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Convert your Windows Server 2008 R2 to a Workstation! - Page not found
Dec 25

Following sawo with his Windows Server 2008 to Workstation Converter, Neige and his team have created a Converter for Windows Server 2008 R2! This allows you to quickly configure your Windows Server 2008 R2 to be used as a day-to-day workstation.

See forum topic.

Screenshots (from version 2; tool looks slightly different now)








If you have any suggestions or need any help, please drop a comment below or ask your question at the forum.

Dec 30

The build-in Remote Desktop feature is very useful if you want to use your home-PC from your laptop in the living room, at work, at school or any other place in the world. This tutorial will enable this functionality including Aero over Remote Desktop and high quality audio and video playback. If you want to use Aero over Remote Desktop you will have to install the Desktop Experience feature first which is explained at this page.

1. To enable Remote Desktop access click Run in the Start menu and enter SystemPropertiesRemote. In the window that pops up select the second or third option and click OK.
Enable Remote Desktop in the Remote tab of the System Properties window

2. To enable 32bit color depth needed for Aero and high quality audio and video playback over Remote Desktop click Run in the Start menu, enter tsconfig.msc and click OK. Now double-click the (default) RDP-tcp connection and go to the Client Settings tab. At the Client Settings tab uncheck the Limit Maximum Color Depth checkbox and optionally also uncheck the other checkboxes in the Redirection section to allow audio and video recording/playback. Click OK to save the new settings.
Remove color depth limit and other limitations for Remote Desktop

3. To enable Aero over Remote Desktop click Run in the Start menu, enter gpedit.msc and click OK. Browse to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Session Host -> Remote Session Environment and open the Allow desktop composition for remote desktop connections property.
"Remote Session Environment" section in the Group Policy Editor

4. Change the "Allow desktop composition for remote desktop sessions" setting to Enabled and click OK to save the change.
Set the "Allow desktop composition for remote desktop sessions" setting to Enabled in the Group Policy Editor

5. If you now start the Microsoft Remote Desktop client (Start -> Run -> mstsc), click the Options link, go to the Display tab and set the color depth of the remote session to Highest Quality (32bit) and also at least check the Desktop composition and Visual styles checkboxes at the Experience tab, you will get the Aero experience over Remote Desktop..
Set "color depth of the remote session" to "Highest Quality (32bit)" in the Display tab of the Remote Desktop Connection client At least enable Desktop Composition and Visual Styles in the Experience tab of the Remote Desktop Connection client

6. Enjoy 3D Flip and all other Aero features over Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop! The client system also needs to be running a Windows Vista a or later Operating System and also needs to support Aero.
Aero 3D Flip over Remote Desktop

Sep 26

Sticky Notes on your desktop can be a useful reminder for things you still have to do. To get Sticky Notes working in Windows Server 2008 R2 you have to install it first using the following installer. The files are extracted from the Windows 7 x64 MSDN DVD and the slc.dll file is created by msft.guy.

1. Download sticky_notes.zip (293 KB) from win2008r2workstation.

2. After downloading the zip extract the zip, run install.cmd as an Administrator and follow the instructions on the screen.
Extract sticky_notes.zip and run install.cmd

3. Enjoy the Sticky Notes on your desktop!
Sticky Notes in Windows Server 2008 R2

Aug 15

By default you can’t use the Microsoft eHome IR Transceiver in Windows Server 2008 R2, but using this page you ‘ll install drivers to get the hardware working. These drivers were extracted from the Windows 7 x64 RTM MSDN dvd.

1. Download eHome.zip (296 KB) from win2008r2workstation.

2. After downloading the zip extract the zip, run install.cmd as an Administrator and follow the instructions on the screen.
Extract eHome.zip and run install.cmd

3. Install the drivers via the Device Manager using step 2 – 5 at the Drivers page.

Aug 15

Before people switch to a completely new operating system they often want to test it for a few weeks first. This is possible without losing your current Windows Installation (like Windows XP/ Vista / 7) by creating a multi boot installation. Using multi boot you can select which Operating System to start after turning on the computer. As an example we will create a dual boot installation with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 R2. Assumed is that you already have Vista installed on a partition that uses the full harddisk.


