Ruminations of idle rants and ramblings of a code monkey

More on Windows Server 2008 R2 as a desktop

Idle Babbling

Since I did the last post on this, I’ve also (now) installed Server 2008 R2 on my personal desktop … as my laptop had to be turned in. In doing this and getting it set up to be a day-to-day desktop OS (as opposed to a demo machine OS), I ran across a couple of other things that I thought were worth noting.

IE ESC: That’s Enhanced Security Configuration … the ultra-secure-because-it’s-only-HTML mode of Internet Explorer that is enabled by default on Windows Server. Again, something that makes a TON of sense but it doesn’t work very well when you are using it as a desktop. I had thought (silly me) that it’d be easy … go into the Server Manager and turn it off. Well, there were complications. Here’s the deal: I run with a different account than the built-in Administrator account. It’s also the account that ties my machine to my Windows Home Server (which is way cool, btw). When I created the account, I did not initially add it to the Administrators group. So, when I turned IE ESC off for Admins, it didn’t turn off for that account … because it wasn’t an admin. Easy enough … I turned off IE ESC for all users. Nope. Didn’t work. Added my account to the Administrators group. And it still didn’t work … I was still running IE in the Enhanced Security mode. Even after rebooting. I went to “User Accounts” in Control Panel (it’s just like on the desktop version) and couldn’t add that account as an Administrator account there either. So … I wound up deleting the account and recreating the account using the "User Accounts” applet in Control Panel, creating it as an administrator account. Then it worked. Just fine. I don’t know why this happened. I cannot explain it at all. But there it is.

Windows 7 Themes: I did turn on the themes and eye candy as mentioned previously. But the Win7 themes aren’t included and I couldn’t find a way to install them. Easy enough … copy them from a Windows 7 installation. They will be under %WINDIR%\Resources\Themes. You’ll also want to copy the pictures (%WINDIR%\Web\Wallpaper) and the cursors (%WINDIR%\Cursors). They will then appear in your personalization window.

Windows Search: This one is important for finding stuff in Outlook and on your drives in a reasonable amount of time. It is not installed by default in Windows Server … and Outlook will tell you all about it and the necessity of installing it if you want to do any searching. You cannot find it in Features. There’s a download for Windows Search 4.0 for Vista … that doesn’t work either (refuses to install). Where is it? It is under Roles …File Services … Windows Search. Perfectly logical right?

So there it is. I’ll post any more tidbits as I happen across them. So far, though, all is well and happy.