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Optimizing Server 2003 for workstation use and function

Its common knowledge that Windows server 2003 is on the of the most stable server platforms available. Its stability is said to rival that of Linux.
Here's a guide to remove all or most of the server like traits and have it function much like XP pro with many more features and much more speed and stability.
My experience with Server 2003 has been with the enterprise.

Walkthroughs and workings the inner workings of Windows Server 2003
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV

Windows 2003 support forum (temporary until we get some more info, if this is prohibited by the TOS someone tell me
)
http://forums.windowsitpro.com/web/f...=50&entercat=y

http://win2k3.msfn.org/ <--- Walkthrough
Most of that ^^^^ in a program(listed here), I suggest doing the registry edits etc. It gives you more of an understanding of how Server 2003 can be used.

http://labmice.techtarget.com/windows2003/default.htm <--- Support page (various links to MS web page catagorised)

How to disable windows event tracker by kc-tr

TOOLS/UTILITES

Some more utility's: (brought to you by -iceblade^)

Quote:
Server to windows xp conversion
Working link
Workstation easy conversion exe:
Server 2003 workstation .exe
Its about 500kb's and you can edit some hard to find features easily
(I suggest doing the registry edits etc. It gives you more of an understanding of how Server 2003 can be used.)
(Props to probn for finding the conversion.exe
)

Toolkit from microsoft.com

Quote:
Overview: The Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools are a set of tools to help administrators streamline management tasks such as troubleshooting operating system issues, managing Active Directory®, configuring networking and security features, and automating application deployment.
(Server 2003 tool pack link and list on post #48 )

Helpful info on Server 2003 (the specifics)

I "dug" up some more info off wiki
Link to wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_server_2003

Quote:
Standard Edition:
Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition is aimed towards small to medium sized businesses. Flexible and versatile, Standard Edition supports file and printer sharing, offers secure Internet connectivity, and allows centralized desktop application deployment. This edition of Windows will run on up to 4 processors with up to 4 GB RAM. 64-bit versions are also available for the AMD64Intel clone of that same architecture, EM64T (called, collectively, x64 by Microsoft). The 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition is capable of addressing up to 32 GB of RAM and it also supports Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA), something the 32-bit version does not. architecture and the

Enterprise Edition:
Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition is aimed towards medium to large businesses. It is a full-function server operating system that supports up to eight processors and provides enterprise-class features such as eight-node clustering using Microsoft Cluster Server (MSCS) software and support for up to 32 GB of memory. Enterprise Edition also comes in 64-bit versions for the Itanium and x64 architectures. The 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition [64-bit] is capable of addressing up to 1 Terabyte (1024 GB) of RAM. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions support Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA). It also provides the ability to hot-add supported hardware.
The main difference between Standard Edt. and Enterprise Edt. are the features, a comparison would be XP home to XP pro.



Server 2003 free trial!
WWW>> Here
You need an account on the Microsoft website. Here is where you sign in and download the ISO.

Quote:
Windows Server 2003 R2 Trial Software Downloads
Windows Server 2003 R2 Trial Software
Trial software for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 R2 is available for 180-day evaluation. Register to order a CD or to download the trial software.

Also server 2003 is targeted a good deal less by virus's than say XP. Windows server only makes up a marginal percentile of the total OS's compared to XP.
List of questionable games that may not run on Server 2003 normaly(tested by peoplez):
Battlefield:Vietnam
Diablo II
cs:1.6<(works?) - DOD - HL1
Redalert 2
Company of Heros
2Moons
 

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old old news, but nice find. win2k3 is a stable platform, but when i turned it into a workstation i still had problems with it. all the things you disable of course make the platform more unstable.
 

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I have access to Server... I might have to try an install on the second hard drive and see what I can get out of it. XP for gaming, server for everything else?


Nice links Chosen.
 

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I ran server2003 as a workstation for several months, I really liked it.

