You should always perform the following preinstallation tasks:
Verify that all your hardware is listed on the HCL.
Verify that your components meet the minimum hardware requirements.
Verify that the hard disk on which you will install Windows Professional has a minimum of 650 MB of free disk space, preferably 1 GB, and, if you are going to install Windows Server, that you have at least a 2 GB partition with at least 1 GB of free disk space.
Select the file system for the partition on which you will install Windows. Unless you need a dual-boot configuration, format this partition with NTFS.
Determine whether to use the Per Server or Per Seat licensing mode when installing Windows Server.
If you select the Per Server licensing mode, note the number of CALs that were purchased for the server and compare that with the number of simultaneous accesses to the server that you anticipate.
Plan to purchase more licenses or convert to Per Seat licensing if necessary.
Determine the name of the domain or workgroup that you will join or create. If you will be joining a domain, the name will be in the DNS format: server.sub-domain.domain.
If you will be joining a workgroup, the name will be in the familiar 15-character network basic input/output system (NetBIOS) naming convention: ServerName.
Using underscore in NetBIOS
Using underscore in NetBIOS names of computers can wreak havoc on the DNS names of the computers if these computers later enter a domain.
It is safest to limit the computer's NetBIOS name to alpha and numeric characters. Use the hyphen in place of an underscore if you must separate words.
Create a computer account in the domain that you are joining using the name of the computer you are installing.
Although a domain administrator can do this before installation, you can also create a computer account during the installation with a regular domain user account (up to ten computer accounts).
Decide on a password for the Administrator account for the local computer.