Converting Windows 7 for server use (or Server 2008 clone)?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Cerulean, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. Cerulean

    Cerulean [H]ardForum Junkie

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  2. Killroy

    Killroy Gawd

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    It probably depends on what aspects of Server 2008 you want. What server roles do you want to be able to perform with Windows 7?
     
  3. TechieSooner

    TechieSooner [H]ardness Supreme

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    Exactly.

    Windows 7, no matter what you do, will NEVER run the same as a Server OS. Simply not designed for it. Now if this is for a little home server or something you might get it working OK, but for any kind of production work you're looking to be SOL. But in either case, details on what the "server" needs to do will be needed.
     
  4. Cerulean

    Cerulean [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Well, more specifically, I want to eliminate or disable as many of the features as possible (that are not in Server 2008, with the exception of audio, video, and network related services).

    Are there any services I should disable?

    How about renaming the "Administrator" account and making Windows 7 autologon to that account? How do I do a blank password but keep network shares?

    Is there any way I can remove the left pane in the Start Menu that is supposed to show recently used programs and stuff?

    How can I remote desktop into "Administrator" while Administrator is already logged in? What group policies, registry edits, or changes do I need to make to allow multiple simultaneous remote desktop connections to a single user account?

    I will write up more when I think of more.
     
  5. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    Windows 95 can be a "server".
     
  6. TechieSooner

    TechieSooner [H]ardness Supreme

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    What are you going to do with it? It sounds like you're wanting something that runs in the background in which case I have no idea why you care about codec support.
     
  7. ProfessorKaos64

    ProfessorKaos64 [H]ard|Gawd

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  8. Mr.OppressoLiber

    Mr.OppressoLiber [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm sort of in the same boat. I have Win 7, WHS, and 2008R2 and I'm not sure which would best suit my needs. The goals I wish to achieve with my server are:

    • File Server
    • A place for my important backups
    • Netflix/Multimedia
    • Folding

    Of course i'm not limited to that, but those are the main things I want to accomplish off the top of my head.

    Any suggestions?
     
  9. TechieSooner

    TechieSooner [H]ardness Supreme

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    Win7 does all of those out of the box.
     
  10. Arainach

    Arainach 2[H]4U

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    No. Any that aren't being used are disabled by Windows automatically anyway.
    There's nothing special about the Administrator accout that any other admin-level account wouldn't have.
    You don't; that would be a security risk.
    No.
    By not using "Administrator" and using another account with Admin privledges.
    That would be violating the license and isn't discussed here. Also, you can't have multiple remote connections to a single account. A single machine, sure (if it's a terminal server, that is). A single account, no.
     
  11. Cerulean

    Cerulean [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Is Windows 95 able to do modern-day high-end video encoding, rendering, and processing? I didn't think so. ;)

    Here are the reasons and purposes of my "server":

    1. Video encoding, rendering, and editing (primary reason)
    2. File storage
    3. Low-end VMware server

    Please skim through http://social.technet.microsoft.com...n/thread/a81ea333-5781-4275-9505-c9a8fb4da8c0 -- Server 2008 does not have support for audio, period. (At least my copy does not.)

    2008R2 will do it for you based on the purposes and functions you listed. Only thing you want to watch out for is if 2008R2 acknowledges your video card's specialty correctly.

    I very much prefer using an existing account than creating a second one. This is a private server shielded from the Internet, and my home network is very small -- so I do not believe security is necessarily a concern. ;)

    This is not convenient. The server will only be accessible and operable via remote desktop from a machine in the same network (ie. my laptop).

    So then, is Server 2008 considered a terminal server or what? Because I can definitely open up multiple simultaneous connections to the same "Administrator" account (already tried this).

    And I do not see how discussion on group policies and registry edits would be out of license.
     
  12. TechieSooner

    TechieSooner [H]ardness Supreme

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    Since Windows 7 does all three of your "requirements" out of the box what difference does it make?
     
  13. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    We both know that's not what I meant, quit being a smart ass. Any OS can be a "server".
     
  14. DeaconFrost

    DeaconFrost [H]ardForum Junkie

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    WHS. The more I use it, the more impressed I get.
     
  15. Monkey34

    Monkey34 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Because you want to talk tweaks to allow multiple remote sessions when it's a licensing issue.

    Yes.
     
  16. TechieSooner

    TechieSooner [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is like saying I want to make Windows 7 into a server because I require a web browser.... It already does that so what on earth is the point of this entire thread?
     
  17. Vermillion

    Vermillion 2[H]4U

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    Server 2003 and Server 2008 are terminal servers. They allow two concurrent remote desktop sessions by default. Anything more then that requires additional terminal services licenses. Windows 7 only allows one remote desktop session by default and only allows one person to be signed in at a time. Artificially bypassing those limits breaks the licensing agreement with MS and thus is not allowed to be discussed here as it is technically piracy.

    Not sure why you specifically need a "Server" OS to do what you want. Just get the x64 version of Win 7 Professional, load up a pile of RAM and have at it. It can do your VM through Virtual PC, VMware, or Virtualbox. It can do your file serving/sharing and your video/audio encoding.
     
  18. gimp

    gimp [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Windows Server OS is licensed to allow 2 RDP sessions for administration purposes. Then there's Terminal Services licensing which allows for more RDP sessions.

    Client OS's are not licensed for this, nor capable of it.
     
  19. TechieSooner

    TechieSooner [H]ardness Supreme

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    They're capable of it but just not licensed for it.