1. Boot up your Windows Server 2008 R2 dvd. After you see the screen below, choose the approperiate settings and click Next.
Main installation screen

2. We will shrink the partition of the Windows that is already installed first to create some space for the new Windows Server 2008 R2 installation. To do this click the Repair your computer link.
Repair your computer

3. Select the “Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier” option and click Next.
Select "Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier"

4. Windows will warn you that it couldn’t find an image backup on your computer. Just click the Cancel button and after that close the “Re-image your computer” window.
Exit the "Re-image your computer" Wizard.

5. At the System Recovery Options screen click the Command Prompt link to open a command line window.
Command Prompt in System Recovery Options window

6. Shrink Vista partition:
a. At the command prompt first enter the
diskpart command to start the Disk Management application.
b. Now execute the list volume command to view the available cd- and harddrives.
c. Select the Vista partition by executing the select volume # command where # is the volume id from the first column.
d. Shrink the selected partition using the shrink desired=# command where # is the amount of space in MB’s you want the volume to shrink. Make sure you shrink the volume at least 14GB (14000) to have enough space to install Windows Server 2008 R2. You can view the maximum amount you can shrink by executing the shrink querymax command.
e. After successfully shrinking the Vista partition type exit twice to exit both the Diskpart utility and the Command Prompt window.
Shrink partition using diskpart to create space for the installation of Windows Server 2008 R2

7. Close the System Recovery Options screen to return to the main installation screen.
Close the System Recovery Options screen

8. Back at the main installation screen click the Install now button to start the installation wizard of Windows Server 2008 R2.
Start Installation

9. Select the version of Windows Server 2008 R2 that says Full Installation. Don’t select one of the Server Core Installation’s, because then you won’t have a GUI ;-)
Choose Edition

10. If you agree to the license terms, select I accept the license terms and click Next.
License terms

11. Choose the Custom (advanced) option to create a new installation and be able to select the partition you want to install Windows Server 2008 R2 to.
Installation Type

12. Select the Unallocated Space we just created using the diskpart utility by shrinking the Vista volume and click Next to start the installation.
Set the installation location to the "Unallocated Space"

13. Now Windows Server 2008 R2 setup will install the selected version to your harddrive.
Expanding Windows files Completing installation Preparing for first use

14. After the installation has finished the computer will restart and a message about changing your password will be shown. Click OK.
Password notification

15. You MUST type in a strong password with at least one capital letter and one number, for example P4ssword (capital P/number four), otherwise you will get an error message saying that you doesn’t comply to the security enforcements of the domain. You can disable this strong password enforcement later. After succesfully changing the password you will see the message that your password has succesfully been changed. Click OK. Your desktop will now show up.
Set Administrator password Password has been changed

16. In the Initial Configuration Tasks window check the Do not show this window at logon to not show the Initial Configuration Tasks at startup. You can access it later by typing oobe in Start -> Run.
Initial Configuration Tasks

17. In the Server Manager window check the Do not show me this console at logon to not show the Server Manager at startup. You can access it later via the the Server Manager shortcut in your quick launch bar or Start menu.
Server Manager

Configuring Boot Menu

By default the Windows Server 2008 R2 Setup sets itself to the default startup. (See image) You probably don’t want that while it’s still your secondary operating system. To change the startup order we will use the commandline tool bcdedit.

1. To edit the boot menu start the Command Prompt by clicking Run in the Start menu, entering cmd and clicking OK.
a. After opening the Command Prompt enter the bcdedit command without any parameters to view the boot configuration. Notice the identifier and description values of the different Windows Boot Loaders.
b. First we are going to configure Windows Vista as our default startup Operating System. To do this enter the command bcdedit /default {identifier} where {identifier} is the identifier of the Operating System you want to boot by default.
c. The timeout before automatically booting the default Operating System can be set using the bcdedit /timeout # where # is the number of seconds to wait before automatically booting the default OS.
d. Optionally you can also change the order in which the Operating Systems are displayed in the boot menu by using the bcdedit /displayorder {identifier 1} {identifier 2} {identifier N} command where you replace the identifiers by the ones corresponding with the different Boot Loaders.
Setting Windows Vista as default Operating System and boot timeout to 5 seconds

2. Restart your system and see the results!
Vista as default and first option in the boot menu Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 R2 partitions in Windows Vista Partitions in the Disk Management tool (diskmgmt.msc) in Windows Server 2008 R2


Continue to the installation of the Device Drivers…

Aug 15

To get Windows Server 2008 R2 in your native language you are able to download language packs from the Microsoft.com Download website. Select the language you want from the Change language dropdown and click Change. Now click the Download button and wait for the download complete.

