Windows Server 2008 64 bit Notebook

Now that I have a 64 bit notebook, I get to do fun stuff like install the 64 bit version of Windows Server 2008 (beta 3). I wasn’t too sure how well the experiment would go, but so far it’s been pretty successful.

Drivers weren’t such an issue as most of the Vista x64 drivers worked flawlessly. I still have 3 unknown devices in the device manager and I haven’t yet tried to configure the finger print scanner, but everything else is good.

Obviously the first thing I did once the graphics drivers were installed, was to make it look like Vista with all the eye-candy. You need to install the “Desktop Experience” option from the “Add Features” section of “Server Manager”. Once that’s installed and you’ve rebooted, you need to enable the “Themes” service and enable all the performance options by going in to the “Advanced System Settings” and turning on all the visual stuff. Then reboot again and you can select the “Windows Vista” theme and the “Windows Aero” appearance settings. As you can see from the screenshot below, it’s all working well.

Windows Server 2008 running Aero

I also needed to configure wireless networking which isn’t installed by default (this is a good thing!) Just get back to the “Add Features” section and you can install the wireless networking option from there.

I have my key apps installed (Firefox, Live Messenger, Live Writer) and it all feels quite solid so far. Now to get some real server stuff running…

Aero blamed for Vista’s poor battery life

A lot of people have been complaining about Windows Vista’s poor battery life and now the bigger news outlets are picking up on it too. CNet reported that OEMs are resorting to their own power management tools to try to squeeze out as much battery life as possible while running Vista. The finger is being pointed at Vista’s new theme, Aero, as being the main cause – especially when running with all of the fancy effects – despite Microsoft saying that Aero doesn’t impact on performance.

Even Microsoft bloggers are starting to admit that Aero does drain the battery, but as far as I know Microsoft haven’t formally admitted to the problem yet.

One user decided to fix the problem himself, so he’s created a small utility which disables Aero while running on batteries. Simple but effective.