Dell Out of the Box Experience

I guess I’d have to say my first Dell pizza box server ‘out of the box’ experience wasn’t all terrible. $notmyboss comes by and and asks me how long it’d take to unpack and setup remote desktop access to a Dell server. By this of course he means “unpack and setup remote desktop access to a Dell server”.


Unpack box…. take all the accessory boxes and stuff off the top… wow, big ass server. Lug server out and plop it on desk. Plug in supplied extra-long power cable, keyboard, mouse, monitor. When the power is plugged in the fans start up sounding like a small aircraft.

Figure out that I need to turn on the power on the server, regardless of the fans blowing in the back. Decibles from server double to the equivalent of a small industrial aircraft. Server boots.

“blah blah blah I agree to an EULA that’s on the computer that I have to agree to before I can read”. Ok. Three or four more pages of BS that I have to click through. Get to windows setup, set name, password, etc.

Server loads up and prompts for password, log in, windows tells me that I have to update. Ok, start up software update. Leave that going in the background and go into the server manager, select default server install. Ok, it wants to install dhcp server, active directory, etc, cancel and do a custom install. Select Terminal Services, go through wizard, it tells me it’s going to reboot when its done.

Ok, so what is up with these people who make it OK to reboot to start a service? Honestly guys, this is a server OS, it should be rebooted for kernel changes and hardware changes only! Hell, even Silverstr was bragging about how Longhorn Vista’s new system will allow you to dynamically add in plugins to and from the filesystem (ie: add or remove encryption plugins I think anyway) while the system is running, but to install a remote access service you have to reboot? Granted that is Longhorn Vista and this is Windows Server 2003, and I really hope that this changes when Longhorn Vista is released in 2005 2006 someday. Otherwise it sort of defeats the purpose dontchathink?

Anyway, terminal services update finishes and it reboots, losing my security updating. Wait for it to come back up, test I can RDP in, and leave it. All in all not a horrible experience, I thought the setup would be more painful than it was anyway. That’s my story anyway. However, given the choice, I’d still rather grab something lickable.

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