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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  • Please add 3 and 6 and type the answer here:
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  • It works very fast! I've never seen a better OS before. I'd like to write more about it but my English is too bad ;)


    Win Server 08 läuft sehr schnell und arbeitet wunderbar. Bei XP SP 2 hatte ich eine CPU-Auslastung von 4-8 %, wenn keine Programme liefen. Bei Windows Server 2008 jedoch nur 0-3%!  

    Mein Computer:

    Intel P4, 3,00 Ghz

    1024 MB DDR1 RAM


  • Well, this is going to be interesting. I've spent the day installing Windows Server 2008 on my brand

  • no one mentioned antivirus / anti-spyware

    is NAV corp. 10.x and Webroot 5.x working?

    I use ubuntu 8.04 on my dell D630 but switch to 2k8 64 bit lately - only concern is virus/spyware...

  • One of the challenges of developing in the Software + Services/SOA world we now live in is creating a

  • What is the best edition of WS2K8 to stat with? Standard, Web, non-Hyper-V? I would intuitively think I would want to start off with the lightest weight version (web), but if that's not a good solution, what is?

    Does it even matter?

  • I have used Std but now am using Enterprise and it is working great!

  • Outstanding, I have it setup exactly as my XP install, games and all. Only issue was anti-viruses.I have symantec 10.1, no joj, needs 2.0 or better. I'm using avast server free for 60 days for now. After some tweaking, way less than I had to do with vista it flys.


    P5K premium

    4 GB DDR2


  • Games? Which games?  The same games hat come with Vista?

  • @John Quigley:

    You need to run your burner program as an administrator. (Right-click the icon and choose 'Run as Administrator'.)

  • I also would like to get the games off of my Vista 64 Ultimate Edition desktop onto my Win2k8 laptop for use on the road.

  • There have been some claims here that I bought into at first, namely, "Windows 2008 runs faster than windows vista." But...go to and search around at the results. It takes a LOT of digging, and unfortunately some generalization, but you can find the answer.

    The author originally stated that he used windows 2003 in place of XP. It was "disguised" as XP, so it likely wasn't for the interface. The claim was that the efficiency of the system was better. The same claims have been made in this article in comparison to windows 2008 vs. Vista.

    While there are not actually any worthwhile published benchmark results of server 2008, there are MANY results from 2003 available at After comparing many different alike systems, with similar compiler versions and hard disk speeds, you can rather well conclude that systems benchmarked with XP pro X64 or Server 2003 run at about the same speed. There may have been a slight difference when it comes to integer math, but floating point was not perceptibly different.

    There is a smaller but also worthwhile pool of results from vista, and honestly...the floating point results are quite comparable between XP64, Server 2003, and Vista. I didn't very strongly analyze the integer math, since I'm not as interested in integer performance (my simulations use mostly floating point math).

    There aren't enough results to compare against vista SP1, so I can't really say anything about that.

    The majority of the results are from SUSE linux, and this flavor of linux very consistently runs the fastest. There is a small pool of RedHat linux, and interestingly, RedHat runs about as fast as the windows systems.

    Please keep in mind that the benchmarks are PROFESSIONAL quality benchmarks, where it's people's full time job to ensure that the results are truly representative and comparable among systems, whereas most of the other benchmarks posted do not have this guarantee. I have seen one other impressive benchmark (which I don't have the link to right now, but was posted in this forum) done across Vista 64 & 32, server 2008 64 & 32, XP 64 & 32, and 2003 64 & 32 using some other benchmarking suite, and it was quite suprisingly thorough. This benchmark quite adequately shows what I have claimed here (and likely more accurately, since there is no generalization required in his benchmark).

  • I forgot to mention that, all that previously said, it likely is the case that this OS seems "snappier" because it has less background junk (which some of you seem to be installing back anyway), and thus cut back on resources, speeding things up, etc...

    The way that I have dealt with this slowdown is to eliminate my paging file. I use vista 64, and ram is cheap these days; The great thing about a 64 bit system is that it can actually see all 8 gigs of ram that I have. After 8 gigs of this stuff, you can delete your paging file, and enjoy the same "snappiness" that you would otherwise get from using this windows 2008 workstation approach, with less compatability issues and all of the extra junk that we all seem to enjoy (but complain about).

  • i'm a linux user but i still have xp on a tiny partition on my hard drive, but i've just installed WS08 in virtalbox, and I am almost ashamed to say i like it! :)

  • Thanks for a great artice

    Just made the switch myself! Working just nicely after I managed to get the wireless nic working!



  • Так как руки уже чешутся поставить Windows 7, решил пока не поздно рассказать как ставил себе Windows

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