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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  • At this point, it's quite difficult to notice that this operating system isn't in fact Windows 7. Some server relics are left behind, such as the icons on the taskbar. Simply right click on the Server Manager and Windows PowerShell and click Unpin this program from taskbar to get rid of them.

    To read more about this, head on over to the ZDNet iGeneration blog.
  • To customise your taskbar and Start menu as you probably would have done through the Control Panel already, you might have missed one thing. One item you will not need (and should probably avoid, just to be on the safe side) is the Administrative Tools. In the wrong hands, these tools can be quite damaging on your precious computer.

    Right click the taskbar and select Properties. Click on the Start Menu tab at the top then click Customise. Scroll to the bottom and under System administrative tools, select Don't display this item, then hit OK, Apply then a final OK.

    To read more about this, head on over to the ZDNet iGeneration blog.
  • To make sure that you get the full visual effects out of what is essentially Windows 7, right click the Computer icon on the desktop and select Properties. Click on Advanced system settings in the left hand pane, then under Performance select the Settings button. For an easy life, just select the Adjust for best appearance radio button.

    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@...