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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  • Once Windows kicks up for the first time, you'll be prompted to enter a password. Because this is a server edition, you'll need to use a strong alphanumeric password, with maybe a few weird unconventional characters. So, something like "m1key$aw3#ome" - for example - will suffice. This may be a bit annoying, but it does force you, the user, into good password habits.

    To read more about this, head on over to the ZDNet iGeneration blog.
  • When you downloaded Windows from DreamSpark, you were given a product key to use also. Right click Computer and select Properties. At the bottom of this screen, choose Change product key. Copy and paste this in and it'll activate without a fuss. If you have accidentally installed the wrong edition - so anything other than Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard- then it may not activate.

    To read more about this, head on over to the ZDNet iGeneration blog.
  • To change your computer name (which may be a requirement by your university IT department), when the Initial Configuration Tasks pops up, click on Provide computer name and domain then enter your computer description in the box. Then, while still on this tab, click Change then enter your computer name in the box according to your university's requirements. Click OK, then Apply and OK again. You may be prompted to restart your computer (...again).

    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@...