Converting free 'Windows 7' Server into a workstation

Converting free 'Windows 7' Server into a workstation

Summary: Students can download Windows Server 2008 R2 for free. Turn it into 'Windows 7' in only a few steps.

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  • To disable the somewhat irritating Ctrl+Alt+Del sequence before login, go to Start then Run. Type in gpedit.msc then hit OK. Go to Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Local Policies then select the Security Options folder. Double click on Interactive logon: Do not require CTRL+ALT+DEL and select the Enabled radio button, then Apply and OK. This will no longer require the use of the 'three finger salute' before you log on.

    To read more about this, head on over to the ZDNet iGeneration blog.
  • The next time you restart, as you won't need to use the Initial Configuration Tasks anymore, select the tick box at the bottom of the screen saying Do not show this window at logon and then hit Close. This screen will no longer bother you again.

    To read more about this, head on over to the ZDNet iGeneration blog.
  • The services are the programs which not only run in the background and out of sight but keep Windows from ticking over. Some services need to be enabled to make sure you get the full 'Windows 7' experience, whereas others can be turned off. It's relatively straight forward once you get the knack of it.

    Go to Start, then Administrative Tools and then Services. As you're logged in as the administrator (we'll fix this later) it should load straight up.

    To read more about this, head on over to the ZDNet iGeneration blog.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Servers, Software

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11 comments
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  • I give MS one day to shut this site down..

    Sad, but true...
    amasys
    • Sadly...

      @amasys<br><br>...Microsoft has been running this site for quite some time. Thanks to Dreamspark, I'm able to run Server 2008 as Vista Workstation (which was a popular mod back when Server was released).<br><br>I doubt that MS will shut down a site because one random person discovered its existence and declared it too good to be true.<br><br>So, the only one sad about things here is, well... you.
      Royal_Knight
      • RE: Converting free 'Windows 7' Server into a workstation

        @RoyalKnight@... I agree. I just think it's a shame that other software companies like Adobe don't have similar programs to enable students to engage with their products. I think CS5 comes to mind... seeing as so many of my multimedia tech/CS friends download the trial then crack it because they can't afford the ridiculous prices.
        zwhittaker
    • RE: Converting free 'Windows 7' Server into a workstation

      @amasys

      Most college students in computer-related fields get MS Windows 7 Pro for free anyways through MSDN Academic Alliance. So I don't think MS will make a big deal out of this.
      Zaxx81
    • They won't do it...

      @amasys I don't think so, Microsoft don't want people hearing bad thoughts about them, especially if those came from sites like ZDNet.
      fbarias89
  • RE: Converting free 'Windows 7' Server into a workstation

    Beside that a lot of programs will require a "server edition" ...
    jonathan@...
    • Yep.

      @jonathan

      Of course, there are other alternatives that you can install and use, but, yes, running a Server OS does end up limiting your selection of common desktop software, especially security software. AVG comes to mind.
      Royal_Knight
  • RE: Converting free 'Windows 7' Server into a workstation

    @RoyalKnight - Adobe offers discounts to students all of the time. CS5 goes for $99.00 shipped, no tax. DreamSpark offerings are unbelievable. I would say nearly all of the high end software companies offer sweet deals to students; if a student is receiving the discounts, the his/her IT Department isn't doing its job. They, the IT guys, have to make a call, fill out a short form, and put an institution on a list for the discounts.
    calkinsj@...
    • RE: Converting free 'Windows 7' Server into a workstation

      @calkinsj@...

      MSDNAA has also been a valuable student resource.
      wizofvoz@...
  • RE: Converting free 'Windows 7' Server into a workstation

    The only thing now left is bluetooth...
    b1thunt3r
  • RE: Converting free 'Windows 7' Server into a workstation

    Zack,
    In the US the site http://www.journeyed.com/ provides discounted software to students. There might be something similar on your side of the Atlantic.
    wizofvoz@...