1. Open the downloaded file and wait for the installation to complete.
Installing language pack in Windows Server 2008 R2

2. After the installation has finished, click Start and go to the Control Panel. In the Control Panel click Change display language under Clock, Language and Region if you are using the Category View. If you are using the Icon View click the Region and language option and go to the Keyboards and Languages tab. Now choose the language you want from the display language dropdown and click OK. Click Log off now when asked.
Change display language for Windows Server 2008 R2

3. Log on again and enjoy Windows Server 2008 R2 in your own native language!
Windows Server 2008 R2 in Dutch (Nederlands)!


Continue to change the Computer Name…

Aug 15

Different License types

There are 3 different types of licenses with corresponding dvds for Windows Server 2008 R2: Volume License, OEM and Timebased Evaluation. All these licenses have different time limits before you have to activate in order to continue using the Operating System. There is a possibility to reset the evaluation period for a few times which is called “rearming”. This method is also explained in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. The different licenses with corresponding DVD-image, hashes and evaluation times are as follows:

Windows Server 2008 R2 Evaluation English (TIMEBASED_EVAL)Usable: (10 days + 5 * 10 days using rearm) + 180 days after activating = 240 days
Filename: 7600.16385.090713-1255_x64fre_server_eval_en-us-GRMSXEVAL_EN_DVD.iso (download)
SHA1: 799BF8DA077A3E842AA97C990E468B3AA7BDA4EB
MD5: 134F607CF4C633EF11D2576D1C635D08

Windows Server 2008 R2 OEM English (RETAIL)Usable without activation: 30 days + 3 * 30 days using rearm = 120 days
Filename: 7600.16385.090713-1255_x64fre_server_en-us_OEM-GRMSXFREO_EN_DVD.iso (only available for OEM manufacturers)
SHA1: 515A9E7F4C7DF41AACA6872CB806DABD15BF7D64
MD5: 4FFB420543F5A9265BE5EEDB6C4E55A2

Windows Server 2008 R2 VL English (VOLUME_KMSCLIENT)Usable without activation: 30 days + 3 * 30 days using rearm = 120 days
Filename: 7600.16385.090713-1255_x64fre_server_en-us_VL-GRMSXVOL_EN_DVD.iso (only available for MSDN and TechNet subscribers)
SHA1: AD855EA913AAEC3F1D0E1833C1AEF7A0DE326B0A
MD5: 0207EF392C60EFDDA92071B0559CA0F9

As you can see you can use the evaluation version of Windows Server 2008 R2 for free for 6 months and even for more than 7 months if you use the rearm method described below!


1. Check your remaining time by clicking Run in the Start menu and entering slmgr.vbs -dli. After clicking OK a window will show up which shows you the remaining time before expiration.
Show evaluation time left using slmgr.vbs -dli

2. If you have less than one day left rearm your license so you have 10 days left again. To do this click Run in the Start menu, enter slmgr.vbs -rearm and click OK. After a few moments a window will popup that shows you the rearm has been completed and you have to restart your system.
slmgr.vbs -rearm command succeeded

3. After restaring your system verify that the rearm has worked by running slmgr.vbs -dli again. The remaining time should now be reset to 10 days!
Remaining time reset to 10 days using rearm

Checking rearm count left

You can rearm the Evaluation version of Windows Server 2008 R2 up to 5 times. To check how much rearms you have left click Run in the Start menu, enter slmgr.vbs -dlv and click OK
Checking rearm count left using using the "slmgr.vbs -dlv" command


1. After you used all rearms it’s time to activate. To activate click Activate Windows online now Windows Activation assistant.
Windows Activation assistant

2. Wait until the online key verification and activation has finished.
Windows Activation assistant - product key is being verified

3. If everything went right Windows will now be activated with a 180 days license and a watermark appears on your desktop.
Windows Activation assistant - Successful activation

Removing Desktop Watermark

1. Download watermark.zip (9KB) from win2008r2workstation.

2. After downloading the zip extract the zip, run install.cmd as an Administrator and follow the instructions on the screen. After a successful installation, reboot your pc to remove the watermark. If you want to do this manually, open %SystemRoot%\System32\en-US\user32.dll.mui with a resource editor and replace the strings in the following resources with a space (” “): 45.715, 45.716, 46.* and 47.739.
Watermark remover installation

If you get a sharing violation error during the installation, try running it again in Safe Mode. I Couldn’t test it myself because for some reason I can’t get into Safe Mode. Please confirm this works!

