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My Windows 2008 Workstation

When I found out that my laptop is capable of running Hyper-V, I was excited. So I took one weekend trying it out. Trust me guys (and gals) having Hyper-V running on your laptop is worth it all. Am now thinking to make my Win2008 partition my primary OS since I’m still dual booting. Here’s a list of things you might want to do too getting your Windows 2008 to work as a workstation.

Testing Hyper-V compatibility

Run this tool which will help you determine if your computer is capable of running Hyper-V. Of course you have to first enable this feature in your BIOS settings. Get it here from my SkyDrive.


Desktop Experience

And this is one of the key thing I feel to getting Windows Server 2008 become your desktop OS. This enables lotsa stuff from Aero, to themes to Media Player, most things you would expect from running a desktop OS. To add the feature go to Server Manager > Features > Desktop Experience. Installing the desktop experience does not enable them. You have to manually do it.


Go to Services.MSC > Themes and set the service to start automatically.

Enabling Aero

Go to Control Panel > Personalization >Theme then select Windows Aero.


Search is disabled by default in Windows Server 2008. If you can live without it, then fine. But if you can’t stand waiting a second more when searching for your mails in Outlook then you have to add the file services role. Server Manager > Roles > File Services > Windows Search.

Shutdown Event Tracker

Who needs this on your desktop anyway. To disable shutdown event tracker, open gpedit.msc, under Administrative Templates, expand System then disable Display Shutdown Event Tracker.


Of course you need this and you can turn it on here: Services.msc > Windows Audio so that it starts up automatically.


If you don’t already know this, this feature is available in Vista to make your experience more responsive in conjunction with ReadyBoost (not available in Windows 2008). Unfortunately this is a registry tweak to make the below two changes. Of course you need to set the service to start automatically. Services.msc > SuperFetch

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory ManagementPrefetchParameters

EnablePrefetcher DWORD 3

EnableSuperfetch DWORD 3


Aah, my favorite! And this is simple. Server Manager > Roles > Hyper-V. You should not have any problems if you’ve tested your system with the tool I mentioned earlier.

Optimize for Programs

This is really because server operating systems are optimize for background services over interactive programs. You can change that in Control Panel > System and Maintenance > System > Advanced System Settings > Advanced > Performance > Settings > Advanced > Programs.

Power Options

Honestly I think this is optional, but if you want to do your bit against Global Warming, go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > Change plan settings. If you are running on batteries, this should help! Hard disk does not turn off by default in Windows Server 2008.

Internet Explorer Enhanced Security

Yes, this pesky little thing. Don’t you hate them? Get rid of them by Server Manager > Security Information > Configure IE ESC.

Wireless LAN

If you thought you’ve got all your drivers correctly, you thought right! Then why aren’t my wireless working? Well, that’s because like any server operating system all unnecessary services are disabled by default. Heard anyone using a wireless connection for their servers? Guess not! Go get them here: Start->Server Manager->Features->Add Feature->Wireless LAN Services.


The Missing

From the hype of all this there are some down sides of it against a desktop OS. If you are wondering how to get your Bluetooth device working like me, look no further. Yes, this is again NOT supported in Windows Server 2008. Among others that are not supported are:-

  • Sidebar
  • Support for IrDA hardware
  • Windows Movie Maker
  • Bluetooth support
  • Game Controllers
  • Parental Controls
  • Inbox Games
  • Games Explorer
  • Windows Vista Photo Experience
  • RSS Client
  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P) meeting application
  • Wallpapers or screensavers other than the following:
  • The default wallpapers and screensavers
  • 3-D screensavers
  • Animated cursors
  • Sample files, such as music sample files and video sample files
  • PIF manager
  • Tablet support
  • Mobility Center
  • Media Center
  • Speech Recognition

And this is not all. What’s up there is merely what I feel is necessary. To get more, there are blog sites and all dedicated to doing all this.  Some links that I found useful.









One response

  1. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m inspired! Very useful info particularly the closing section 🙂 I handle such info much. I was looking for this certain information for a very long time. Thanks and good luck.

    August 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm

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