GPreport.html’. The GPReport.html is saved in your personal folder.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server
  8. You see that the ‘Small Business Server Folder Redirection Policy’ is the winning GPO.
    How to join a Windows 7 client to a SBS 2008 server

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www.server-essentials.com is founded by Mariette Knap, a Dutch Microsoft MVP. www.server-essentials.com is a community for IT Consultants and Business Owners who, themselves, take care of the IT infrastructure and Employees who do that little extra in the company to keep things running. Our forum is for discussing all things ‘IT’ and more.  Our documentation is top notch and written by and for the community.

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