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Windows 2003 Appliance Edition

Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 5:52 am
by ewan275
I found this on the AbyysUnderground Server Is it a version like "Windows 2000 powered" for the use of NAS or a Fridge or Cooker devices etc? ? Anyways I am gonna give it a shot.

Also I am assuming its an evaluation version to keep MS at bay, whatever I am gonna use it for 180 days at the most.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:51 am
by empireum
Hello, just joined!

You can also convert a "normal" Windows Server 2003 non-R2 Standard or Enterprise installation to Windows Server 2003 Appliance Edition by installing the Server Appliance Kit 3.0. This is not easy to find, but here it is: ...

Inside the zip archive, you'll find the files for the SAK 3.0. SaSetup30.msi installs it. You can do the conversion to Appliance Edition, according to the manual, by running the oemtools\saprep.exe (in the folder you extracted the archive into) like this:

Code: Select all

saprep -B
and rebooting. Adding the "-L" switch to the command will lock down the OS so that certain services can't be run on it.

I've not tried this yet, but I will.

Have fun.


Edit and Update

I tried it with a Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition install and it didn't work, but it worked just fine with a non-R2 install. So if you have a trial kit/version that includes R2, don't install it. --> When the Server 2003 setup finishes and it prompts you to insert the CD 2 to install R2, click "Cancel" and you're good to go. Here are the steps to convert to Appliance Edition:

1) Install Windows Server 2003 Standard/Enterprise without R2 (I think it doesn't matter if a service pack is integrated or not).

2) Using the "Add or Remove Windows Components" Wizard, install IIS. This is required for the SAK.

3) Download the SAK 3.0 from the link above, extract it to a folder and launch the SaSetup30.msi file to start the SAK 3.0 installation.

4) Install SAK, selecting "Custom" as the server/appliance role and then, in the next screen, adding the "Local UI" component which is not installed by default. This might be important as it could mean that disabling it will disable the local console (keyboard, mouse, display). So, just add it and you're fine. In short, install everything except of "Language support" or whatever it's called. See the screenshot for details.

5) After the SAK has been installed, the machine should be rebooted. After that, we can do the actual conversion. Open a command prompt and navigate to the folder where you extracted the SAK30 archive to. In the oemtools folder, there'll be the file saprep.exe.

* To just convert to Appliance Edition, enter:

Code: Select all

saprep -B
* To convert and lock down (disable some services and applications like an SQL Server), enter:

Code: Select all

saprep -B -L
See the screenshot for details.

The system will reboot (maybe twice, that's okay), and then, you'll have a Windows Server 2003 Appliance Edition.


"About Windows"

Converting and locking down

Login screen

Installing the SAK (remember to select "Local UI" which is disabled as shown here)

Have fun!

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 4:57 am
by ewan275
Thanks For the info sounds alot like the "Windows Powered" version of 2000

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:30 am
by empireum
No problem, and I think these versions are similar. Unfortunately, I have not been able to convert Windows 2000 Server to Windows Powered using the SAK 2.0.1; installing it didn't rebrand the OS and the saprep.exe tool does not support any switches... I didn't find anything about that in the documentation, either...

I will experiment further with the Appliance Edition, interesting how it compares to the original Server 2003 install.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:45 am
by Vista Ultimate R2
Thanks for all the info mate If you do this conversion, does it strip out a lot of your Server 2003 installation? When I installed the Appliance Edition from the CD image of it (not by converting an existing install) it was absolutely tiny (it's so small it takes like 10 minutes to install!).

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:44 am
by empireum
Well, if you only run saprep.exe with the "-B" switch, it will just change the branding, i.e. all the logos to read "Windows Server 2003 Appliance Edition". If you use the "-L" switch as well, some services and therefore applications will be locked, according to MS's documentation, these:
Locks down the server appliance, preventing the following server applications from running:

* Microsoft Exchange
* Microsoft SQL Server
* IBM Lotus Notes
* Oracle database applications

In addition, if this option is used on a computer running Windows Server 2003, the computer cannot be promoted to a domain controller.
This quote is taken from: ... saprep.asp

The CD image (I assume you mean the one from the AbyssUnderground server) seems to be a different story, however. Judging from the ISO's readme and the texts within the setup (and the logos), it seems as if this is a "standard" Windows Server 2003 OS that was slimmed down by using nLite (it's mentioned that some components have been removed) and "heavily hacked" to say Appliance Edition everywhere. The use of Resource Hacker is mentioned in the readme.

(For example, the setup screens have "Windows 2003 Server Appliance Edition Setup" as their title. The edition is called "Windows Server 2003 Appliance Edition", actually. And the Product Key prompt says "Now it's time to use that very own key of yours" )

But, let's stop that, it's a neat OS and a good mod anyway. And, as you said, really tiny! And the modified texts of the setup are actually quite funny!

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 7:01 am
by Vista Ultimate R2
empireum wrote:the modified texts of the setup are actually quite funny!
Ahhh yes, I remember the thing about "your very own key"! I think it accepts Server 2003 Enterprise VLK serials, although it might be possible to modify some of the files so that it accepts Server 2003 Trial serials (without imposing the trial limit).

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 7:09 am
by empireum
That might be possible.

I've now looked at the System Properties of "that" Appliance Edition (the 70MB one), and it seems it is indeed based on the Web Edition of Windows Server 2003. I happen to have an evaluation copy of the Web Edition (with SP2 Beta 1 integrated) and it's a very limited but fast edition of Server 2003, dedicated to web hosting and such stuff. IIRC, it uses less memory and runs less services than the bigger versions. Might be a good OS for a small FTP server or something similar (although I prefer to use Linux or FreeBSD for that).

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:54 am
by dirtwarrior
I uploaded that file it was made by a friend of mine named Clint(Eastwood) I think he goes by another name on these forums.
This OS is amazing.
I think the name he goes by on here is Kidde but I may be wrong, Kidde am I right or wrong.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:30 pm
by mulholland
dirtwarrior wrote:This OS is amazing.
I'll second that. I've installed it on several computers, and only it takes 12-18 minutes from the first (pre-install) power-on, to a working desktop. After install, it never took more then 60 seconds to boot to a working desktop on any PC I loaded it on.

Its super low on resources and works great on older computers (PIII class machines, etc.) that need an OS with low overhead.

Posted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:11 pm
by empireum
I completely agree. I installed it on Virtual PC on a PowerPC Macintosh (and believe me, this is really slow) and it even flies there. It's a pleasure to use!

I did not mean to say anything bad about this OS. As I said, I find it's amazing (and funny) as well. Sorry if there were any misunderstandings.

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:45 am
by Amplificator
Will updates for Windows still work on the Appliance Edition?

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:07 am
by empireum
Yeah, I think so. MS doesn't say anything contradicting, and it should since it's basically just a standard Windows Server 2003 Standard or Enterprise edition.

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:27 am
by Luckie
thx, I will try this out

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:17 am
by empireum
Feel free and have fun, if you need any help in German, PM!

Re: Windows 2003 Appliance Edition

Posted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:18 pm
by godfollower
An information update on where to downloas SAK 3.0 from.. the URL above no longer functions but the following does (as of 9/2010):

Re: Windows 2003 Appliance Edition

Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 6:08 am
by godfollower
I just found SAK v3.1! I'm not sure the exact requirements for it yet, but you can download it from here (as of 10/2010):

My wild guess, at the moment (as it's downloading for me) is that it's for Server 2003 R2.. BUT, I don't know that at all, for sure!