    The point remains though that the OP has yet to provide any set of circumstances in which he actually needs server capabilities.
     
  20. Cax6ton

    Cax6ton Limp Gawd

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    If you RDP into a computer with the same credentials as an account that's already logged on, it will simply lock the local screen and open the remote session. If it's a 'server' that you're always going to be connecting by remote to, then don't even bother with a local monitor. Better yet, use a VNC client and it won't matter who's logged into it.

    There's still no good reason given why it has to be the administrator account. It isn't necessary for sharing files, and shouldn't be necessary for encoding. The list of requirements is somewhat incompatible and conflicting: in the OP, it states folding and file serving, then moves on in a later post to encoding, rendering, and hosting VM's. In either situation, there's not much point in having more than one remote connection to the desktop without hurting performance. If you're serving VMs, then connections would be made to the VMs and not the host account.

    If it's just going to serve files and crunch video, then turn off aero, adjust for best performance in the system properties, leave it running without a mouse, keyboard, or monitor hooked up to it, and off you go.
     
  21. Deads0uls

    Deads0uls Limp Gawd

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    Use Ubuntu Server edition. Start with the base install then add packages as you need them. I have an Intel Atom Nettop running Ubuntu. I use it as a file server, Torrent Seed Box, and video/audio converter through KDE.

    I can "Remote Desktop" to it with Free-NX.
     
  22. Cerulean

    Cerulean [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Well here is the problem (let me summarize):

    I need to have audio support for video encoding and processing:

    Server 2008 does not have support for audio and codecs.
    Windows 7 does have support for audio and codecs.

    Server 2008 was made for being remotely operated via remote desktop; remote operation.
    Windows 7 was made to be operated with a full-blown desktop setup; personal operation.

    Server 2008 was made not require any graphics cards or onboard graphics.
    Windows 7 requires at least one of the two to boot; XP requires at least one of the two and a keyboard plugged in to boot.

    In Windows 7, under remote desktop, I do not have "full control" permissions plus everything in the upper half of the screen is not clickable/accessible (but is visible; flabbergasted as to how to fix this).


    The reason I want to use Server 2008 instead of Windows 7 is because it was made to be remotely operated via Remote Desktop; it is naturally configured for this kind of use and the machine the OS is installed does not need to have a video card, mouse, keyboard, or monitor hookup of any kind. However, without audio support I cannot complete my work.

    Windows 7 on the other hand, like any other Desktop OS, will welcome my audio device. With this, I can complete my work. However, remote desktop on Windows 7 is broken and is a critical function to my ability to carry out my tasks.

    Everything in Server 2008 is perfect -- I love it. The only thing it is missing is the audio and codec element. I like this OS better than 7 because it is naturally customized to not have any ordinary Desktop OS/consumer-features like Aero, themes, gadgets, Windows Live crap, and a list of things I will never use or need. This OS is the "bare minimum" and is exactly what I am looking for, but I need the audio support!



    Now I would love to use Linux, I really would and possibly could if I really wanted to go through the extra trouble. I use a combination of MeGUI, ffmpeg, and various other tools -- all of which are mostly Win32 (though I am sure at least half of them, with the exception of MeGUI, come with Linux binaries). I need MeGUI, and I do not want to utilize Wine.



    EDIT: Anyway, as of right now, I will still be using Windows 7 for my operations. I will just completely disable remote desktop and replace it with VNC or something (that has always worked for me). Shame.
     
  23. criccio

    criccio Fully Equipped

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    How is RDP in 7 broken?
     
  24. Shane_c82

    Shane_c82 Gawd

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    Yes, please let us know how RDP is broken in 7.
     
  25. Cerulean

    Cerulean [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Maybe you should read my posts? o_O

    EDIT: To add extra detail to the problem, the cursor stops at exactly halfway in the screen. In remote desktop, I can move my cursor anywhere -- but for example: if I clicked and dragged from either corner of the bottom of the desktop and dragged up, the cursor/selection box would stop at halfway/midpoint of desktop resolution. Anything above this midpoint I cannot click on (I can click all I want, but clicking does nothing). Below this point I can select and move anything around just fine.

    Another piece of detail is that if I move my cursor to the edge of a window in the upper half, the cursor will change to the icon that shows you can resize the window -- but clicking does absolutely nothing unless I do it in the bottom half of the screen.
     
  26. criccio

    criccio Fully Equipped

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    Um... no. Its not broken. Your possibly borked something up but what you are describing most definitely is only your problem. lol
     
  27. Shane_c82

    Shane_c82 Gawd

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    so you RDP to your 7 machine and the upper half of the RDP window is not clickable?
     
  28. Cerulean

    Cerulean [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Correct.

    But my cursor will change icons if I were to move my cursor to the edge of a window (but I cannot click+resize unless I click+resize in the bottom half of the screen). I can see the whole screen just fine. Click functionality only works in the bottom half.
     
  29. Cerulean

    Cerulean [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Ok, well now it works fine. Not sure what was up last night.

    Might have something to do with having a 15" LCD hooked up running at 1280x1024 whereas my RDP session was running at 1280x800.
     
  30. TechieSooner

    TechieSooner [H]ardness Supreme

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    PEBKAC
     
  31. thefordmccord

    thefordmccord [H]ard|Gawd

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    Audio works just fine in server 2008. All you have to do is start the audio services and install the driver for your sound card. It works great on mine.
     
  32. GushpinBob

    GushpinBob 2[H]4U

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    x2. OP, did you even bother looking at the link you posted, http://www.win2008workstation.com/? The instructions are linked from the home page.