Remove Server Roles in Windows Server 2003

by Jason Zandri

Carefully managing the services your Windows server provides is a good way to conserve resources and keep a lid on security. Jason Zandri explains how to use the 'Remove Server Roles' Wizard in Windows Server 2003 to slim down your server's profile.

Internet Information Services 6 is included on the Windows Server 2003 operating system installation CD-ROM (or source files, if you installed the operating system through a network share) just as its predecessor Internet Information Services 5 was available with Windows 2000 Server. Unlike IIS5 however, it is not installed by default with the operating system.

One way to install IIS6 is to run the Manage Your Server Wizard to manage server roles. Server Roles in Windows Server 2003 allow you as the Administrator to configure specific roles for your system by using the Configure Your Server Wizard.

Depending on your settings, the Manage Your Server window may be automatically available upon login. If it is not automatically available it can be found on the Start Menu under All Programs - Administrative Tools.

My last article went through the installation of IIS6 by using the Configure Your Server Wizard and configuring the server role of the system as an Application Server. As you can see by the image below, once the Configure Your Server Wizard has been run to complete an install in this fashion, (an Application Server in this case to set up our IIS6 service) it will show up on the main screen of the Manage Your Server wizard that "Your server has been configured with the following roles:".

As the walkthrough showed, only the World Wide Web service was installed. FTP, NNTP and SMTP are not added by default when you establish the server role in this way.

You could have also gone about adding IIS6 services by going to the Control Panel and selecting Add/Remove Programs and choosing Add/Remove Windows Components.

We will remove the server role of Application Server (which will also remove IIS6) by running the Manage Your Server Wizard in order to install IIS6 and all of the components via the Control Panel and selecting Add/Remove Programs and choosing Add/Remove Windows Components. (My next article will outline the installation piece of IIS6 from the Control Panel.)

From the Manage Your Server welcome page (shown above), you will choose Add or Remove a Role and you will be presented with the Preliminary Steps screen where you can read the information and verify that all of the network connections are available. You can also check to see if you have the needed installation path information (or the cd) to the Windows Server 2003 setup files.

From here, the setup wizard will test your available and enabled network connections and bring you to the Server Role screen. If you wanted to add another role to this Application Server you would choose another role (File Server for example) and click next to continue. This would allow the wizard to continue with installing the new role. Since we wish to remove a role, we will select a role that is already configured on the server and click NEXT to remove it.

On the Role Removal Confirmation screen you will see the summary of what will be done to the system in order to remove the current role. In some cases components will be removed and in others services will be disabled.

The next step of the process is to remove the role, so this screen has a check box that you must select before you can choose NEXT to continue. (You may note that in the screen shot the box is not checked and the NEXT button is not available.)

After you choose NEXT the wizard immediately begins to remove the role. The "Are You Sure" prompt is the previous screen's checkbox and the NEXT box is grayed out.

The removal process will call for the installation files (either from the original distribution point or from the CD-ROM drive if the disk is available) and a pop up box (shown below) will identify what is occurring. If the disk or the distribution point is not available a pop-up box will appear asking for the location of the files.

The final screen of the Configure Your Server Wizard shows (in this case) that the Application Server role has been successfully removed from the system.

You have the option of reviewing your Configure your Server log file, which shows information from the original server role installation as an Application Server and the current action of removing that role, by selecting the link on the Configure Your Server Wizard completion page.

(3/4/2003 1:03:51 PM) Configurations for an Application Server IIS installed successfully.

(3/7/2003 8:50:16 PM) Removal of Application Server Role IIS successfully removed. ASP.NET successfully disabled.

A quick look back on the Mange Your Server Wizard welcome page shows that it no longer has any roles assigned to it.

The removal of the Application Server Role has uninstalled IIS6 and removed the Internet Information Services MMC from the Administrator Tools menu and the World Wide Web service is no longer present on the services menu.

Well, that wraps up this article. I hope you found it informative. If you have any questions, comments or even constructive criticism, please feel free to drop me a note. I want to write solid technical articles that appeal to a large range of readers and skill levels and I can only be sure of that through your feedback.

Until the next time, remember:

"Windows 2000 is almost 4 years old."

This article was originally published on Friday Mar 21st 2003
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