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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  • Windows 7 is a popular desktop operating system to use, and it's preinstalled on many new computers. But, if you want to upgrade, you'll have to bite the bullet and pay for it. Or... do you? Windows Server 2008 R2 is the same operating system, just tweaked slightly to run better on servers. And, seeing as it's provided to students for free, you may as well download and use it to keep up to date.

    But this doesn't come without its problems. This short guide will show you exactly how to tweak it to run just as Windows 7 would.

    To read more about this, head on over to the ZDNet iGeneration blog.
  • To download, head over to the DreamSpark website and download Windows Server 2008 R2 using the download manager. You will need to sign in using your university username and password to download and get a genuine key.

    Seeing as the download is 2.8GB (it's the 64-bit image you will download, so make sure that your computer is 64-bit. It probably will be, but best to check anyway) you might want to go up to your university campus and download from there. At least then you'll have a faster connection with fewer restrictions.

    To read more about this, head on over to the ZDNet iGeneration blog.
  • Once you have downloaded the ISO image, burn it to disk (this utility works really well) and restart your computer. Once you follow the setup prompts, make sure you install the correct version of the operating system. You are aiming to install Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard (Full Installation) - and then carry on the installation as normal.

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