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NT Server 4.0
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Server Admin




    Welcome to the NT Server 4.0 Study Session

TechRepublic, THE site for IT professionals

    NT Server is a 32 bit operating system designed to provide network file, print and application services. It is the cornerstone to the Microsoft Certification Program. It is also the main operating system you need to learn in order to be a good network engineer. It is important that you have at a bare minimum installed this system on several different machines and are very familiar with all the server tools inside the operating system.

Installation and Configuration 

Minimum Requirements

Hardware Component Windows NT Server Windows NT Workstation
Processor 486/33 486/33
Memory 16 MB Ram 12 MB Ram
Hard Drive Space 124 MB 117 MB
Floppy Disk Drive 3.5 High Density 3.5 High Density
CD- ROM Required, if not installing from network Required, if not installing from network
Network Adapter Optional, but needed for network installation Optional, but needed for network installation
Mouse Optional Optional
Display VGA or better VGA or better

Preinstallation Check List

    It is always a good idea to perform a preinstallation check of components to make sure everything is compatible with NT. First run the NTHQ. The latest version can be downloaded from Microsoft's Web Site

  1. Mass Storage devices - make sure you have the manufacturs name, model , and hardware settings for each hard drive (SCSI or IDE) and CD-ROM drive in your system.
  2. Network Adapters - It is a good idea to have the manufactors drivers for NT at hand. I've seen adapters that the NTHQ. identified as compatible cause an installation to fail because of drivers.



   If there is a previous operating system on your computer the setup program will detect it and ask you if you want to upgrade.  If you choose yes, Window NT will be installed in the same directory as the previous system and all the user preferences and applications will be upgraded. This is not recommended by Microsoft. Microsoft recommends that you always install a fresh copy and then reinstall all applications. Why I  don't know but I figure they know this OS better than me and they write these tests, so I listen to them.

WinNT.exe is used to install to a freshly formatted drive or to 95,3.x, or dos.

Winnt32.exe is used to upgrade from WinNT 3.51 or Workstation


    System Partition is the active partition on the first hard drive of your computer. There are several files on this partition that are required to boot NT. They include: ntldr,, boot.ini, and sometimes bootsec.dos and Ntbootdd.sys depending on the installation options and the hardware.

    Boot Partition can be located on either a primary or extended partition. They WINNT system files reside on the boot partition.

File Systems

    FAT16 (file allocation table) is supported by several operating systems including: NT, Windows9x, 3.x, MS-DOS and OS-2. If you want you computer to dual boot you must use this file system. The maxium size of the a partition is limited to 4 gigs while using fat16 and it supports no file level security.

    NTFS (NT File System) Only NT supports this file system. NTFS has a lot of advantages over fat16  including: extended attributes, individual file compression, and file level security. There are certain characters that can not be used in NTFS filenames, they are: ? " ?/ \ * | :

    FAT32 is only supported by Windows 9x and can not be used in conjunction with NT.

WinNT.exe Switches

Switch Function of Switch
/S [:] source path Specifies the source path to NT files. Use the form X:\[path] or \\server\share\[\path]
/T [:] tempdrive Specifies where to place the NT temp files during installation
/I [:] inffile Specifies the file that contain setup information. Default is DOSNET.INF
/OX Creates the setup boot disks without starting the installation
/X Setup does not create the setup boot disks
/F Setup will not verify the file written to the setup boot disks
/C No free space  check is performed
/B Installs NT without creating the boot floppies
/U Allows unattended installation. You must specify the location of files   using the /S switch
/R Specifies an optional directory to be installed during install
/RX An optional directory to be copied to the hard drive during install
/E A command to be executed at the end of the setup process
/UDF A Uniqueness Database File is to be used during an unattended install

Types of Server Installations

    NT Server can be installed indifferent ways depending on the role it is to have on the network.

Primary Domain Controller(PDC) This is the option you would choose if the server is to be used to control the User Directory. This should also be your option if you only have one server and you want it to be a domain.

Back Up Domain Controller(BDC) Use this option to provide for redundancy for your domain. The PDC must be online before you can install a server in this manner.

Member Server(or Stand Alone) Use this if you want just an application server or you want the server to be part of a workgroup.

Configuring Disks

    You need to be familiar with the different types of disk configurations and the tools associated with NT for disk management. Before you attempt to manage the the disks on a NT server you should fully understand the different file systems and the limitations and advantage of them.

Fat- Fat does not support file level security of any kind, but you can use share access to limit a users ability to access files over the network. The fat file system supports the use of long file names but the name can be no longer than 255 characters. And the file system does not support file compression. The maxim partition size is 4 GB

NTFS - Is the best file system NT supports. It provides for file level security,  file level compression, long filenames, and has a theoretical maxim partition size of 16 Exabytes. It is also able to recover some data that has been corrupted.

HPFS - NT 4.0 does not support HPFS. If you are upgrading a system with HPFS you must first convert the HPFS to NTFS.

CDFS Compact Disk File System

To convert from fat to NTFS you have to run convert.exe from the command line. the   syntax is convert.exe drive:  There can not be any file accesses during the convert process, which can take any where from a few minutes to several hours depending on the drive size,if any program tries to access the files the convert process will fail. My recommendation is to disconnect the server from the network while doing this.

Partitions Types

    The two types of partitions that NT supports are primary and extended and they may reside on the same physical disk A disk may have more than one primary partition but only one extended. There can be up to four partitions on any one disk, but one of them must be the active partition. You can partition drives in two ways with fdisk and by using the disk administrator.          

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