For the last few weeks I’ve been running Windows Server 2008 R2 on my main desktop at home rather than Windows 7. There are a few reasons I’ve done this, including that Windows Server 2012 seems to be a much more solid operating system (at least in my opinion) than Windows 8. I figure if I plan to run the server OS on my main box in the summer, I may as well start doing so now, though more of my thoughts on that matter are the object of another blog post.
Overall, getting my system set up with Server 2008 R2 was a relatively easy process. I just had to mainly do work to 1.) install extra drivers and 2.) enable/disable features that would not normally be important when running Server 2008 R2 as a pure server OS that people will rarely be logging into. I had to:
- Install the Windows 7 video driver.
- Install the Windows 7 audio driver.
- Enable the Windows Audio service and set it to Automatic.
- Disable the Shutdown Event Tracker.
- Disable the IE Enhanced Security Configuration.
There are some other things I could do, such as enabling the Desktop Experience and turning on Aero, but I don’t actually have an issue with the Windows Classic look. Eye-candy is nice but not a necessity.
After doing all of this, I basically have a super desktop OS. The one issue I’ve run into is that, while the video driver for Windows 7 will work, the AMD Vision Engine Control Center does not. I discovered this pretty quickly since the Control Center will automatically set itself to run on startup after it’s been installed. I know the driver works fine because it automatically adjusted my screen resolution up to 1920 x 1080 after my first reboot. However, I then saw the following when I logged in:
It isn’t a huge issue, but there are some things in which it may have been helpful, such as when I was trying to see if it would be possible to get the original Starcraft running under 2008 R2. The game would run, but the video was completely messed up. After some searches across the Internet I discovered there are some graphics settings that could have resolved the problem, but they were only available in the menus of the Control Center. It’s hardly a deal-breaker, but it would be nice if I could get the application working. Sadly, since not too many people are running Server 2008 R2 as a desktop OS, finding anything on the Internet to help me out has been difficult.