Last week I got a new laptop (workstation), it was quite an upgrade from my previous machine sporting
- 16 GB memory
- Intel i7 quadcore
- Builtin HD cam
- 120 GB SSD
Wanting to convert it to the a powerful tool for my UC labs and my UC workshop I thought maybe installing Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and use it as my desktop OS. After all Server 2008 R2 share the same basecode as Windows 7. This will enable me taking advantage of all the cool server roles that are available on this platform and at the same time not installing unnecessary features. My main motivation was getting some hands-on Hyper-V and using it as my virtualization platform. Figured that would make it simpler to take advantage of the Lync labs available by Microsoft and some of my own.
Wanting to check if at all feasible I asked an open question on Twitter:
- StaleHansen: Is there any use of installing Server 2008 on my Laptop workstation? Thinking about utilizing Hyper-V for lab’s #Server2008 #HyperV #mvpbuzz
- StaleHansen: Thanks for the tip, but do you have sleep? Use that a lot today.
After this conversation I found out two things
- Twitter works!
- It is doable, but need to be aware of hibernation limitation when using Hyper-V
I decided I would try, and reinstall if it was a fail. I started searching around the web for how to go about this and found a lot of good resources in addition to the ones from Twitter.
Here is my install path for Installing Server 2008 R2 as my lab and UC workstation
- Since I replaced my DVD tray with an additional hard drive I created a bootable USB stick and ran the installation from that
- After the OS was installed I started adapting the Server OS to work more like a workstation
- I installed Windows 7 drivers downloaded from the web, everything installed as expected
- Followed two good guides regarding converting the Server OS to a Workstation OS
- After finishing the guides my Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 worked as i wanted it to with Aero and all drivers present
- Now I was ready to install all my tools and Microsoft programs like Outlook and Lync, my primary collaboration tools.
- Tested Lync HD Video and approved the quality
- I want to mention one site that has made it easy to install all the necessary add-on applications all at once
Installing the Hyper-V role
- Since Hyper-V disables hibernation and sleep I needed a way to adapt this with some manual tweaks
- Found two good articles on this
- I ended up doing the following as a workaround and enabling sleep and hibernate
- Open a command prompt, type “powercfg.exe /hibernate on” to enable hibernation
- After each reboot sleep and hibernation is available untill I start Hyper-V with the following command
- net start hvboot
- I also needed to enable Hyper-V to be able to use my wireless for internet
I have run this configuration a couple of days now and are still enjoying it. Especially enjoy dynamic memory management and having Microsoft’s full hypervizor at my fingertips when working and doing lab’s
I am also looking into using PowerShell to start the Hyper-V service and control my VM’s. Found these resources to start me in the right direction