Using Windows Server 2008 as a SUPER workstation OS ... Cont'd

Using Windows Server 2008 as a SUPER workstation OS ... Cont'd

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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

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  • does anyone has a problem with running skype on win2k8? Installed without any problems but when i try to cennect, got an eRRor

    someone got simmilar problem or it's .. just me :)

  • Vista was driving me crazy with its unresponsiveness despite only being freshly installed (again) for 7days.  48hours in with Win2008 on my Latitude D620 and it flies!!

    So far the only thing I've not got working is the bluetooth (drivers only half install) and Live Messenger won't install (had to revert to v8.1)

  • how about games on a server 2008?

  • I have installed this on several machines, and love it.  My only issue is no CD/DVD burner support.   Software doesn't find the burner.  has anyone found a fix?

  • Games work great. You might need to run the DirectX websetup to get missing Dx9 compoments, but most games work really nice. Sometimes you need to disable the desktop design (Diablo series).

    So far the only thing I am missing is proper BDA driver support for running TV cards. All apps I tried fail with the BuildGraph() or Connect() functions of the drivers.

    Vistas Media Center wont run here (none of the .exes do anything)

    However I am not sure if there are any real advantages over a Vista SP1 system for a personal/home user (except for the coolness factor, of course)...

  • Seriously great work with 2008. It's a far more pleasant experience that Vista and frankly much quicker and responsive.

    Why not put out a workstation version of this and ditch Vista Ultimate?

  • In addition, you can ru Aero, see my blog.

  • I have a test system with Win 2k8 and it's working quite well, but media center functionality would transfer Win2k8 in a Vist Super Duper Ultimate Version ;)

  • Thanks for the info. If/when they release server 2008 on MSDNAA, I'll try this out.

  • hi,

    Any idea if Tablet PC functionality works or could be enable on this?


  • the only thing I did NOT get to work is the luetooth adapter in my laptop. I used that one under Vista to connect my Mouse to, now I have to use the dongle that came with the mouse. it is one action more, not too bad. but I hate a question mark in my device manager... Icannot stop in in the bios though, because I change harddisks once in a while to use either vista or XP to work from for various reasons.

  • CD/DVD data burning on 2008.

    Insert blank disk

    run cmd prompt as administrator

    format <drive> /fs:udf

    Drag and drop.

    Manually eject when done.

  • I just converted my laptop to Workstation 2008 and LOVE it!  The only thing now working now is ThinkVantage Access connections and the default Vista games.  I need my mahjong!

  • Sorry, can;t type on Mondays.  The post should have read the onyl things NOT working....

  • Has anyone been able to get dreamscene to work right?  I have it installed but for some reason I can't get .mpeg files to play right.  I have tried two different codec packs and I have tried and it plays DVD's just fine.  At first it was because of video drivers so I was able to get them loaded.  Now I choose a dreamscene and it does nothing.  I try to play the dreamscenes in media player and it says the codecs aren't installed.  Do I need to do an update on directx as well?  I'm pretty sure that the vista codec pack should support the mpeg but I wanted to make sure.

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