Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Setup cannot continue version error when installing R2 on Server 2003 x64

This article is probably a few years late, but maybe you're like me and are still primarily using some version of Windows Server 2003 and haven't jumped to Server 2008 yet. I had one server running Server 2003 x64 with service pack 2 installed and decided I wanted to upgrade it to R2. I popped in CD2 of the R2 media and tried installing, but to my surprise it got an error saying "Setup cannot continue because this product disc is incompatible with the service pack installed on this computer. To complete the installation of Windows Server 2003 R2, you will need to insert the latest version of Windows Server 2003 R2 Disc 2.". At first I thought I'd be able to slipstream SP2 onto the second disk, but since the Windows install files are all on CD1 you can't do that. A quick Google search fixed my problem though, so thanks to stealthpuppy.com. Here's what to do in order to successfully install R2 on a Server 2003 x64 server running SP2.

1. Insert the R2 CD2 disk
2. Create a folder somewhere on your server and copy all the files from R2 CD2 to that folder
3. Go to your folder, then into CMPNENTS, then R2
4. Find the file named R2INTL.INF, right-click and choose Open With, then pick Notepad
5. The file should be open in Notepad at this point. Find the line that says "R2SPLevel = 1", and change that to "R2SPLevel = 2"
6. Save and close the file
7. Run R2AUTO.exe from the root of the folder you created in step #2

You should now be able to successfully install R2 on your SP2 installation. You could also burn those files to a CD or an .iso image file for future use.

Monday, May 17, 2010

How to open printmanagement.msc for managing your printers

I had never heard of print management until recently, while working on figuring out how to share 64 bit print drivers from a 32 bit server. It is a useful tool though, especially in Windows 7, so you may want to check it out. Here's how to get to it:

1. Click the Start button and type printmanagement.msc and press Enter
2. Right-click on Print Servers and select Add/Remove Server
3. Specify the server name and click OK. If you are adding your machine you can use the Add the Local Server button


1. Open MMC (Microsoft Management Console) by going to Start->Run and typing mmc in the box and clicking OK. Or if you have Vista or Windows 7, click the Start button and type mmc in the Search box

2. Once the mmc window is open, go to File->Add/Remove Snap-in

3. Scroll through the list of available snap-ins until you get to Print Management. Select it and click Add

4. In the "Add servers:" box, type the name of the print server(s) you'd like to manage and click Finish

5. Click OK one more time to close the add-in manager and you should now see the Print Management snap-in

It's useful for managing shared printers on multiple print servers, and also for adding or removing drivers from your print server(s). You can also manage the local machine with this snap-in, and it's the only way I have found so far that allows you to manage the print drivers installed on your Windows 7 computer. If you're wondering how to delete a printer driver from a Windows 7 computer, the print management snap-in is the answer

Sharing 64 bit printer drivers using a 32 bit Windows print server

I've finally made the jump to 64 bit computing by adding some Windows 7 x64 machines to my environment. However, I do not have any 64 bit servers, so I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to use my existing Windows Server 2003 print server to share out 64 bit drivers for printers. Well, the answer is that you can, but without a good set of instructions it can be a little messy. Hopefully with the steps below you too can share your 64 bit drivers from a 32 bit print server.

In my situation I am working with Server 2003 SP2. If you're running R2 the steps may be different, and I'd imagine 2008 is completely different. You need your 32 bit server, and you also need your 64 bit machine. Both of them have to be used in order to load both sets of drivers. You can't load 64 bit drivers from your 32 bit server, and vice versa. The other thing is that the drivers have to be named the same. The easiest way to make sure of this is to download both the latest 32 and 64 bit drivers from the manufacturer's website and use those. That may mean you will be updating existing 32 bit drivers, but you're better off doing that than trying to get the new 64 bit driver to work with an older 32 bit driver. I currently have Sharp and HP printers printing from my Windows 7 64 bit machine through our Server 2003 32 bit server as well. In my instructions I'm going to assume you already know how to install a printer. Here's how I got it to work, and I'll use a Xerox printer for the example.

1. On your 32 bit print server, download the latest 32 bit driver for your printer
2. On your 64 bit machine, download the latest 64 bit driver
3. On the printer server go ahead and start installing the printer. Your setup may differ than what I have in the screenshots, but I'm installing a networked printer that has an IP address of

4. When asked for the print driver, click on "Have Disk...". Now navigate to the location when you downloaded your 32 bit print driver and select it. You may have to unzip the driver package you downloaded if you haven't already.

5. Pick your printer from the list included in the driver. In my case there's only one option

6. Name your printer and click Next
7. Choose to share the printer and give the share a name, then click Next
8. Fill out the location and comments boxes if you want, then click Next
9. Print a test page if you'd like, but it's not required. Then click Next
10. The printer should install and then you can click Finish
11. Now hop on your 64 bit machine and open up printmanagement.msc. If you don't know how to do that, check out my other post.
12. In the tree on the left, open up Print Servers and open your print server. Go to the Drivers section, right-click, then choose Add Driver

13. When at the Processor and Operating System selection screen, uncheck the x86 box and check the x64 box instead. Then click Next

14. Click on "Have Disk..." and browse to the location where you have the 64 bit driver that you downloaded in step #2. Again, you will have to unzip the downloaded driver file prior to being able to select it here.

15. Repeat step #5 to select your printer and click Next
16. Click Finish. This should install the 64 bit print driver on your 32 bit server

Now you can double-check to make sure it worked. As long as the printer drivers are named the same it should have. To check, log back in to your printer server. Right-click on the printer you installed and go to Properties. Go to the Sharing tab and click on Additional Drivers.

If done correctly you should see that the x64 and x86 boxes are both checked, which means the printer is being shared using both drivers.

It took some trial and error in the beginning, but this method has been working for me and I hope it works for you too. Good luck!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Free conference call service - freeconferencecall.com

If you're wondering how you're going to make your next conference call and you don't want to pay for a conferencing service, check out freeconferencecall.com. You can create a free account there and they will provide you with a 24/7 reservationless conference number you can give out to people. It's simple to do and easy to use. 

With that said, there is one thing to keep in mind. Most paid services give you a toll-free number to distribute to your callers, while freeconferencecall.com just gives you a number and some callers may have to dial (and pay) the long distance chargers involved with reaching that number. If your callers don't mind, then go ahead and save yourself a few bucks by using a freeconferencecall.com account. If you have to have a toll-free dial-in number, then you'll have to try something different. I see the same company also offers "SimpleTollFree" through simpletollfree.com , which charges you 6 cents per minute per caller. Otherwise you can always look into other toll-free conferencing options.