If you can get a copy of server from school or something, I would suggest trying this. I wouldn't pay the huge price for server to do this however.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was lucky enough to get a copy from my schools computer admin for free

Oh and server 2003 runs games very well. But if the game was made before 2001 it most likely wont work.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Chosen View Post
I was lucky enough to get a copy from my schools computer admin for free

Oh and server 2003 runs games very well. But if the game was made before 2001 it most likely wont work.

Won't be a problem for me, although I'm seeing on Nvidia's site only x64 drivers for Server 2003? Surley they support the x86 versions, to. I'll have to dig a little deeper.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Quote:

Originally Posted by Chipp View Post
Won't be a problem for me, although I'm seeing on Nvidia's site only x64 drivers for Server 2003? Surley they support the x86 versions, to. I'll have to dig a little deeper.
For all of my drivers I just downloaded the xp/2000 drivers. All worked fine.
 

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there are server03 drivers that are specific to 32 and 64bit...cross platforming can get your OS twisted up...LOL
I keep all my drivers on a DVD image...huh man!!!!
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Chosen
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Just checked on the drivers. Thats just an option for downloading server 2003 64bit(?) drivers. Just go with the xp/2000. They should work fine.

That's what I figured, I'm not using NVidia official anyway.
 

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I have some more info and another program for you guys. I came across this last year and used their utililty on a few installations. Currently just my laptop is running w2k3, but my workhorse will be also.

I will be checking out the util that was posted, looks good.

Okay, here's the link to the article about the utility. Their link to it no longer works, so I uploaded it to a fileshareing site.

Here's the article:
Windows 2003 - XP Conversation Pack

And you can download the file from here:
Download xpconv.zip

I would run it after I installed the W2k3 EE edition. It would say something about the activation, but it didn't apply to mine. The warning only has to do with people using a pirated copy of W2k3. So take heed of the warning if you are!
Then on all the options in the program, I just selected them all.

Then after it installs some stuff (xp themes & stuff), changes some settings around. After the reboot it comes up like you are using XP.
One problem I found is that even though it turns on fast user switching, I can't find what program XP uses to do it. So I would end up having to log out to long in another account.

Enjoy!
 

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No problem. I'm glad you posted this, so i was able to get a new tool. I like running w2k3 better then xp, that's for sure. As soon as I stop being lazy and start backing up my downloads and empty my drives, I will be installing w2k3 on my other computers.
I'm going to install in on my gaming computer, but I'm not sure if I will end up using it. I guess it depends on how it is with games. plus i don't mind having to run xp on it, since it's just going to be used for gaming, nothing else. Well, maybe some folding also when I'm not gaming. =)

If anyone knows of a forum or something that people talk about using w2k3 as a workstation, please post a link. I got some questions I'd like to run by someone people who knows what's up with windows OS.
 

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Nice information, I did this, and it works great. Solid as a rock, but there are a few things you have to get around DEP, has to be turned off except for only windows files/services, or it will not allow F.E.A.R to run, It may do this with other games I dont know, but fear I play so I know it does with fear. Other than that, I was able to increase the graphics quality for game play, and still keep fast frame rates. Smooth as it can be, feels as if you are playing on the local machine in single player, no lag, just nice! Highly recommended!

BTW Im running 2k3 RC2
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Great! Well if anyone has tried games out on server 2003 that dont work or work poorly compared to xp post them here and ill add them to the list.

EDIT: server 2003 support forum in first post.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by Chosen
View Post

Great! Well if anyone has tried games out on server 2003 that dont work or work poorly compared to xp post them here and ill add them to the list.

EDIT: server 2003 support forum in first post.

Why not make a thread here in the servers section for exactly that? like "Gaming on Windows Server 2003" Or "Turn your server into a gaming machine" something like that?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well this thread is intended to show how you can setup your server 2003 installation so it runs like a work station. I'm just throwing in some personal experiance. I mean what other reason is there other than gaming to turn 2003 into a workstation?
 
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