Setting Home Lab for Windows Server 2003

I want to set up a home lab where I can practice Windows Server 2003.
Equipment currently:
2 desktop (P3, 256mb RAM , 10Gb Harddrive , OS ( WIndows XP Pro) )
1 Laptop (P4 , 512mb RAM , 80Gb , OS ( Windows XP Home )
1 wireless router ( Belkin )
1 cable modem

Do you think im missing something to start practicing home lab?

Im also looking for any suggestions for a good step by step reference book as a guide I got some suggestions from my friends they said ( MSCE Self Paced Training Kit ) but not sure if these would really the reference guide that I need.

Im aiming to learn active directory, group policy and also creating a domain access. In short I want to create something that would let my other computer log into the network but im not sure where to start.

Any suggestions would greatly appreciated.


  • tibultibul Member Posts: 240
    The self paced training kits from microsoft are great as are the sybex books they both provide hands on labs and set ups for you to try, also the equipment you have is just fine you could maybe have two of the machines as servers and one as a client.

    That way you can practice with AD replication, or trusts between different forests etc and so on.
    Studying 70-292.
    Aiming for MCSA: Security and 2003 upgrade.
  • jetdynamicsjetdynamics Member Posts: 129
    Thanks for the reply

    I will check that MCSE Self Paced Training Kit
  • blake69blake69 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think a home lab is a great idea, but where can I buy computers that I can afford.
  • SieSie Member Posts: 1,195
    You dont 'have' to buy physical computers if you dont have the cash, aslong as you machine has enough RAM you can run multiple clients on one machine using Virtual PC or VMWare.

    VMWare - Better in my opinion but costs $


    Virtual PC - Still a good program and free!

    What machines do you have and what specification?

    The main concideration is if your running XP you using about 256MB of RAM, then you run a Virtual XP Client. Your now using 512MB of RAM, a Third makes 768MB. (get the picture?)

    These arnt exact examples, I can run XP host and two virtual XP machines ok with ok to slow(ish) performance on 1GB RAM (though this stick is soon to be replaced as its faulty anyway lol)

    [Edit - Spelling]
    Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools
  • tibultibul Member Posts: 240
    you can use vmware for free.

    just download the vmware player (not the workstation one) then go here create a vmx file to the settings you want, then loads up vmware player and select the vmx file with it, then just install the OS you want to use as normal.

    Hope this helps.
    Studying 70-292.
    Aiming for MCSA: Security and 2003 upgrade.
  • blake69blake69 Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the vmware player idea, do you think I could run it from a external usb drive.
  • CiscopimpenatorCiscopimpenator Inactive Imported Users Posts: 134
    Fry's electronics was selling 1GB PC3200 DDR RAM for 72.99.....
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