This is a continuation of my previous post Using Windows Server 2008 as a SUPER workstation OS
Here are a couple of things I missed in my previous post
11. Processor Scheduling
As pointed out in a comment on my previous post; On Windows Server 2008 background services are given preference over interactive programs. You can change this behavior by
Control Panel > System and Maintenance > System > Advanced System Settings > Advanced > Performance > Settings > Advanced > Processor Scheduling
Setting this to Programs will make foreground programs more responsive.
12. Visual Effects
One thing you will notice on Windows Server 2008 is that by default you will not see Preview Thumbnails in your Documents / Music / Video folders. This has to be enabled explicitly.
Control Panel > System and Maintenance > System > Advanced System Settings > Advanced > Performance > Settings > Visual Effects
Based on your preference you can tweak these settings.
13. Power Options
Do your bit for a Green World! The Balanced (default) power plan on Windows Server 2008 does not turn off hard disks by default. On Vista hard disks are turned off after 20 mins. You can change this by
Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > Change plan settings
It does take a bit to kick start the hard disks when you resume work but that's a sacrifice worth making for a greener world :).
14. IE Enhanced Security
IE Enhanced Security Configuration has been moved from Add Remove Windows Components (on Windows 2003) to the Server Manager on Windows Server 2008.
Server Manager > Security Information > Configure IE ESC
You now have a choice to disable it only for Administrators.
And to end with a couple of clarifications
* Why am I recommending Windows Server 2008 over Windows Vista ?
I am not!
* How to get Sidebar / Media center on Windows Server 2008?
My honest opinion would be to look for alternatives.
* Will hardware problems go away moving to Windows Server 2008?
Not likely. One of the biggest complaints against Vista was hardware issues. Without proper drivers from your hardware vendors your ride on Windows Server 2008 is again going to be bumpy. For me all Vista compatible drivers worked fine with Server 2008 and I believe they should work for you as well.
* Will all software work on Windows Server 2008?
Most will but some setups detect Windows Server 2008 as a server OS and may not install. The compatibility mode does not have a Vista option only XP / Windows 2003 and other legacy OS.
[Update 2012] Windows 8 is the Super workstation OS I had been waiting for
I can confirm, I use Windows 2008 Server x64 sice first day it was RTM'ed and it rocks, the most stable & fast OS from MS I've ever seen.
I use it for development (VS.NET, MS SQL Server) and running without any problems now (the only thing I noticed was Skype due to problems with x64 RTM version of WS).
Hey great article.
Granted, you are not recommending win2k8 server over vista, but the question is still the same. You as a professional, and like most of the people reading these posts, which setup do you think is best? Which one is best suited for you when addressing issues like responsiveness, security, stability. win2k8 Server or vista ?
Any advice on being able to play back dvr-ms recorded files on win2k8? I have media center 2005 on a separate box and like to watch recordings in media player under Vista. This doesn't seem to work for win2k8.
A lot of thanks for info.
This OS really good and only problem I got it's Data Execution Prevention compatibility. I know how disable it for OS with ntldr, but unfortunatly have no idea how it can be done on Vista-like OS. Maybe someone can describe how to do it?
the first one who succeds in installing MCE on 2008 please let us know!
MCE on Server 2008!! is this possible??
Actually I've been 2008'ed for quite a while now, but only recently fully 2008'rtm'd
Info about sidebar:
I found in recent builds of Windows Server 2008 folder named "Windows Sidebar" in Program Files and I was able to run it smoothly :)
Great posts! I have moved fully to 2008 for development - really the only choice for SharePoint - and now I don't suffer Vista Envy! ;-)
Thanks a lot for this post, followed it and my Thinkpad t61 is now playing very nicely with server 2008.
But i have one issue left, the 'offline files' function. I found the services called 'offline files', but I'm not able to enable it. Anybody have a clue what i need to make this work.
I have succesfully installed Sidebar on W2k8.
1) Just copy "c:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar" folder from a Windows Vista machine.
2) Run from console: "sidebar.exe /RegServer"
(these are the all options you have: sidebar.exe /autoRun /AX /CPL /detectMem /showgadgets /uninstallgadgets /RegServer /UnregServer)
For me , the major obstacle to running Windows Server 2008 would be the compatibility of the applications I use on a regular basis. Add to that the lack of drivers and I'll say people should wait a year before starting this kind of project.
one question: how to get superfetch to work under server 2008? everytime i try to start that service it wouldn't work but it tells me "os not configured to run this service" or something like that... what's that about? plus i can't even get an ordinary windows xp setup to run in hyper-v ... text setup always stops when loading acpi drivers...