In a previous post, I hinted at some issues that I recently encountered after switching from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 on my primary development VM for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007.

To make this a little more fun, let's start with a pop quiz for the SharePoint experts out there.

What's wrong with this picture?

Figure 1: MOSS 2007 Central Administration - Operations on Windows Server 2008

A few of you might even be able to detect the problem without viewing the full-sized image.

See it?

No? How about a hint...

Suppose you are configuring your farm for the first time and you need to start the Office SharePoint Server Search service. Which link do you need to click?

See it now?

No? Okay, how about if I make this really easy by zooming in on the area where you should be focusing your attention.

Figure 2: MOSS 2007 Central Administration - Operations on Windows Server 2008 (close-up of Topology and Services section)

See anything missing?

Actually, there are two things missing:

  • The Services on server link
  • The Incoming e-mail settings link

Hmmm...that's odd, isn't it?

It turns out that you need to run Internet Explorer as an administrator whenever you access Central Administration. In other words, you need to right-click Internet Explorer in the Start menu and then click Run as administrator. (Note that you cannot right-click the Internet shortcut -- since it doesn't give you the option to Run as administrator; you need to click Start, then click All Programs, and then right-click that Internet Explorer).

You will then find all of the expected links under the Topology and Services section.

Figure 3: MOSS 2007 Central Administration - Operations on Windows Server 2008 (IE running as administrator)

This certainly isn't the only time you'll need to run as administrator when using MOSS 2007 on Windows Server 2008. Actually, you'll find yourself doing this a lot. For example, in order to run stsadm.exe, you'll need to first start a command prompt as administrator.

I suppose that, technically speaking, you might be able to disable User Account Control altogether -- but a) I didn't bother to check if this works, and b) I certainly don't recommend it.

Is running MOSS 2007 on Windows Server 2008 -- especially in a development environment -- more difficult than on Windows Server 2003? Sure.

Is it that big of deal? No -- at least not in my opinion.

Incidentally, you might be wondering how I discovered this. I found that when I browsed to Central Administration using Firefox, all of the links appeared as expected -- which obviously made me think it was related to the browser (Internet Explorer).

This might very well be documented somewhere on TechNet, but at this point I am not aware of it. If I discover it later, I'll update this post.

Update (2009-03-12)
Also note the following blurb from my earlier post (duplicated here since it took me more than 20 seconds to find it when the issue came up during a team discussion)...

Note that after aliasing my local VM name to the loopback address (127.0.0.1), I had to use the workaround in KB 896861 in order to resolve "access denied" errors when indexing content:

Access is denied. Check that the Default Content Access Account has access to this content, or add a crawl rule to crawl this content. (The item was deleted because it was either not found or the crawler was denied access to it.)
Update (2009-04-01)
Also see my post describing the issue where the Temporary ASP.NET Files folder is not being cleaned up on my Windows Server 2008 development VM. I don't recall ever encountering this problem before when using Windows Server 2003.