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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  • Because having the administrator account by default can be a bit dangerous and cause all kinds of problems if you encounter malware, it's best to create a standard account to limit the scope that malware can have.

    Go to Start, Control Panel, then User Accounts. Click on Manage another account then select Create a new account. On this screen, enter your new username and select Standard user, then click Create account. Done!

    To read more about this, head on over to the ZDNet iGeneration blog.
  • To customise the settings of your new account, select the account you have just created and go through each option to change the account password and change the account picture especially.

    Once you are done, log out and log back in with your new user account details that you have just created. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

    To read more about this, head on over to the ZDNet iGeneration blog.
  • You'll be faced with pretty much the same desktop experience as before. But now that you are logged in as the correct user, you can start changing your user profile settings such as the theme.

    Go to Start, Control Panel then Personalisation. Provided you have the correct hardware drivers installed, and that you have gone through previously and ensured the Desktop Experience features are added and that the Themes services is enabled, you should be able to click on the Windows 7 theme, enabling Aero Glass window features and the ability to change your background to the Windows 7 default.

    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@...