Windows Server 2008 as a Workstation

Well, over here you can have a read through this blog post on how to use the new Windows Server 2008 as a workstation.  I’ve been successfully using WS2K8 as my primary Operating System since just after Christmas last year (the RC1) and I’ve only had some expected issues to deal with.

#1 – Make sure you have proper graphics/video drivers.  Drives compatible with Vista ought to work, but may be tricky to install.

#2 – It’s a Server.  If you want to use it like a workstation (desktop experience, playing rich media etc) expect some resistance from the operating system.

I can’t help you with the former, but I can with the latter.  First up, there is a new component in the Vista and WS2K8 stack – the Multimedia Class Scheduler.  Read this article by SysInternals wizz Mark Russinovich or simply make the following registry edits* to balance the CPU load:

Under the following registry key:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\Currentversion\Multimedia\SystemProfile\

Add a new key DWORD NetworkThrottlingIndex with a decimal value of 10 and modify this key: SystemResponsiveness DWORD to a decimal value of 20

This will help to balance background/foreground threads (in priority) so that you can use the system and play multimedia content at the same time.

Otherwise, really, really make sure you have a correct video driver and ensure you avoid installing all the annoying indexing garbage . 

You can learn more about Vista and multimedia here.



* Normal disclaimer: don’t make registry changes unless you are sure you understand what you are doing.  I take absolutely zero responsibility for any suggested changes.  Pay me money and I can offer a money back guarantee.

About Rob Sanders

IT Professional and TOGAF 9 certified Enterprise Architect with nearly two decades of industry experience, 18 years in commercial software development and 11 years in IT consulting. Check out the "About Rob" page for more information.

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