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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  • Do anyone have any information about battlefield 2 on server 2008? No go so far.,,

  • It totally rocks, I am using W2k8/X64 Datacenter (believe it or not, but that was the only version that actually did not crash during setup on a 4GB HP 8710p laptop). I am an IT consultant, constantly running from client LAN to client LAN. I am amazed by the portable support of W2K8, wireless, dual screen, hibernate and move from LAN to LAN. The only time it needs to restart is after the damn updates. But for the rest, It’s fast, reliable and runs everything that I need from day to day. Office, SQL server2008, Outlook, VI client. For the few apps that I don’t trust on W2k8, just because they pollute the OS too much (like Cisco VPN Client, and some proprietary HP Presales tools) I have a small Windows XP VM running in VMware server 2.0. But in general, W2k8 is the BEST windows OS I’ve seen so far.

    -- Jeroen

  • Just a comment, Vista and w2k8 does not share the same kernel.

    w2k8 starts from Vista kernel, that's it.

  • I use win2k8 x64 and it works fine. To me it seems obvious once there are concurrents like rh, suse and oracle linux, unlike about home oses. Only problem using win2k8 as ws are programs that doesn´t believe servers can exist, like home printers manager, cell phone managers and other like that ...

  • Hi all. I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 on which I installed Windows 7 sometime in november. This week, the but 4 months old harddrive crashed completely. Started sounding really nasty, so definitely mechanical failure. Anyway, all though I liked Windows 7 for the most part, it refused to stay online any lengthier periods of time, before the heavily discussed networking problems set in and made a reboot necessary.

    So, when now back at square one, with a fresh, new hdd, I decided to try W2k8 server. I have an MSDNAA-account, so what the heck, just to go on installing.. I have worked professionally with IT, so had no problems finding the tweaks to transform it to a workstation. I must say, it rocks!! I am a firm supporter of the philosophy, that it's better to start with a minimalistic setup, and only install and/or activate services and stuff like that IF and WHEN the need for them becomes clear.

    One thing struck me. Since the boneheads at dell don't release drivers for their computers for os'es other than the ones they actually have sold with each respective model (users wanting to keep their computers for long and upgrade them obviously doesn't exist in their minds), I've pieced together drivers from the manufacturers of the respective hardware. I did so when installing Windows 7 as well as W2k8, but with one exception. With W7 I used the XP-driver that came with the TrueMobile 350 bluetooth module. That worked, but with W2k8 things were a bit different. It installed, yes, but when I tried to start the app that comes with it, W2k8 refused and told me that it has known compatibility issues. However it also offered to search for a solution online, a search which actually gave result, in the form of redirection to Toshiba's download-page. I downloaded the Vista-driver it had found there, installed that and now it works fine.

    My suspision is that W7 should have done the same, since that version of Windows is even newer and further away from XP than Vista/W2k8. It seems possible that the old XP bluetooth driver might perhaps have been the root of the networking problem I experienced with W7, but for now I will stick to W2k8 :) I don't need any media center or that sort of features, so... And as someone pointed out, it's cool :)

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