Aug 9

A lot of us will probably also use Windows Server 2008 R2 to play games! On this page games that work and don’t work are listed. If you have a game that is not listed on this page, please leave a comment and share your experiences. Make sure you have applied all game-related fixes for Windows Server 2008 R2 at step 9 of the manual before reporting a non-working game.

To view all games that are working in the non-R2 version of Windows Server 2008, click here.
Age of Mythology - Titans ExpansionNoInstalls fine, but when executed, does not run, locks computer, requiring hard reset. No error message presented.
Anno 1404http://anno.ubi.com/Yes--
ArmA: Armed Assault - 1.16 BetaYes-Patch 1.16 is important for 4GB+ and ATI users
Armed Assault 2Yes--
Battlefield 2142 : Northern StrikeYes--
Battlefield 2 (and all Expantions)Yes--
Call Of Dutyhttp://www.callofduty.com/Yes--
Call of Duty 4Yes--
Crysis (32-bit)http://games.ea.com/crysis/Yes--
Doom 3http://www.idsoftware.com/games/index.phpYes--
Eduke32 (Duke Nukem 3D)Yes--
ET: Quake WarsYes--
ezQuake (Quake 1)Yes--
Fallout Tactics - Brotherhood of SteelYes--
FlatOut 2Yes--
Frets on FireYes--
Grand Theft Auto 2http://www.rockstargames.com/classics/Yes--
Gothic 3http://www.gothic3.com/YesDoesn't start, executable just exits quietly.Download & Apply Patch
Guild WarsYes--
Fallout 3http://fallout.bethsoft.com/Yes--
Far Cry 2http://farcry.ubi.com/Yes--
MafiaYesUnknownworks great after settings compatibility to Vista SP2
Max PayneYesUnknownworks great after applying unofficial patch
Max Payne 2Yes--
Medieval Total War 1 / Viking InvasionYes--
Monopoly by Parker BrothersYes--
Need for Speed - Porsche Unleashed 2000Yes--
Operation Flashpoint CWC/Resistance (Update 1.96)Yes--
Project IGI 2NoThis application requires DirectX version 8.1 or laterNone yet.
Quake 3 (with ioquake3 engine)Yes--
Red Orchestra OstFront 41-45http://www.redorchestragame.com/Yes--
rFactor 1.255http://www.rfactor.net/Yes--
Rome Total War - Barbarian Invasion - AlexanderYes--
Savage 2Yes-Requires Administrator rights
Second Life clientYes--
Silent Hunter IIIhttp://www.silenthunteriii.com/Yes--
Soldier of Fortune 2 - Double HelixYes--
Stalker Clear SkyYes-Remember to install the last patch
Stalker: Shadow of ChernobylNo--
StarcraftYesMenu is discoloured.-
Steam & Valve games (Half-Life 1 & 2 engine powered games)Yes--
Steel Fury: Kharkov 1942Yes--
Street Fighter IVhttp://www.streetfighter.com/YesUnknownComment
Team Fortress Classichttp://www.teamfortress.comNoScreen flashes quickly and then it closes.-
Team Fortress 2http://www.teamfortress.comYes--
Test Drive UnlimitedYes--
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08Yes--
Theatre of War 1.081Yes--
The SaboteurYes--
UltraStar DeluxeYes--
Unreal Tournament 2004http://www.unrealtournament2004.com/Yes--
Unreal Tournament 3Yes--
Urban TerrorYes--
Wizardry 8Yes--
World of GooYes--
World of PadmanYes--
WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs TigerNoToo many problems (sound etc etc)...And, the software house that made this game went bankrupt...so no updates-
Zdaemon (Multiplayer DooM)Yes--

All credits for keeping this list up-to-date go to Win2008[R2]Workstation crew member xxcom9a!

Aug 9

To protect your computer against viruses and hacking attempts you have to install security software. This page will list all sofware that is known to be compatible with Windows Server 2008. If you are using an application that isn’t listed here or if you are aware of an application that doesn’t work or needs a workaround, please add it using the form below! You can also always look at the Non-R2 Windows Server 2008 Security Software Compatibility list.

