Thursday, March 13, 2008

Windows Server 2008 on the Mac

It's about 5pm and I'm sitting watching my son play in his second tennis match and working on my Mac.  Boy I have to get used to saying that.  This is a beautiful machine.  After I used Boot Camp to install Windows Server 2008 x64 I started searching Google for driver locations and tricks to get everything working.  After the default install I had the built-in NIC, wireless NIC (Broadcom), iSight, and audio not working.  The blogs that talked about installing the Aetheros wireless driver obviously would not work since this is a new Mac and they've started using Broadcom.  I even found a post giving a download link to some HP driver that was supposed to work.  Frustrated, I decided to simply insert my Leopard disk and see what would happen.  I had heard that x64 drivers had shipped with the new Mac Pros but not with the MacBook Pros so when I ran the installer I expected a polite error message.  Instead, something really cool happened.  All of my devices (except the Bluetooth hub) just started working.  Yup.  Every driver installed cleanly.  No unsigned driver warnings.  Nothing but cool clean workiness.  Yes, that's a made up word.

Since this is Windows Server 2008 I can't run the tool that gives me an experience index but from reading other blog posts I would imagine it is around 5.3-5.5.  Very fast I can tell you that.  I can also tell you without a doubt that Windows Server 2008 *is* faster than Vista.  If you are running Vista and don't have crazy application compatibility issues then do yourself a favor and try out Win2k8.  There are lots of posts out there talking about all the steps you need to do to make it look and act like Vista. 

So, I've installed Visual Studio 2005 and now I'm installing Visual Studio 2008.  No wireless here at the tennis courts and I don't have Live Writer installed so I'm typing this blog post into visual notepad.  :0

Oh, one other nice bit of coolness.  I installed the demo of VMWare Fusion and used it to boot my boot camp partition.  First, it was nice to see that Fusion has experimental support for Windows Server 2008.  That makes sense since it is basically Vista.  In any case, I was certain that once I booted under Fusion that all my drivers would be replaced with generic SVGA, mouse, etc drivers and that I would have to endure a re-discovery of hardware when I booted natively into Window.  I was prepared for that actually. But no, my boot camp partition boots nicely under Fusion but also boots natively with all the optimized drivers still in place.  Call me naive but I didn't expect that.  Very, very nice.  By default the vm only had 512 meg assigned and that's like trying to carry the Brady Bunch in a Yugo.  So I'll have more to say about Fusion and Unity once I get back to Mac land and give the vm a more appropriate 1.5 gig.  I'm sure I'll be shopping for a 2 gig ram upgrade soon enough. 

27 comments:

  1. Reggie,

    Mostly my message an FYI/confirmation.

    I've done something similar, only I chose to begin with 32 bit server tool just to give myself more available HD space (20% savings on the OS). Agreed on the speed, much smoother with Server 2008 vs. Vista Ultimate. I haven't been able to make the Bluetooth hub work either - anyones thoughts on that would be great!

    My Fusion implementation became unstable over the last 2 weeks and seems to fail on Outlook 2008.

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  2. Hi there,
    I want to install win server 2k8 on my mac book pro
    i don't know what will happen but i hope it works ;)
    bye

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  3. This is great, I´ll give WS2k8 a try. To me Vista is absolutly not comfotable, it´s slow, it´s buggy.

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  4. I stumbled across this looking for something else and was very happy, I just installed WS2K8 on a tower and was impressed with all the things mentioned above, and I run a MacBook Pro, mostly w/ Vista 64 because it can run a 30" monitor; however, I would love to simple run WS2K8 on it and was just thinking if I could...also can you give me more information on Fusion, does it really work w/ the boot camp partition--last time I check it would not support Vista 64, and I was planning on sticking the WS2K8 64 on? Thanks.

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  5. Website monitoringDecember 7, 2008 at 6:13 PM

    Lucky you are to have all the hardware components detected and working. I still cannot get my wi-fi and bluetooth hub working.. Maybe this is because I use a "MAC OS Leopard" disk from another macbook pro - not sure if this is important but I've lost the disk that was shipped with my macbook.

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  6. Busby SEO Test PinayDecember 17, 2008 at 2:43 AM

    Thank you. Nice explanation and very informative blog.

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  7. I havent had a problem with my Vista install, but as the same time, im always wanting to footer with things and change things so i think i will give it a try, thanks.

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  8. Busby SEO Test - Chinese New Year 2009January 15, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    Cool info about this would love to simple run WS2K8 on it and was just thinking if I could...also can you give me more information on Fusion,.. very nice one..

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  11. Good post

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  15. Hmmm... I'be been having a few problems with Vista, but then again I think everyone has. I was going to wait for a service pack or something. Maybe I will make the jump myself. Will let you know how I get on :) Thanks.

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  16. wow, i never knew that. thanks for the info.

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  17. I just ordered my new Mac and am def looking forward to testing out the Windows Server and all the new mac programs for the first time. Good to hear everything worked smoothly for you (unlike booting a new PC!)

    Katy
    <a href="http://www.modsaunas.com">Steam Showers</a>

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  18. Wow, that was quite a surprise. Windows server on Mac would be great!

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  19. knockoff handbagsJune 15, 2009 at 4:13 PM

    I installed the demo of VMWare Fusion and used it to boot my boot camp partition. First, it was nice to see that Fusion has experimental support for Windows Server 2008.

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  20. If you actually checked the ntoskrnl.exe binary from both Windows Vista and Win2k8 and they are truly exactly the same. That does not mean they run the same.

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  21. Camwood PropertiesJuly 8, 2009 at 12:31 AM

    My friend has a MAC and installed the Windows OS. Its horrible he said. Most of the stuff he tries to d/l hardly works.
    I say stay with one or the other or its just gunna cause hassles!

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  22. heartgard plus for dogsJuly 10, 2009 at 11:22 AM

    What isn't faster than vista...

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  23. Great to hear that it works on Mac now.

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