Security Software Compatibility

2 > 

yesNone yetNone needed
Avast 7 Freehttp://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-downloadyes-http://www.win2008workstation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=965&p=4802#p4802 Will even automatically update
Avast 7 Freehttp://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-downloadno--http://www.win2008workstation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=965&p=4802#p4802 Will even automatically update
Avast! Home Editionhttp://www.avast.com/ yes--
AVG Free 2011http://free.avg.com/yes--
AVG Free 2012http://free.avg.comyesSoftware will install but reports a licence issue. There is no fix for this issue. AVG specifically state in their support forums that AVG Free will not install on the server OS-
AVG Free 8.xhttp://free.avg.com/yesWon't install on Server OS.Win2k8ws SS (with an addition and note)
AVG Free 9.0 Betahttps://secure.avg.com/ww.70888noWon't install on Server OS. Previous fix doesn't work.-
AVG Internet Security SBS Editionhttp://www.avg.com/product-avg-internet-security-sbs-editionyes--
Avira AntiVir Personal Editionhttp://www.freeav.com/yesCannot be installed on a Server OSForum Topic
Bitdefender 2012 total securityhttp://www.bitdefender.com/yesGives problems in combination with SolidWorks (open Gl problem).Get other AV.
Bitdefender 2012 total securityhttp://Bitdefender.comyesnone so farUnpack with winrar, run "installerpackage.exe" (selfextractor), run installer.exe ENJOY!
BitDefender 2013 total securityhttp://www.bitdefender.com/yesnone so farUnpack with winrar, use the vcredist2010x??.exe to update your system and then run "installerpackage.exe" (selfextractor), run installer.exe ENJOY!
BitDefender Internet Security 2009/2010http://www.bitdefender.com/noDetails-
Comodo Anti-virushttp://www.comodo.com/yes--
Comodo Antivirus Freehttp://antivirus.comodo.com/yes-http://forums.comodo.com/help-for-comodo-antivirus/manual-steps-to-uninstall-comodo-antivirus-t887.0.html
convert avi to mp4http://www.convert-avitomp4.comnoEasily Convert AVI to MP4 with the Best Video Converter-
ESET Home Editionshttp://www.eset.com/yesWon't installUse workaround
ESET NOD32 Antivirus 4 Business Editionhttp://www.eset.com/yes--
F-Secure Internet Security 2010http://www.f-secure.com/no"You can't run F-Secure Internet Security 2010 on a server system."-
Gdata Internet Security 2010http://www.gdatasoftware.com/yes--
I'm not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists. acaeeeekgdebI'm not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists. acaeeeekgdebnoI'm not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists. acaeeeekgdebI'm not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end? I'll check back later and see if the problem still exists. acaeeeekgdeb
Kaspersky Anti-virushttp://www.kaspersky.com/noOperating System not supported.See comment
Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Windows Servers http://www.kaspersky.com/anti-virus_windows_serveryes--
Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free Antivirus +http://www.lavasoft.com/products/ad_aware_free.phpyesno-
Malwarebytes Antimalware V1.6https://www.malwarebytes.org/pro/yesNone yet-
Microsoft Security Essentials 2.1www.microsoft.com/security_essentialsno--
Microsoft Security Essentials 4.0.1526.0http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ZA/windows/products/securityyesNONENONE
Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimatehttp://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-gb/products/2010-edyes--

2 > 

Application Submission
  • * The [url=link]description[/url] bbcode can be used to link to a comment (#comment-123), the forum (/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=123) or any other webpage (http://www.win2008r2workstation.com/).

Aug 9

If you don’t like the default gray Windows Server 2008 R2 logon screen, it is also possible to use the colorful Windows 7 one.

1. Download logonscreen.7z (11,7MB) via Mirrorcreator or logonscreen.zip (29,9MB) via Mirrorcreator.

2. Extract the .zip or the .7z using 7-Zip to a folder and run install(.cmd).
Extract archive and install the Windows 7 logon screen using install.cmd

3. Enjoy your new logon screen!
Windows 7 logon screen for Windows Server 2008 R2


The files in this patch are the original ones from Windows Server 2008 R2 which are edited. You can edit them by opening the imageres.dll file with a Resource Editor like Restorator 2007, expanding the IMAGE resource and replacing all gray logon screens with the Windows 7 equivalent. Do this as follows (read as: copy … to …): 5031 -> 5044, 5032 -> 5045, 5033 -> 5046, 5034 -> 5047, 5035 -> 5048, 5036 -> 5049, 5037 -> 5050, 5038 -> 5051, 5039 -> 5052, 5040 -> 5053, 5041 -> 5054, 5042 -> 5055, 5043 -> 5056.


Continue to install the missing gameux.dll file…