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Turning Windows 2003 Server into a workstation?

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Hmm... spent yesterday happily installing Office 2007 and trying to partition the drive, which worked BUT I couldn't change the boot partition size beyond what Windows let me shrink it to... As I only have 100GB to play with, I'd like C:\ to be about 20GB and devote the rest to a partition for documents and user settings. No dice. Both Acronis products I use (True Image and Disk Director) are home/small office builds; to get a Server build I'd have to pay close to $700!

f0dder - looks like your suggestion that I simply buy Vista 64-bit was right on the money! I can get an OEM copy for $225 Canadian, which would leave me more than enough left over to buy a big, bad 7200 rpm drive (I can dream, can't I?).\

At any rate, I like Windows Server 2008 a lot, but can't see myself making the switch unless I can find a cheap/free way that will allow me to back up my installation and perform basic disk management tasks, like shrinking and extending partitions...


Carol Haynes:
You can upgrade Acronis TrueImage to the corporate workstation version (TrueImage Echo Workstation) for a reasonable price (and it has the advantage that it actually works well).

You can also purchase a Universal Restore addon that helps deploy system images to machines with different hardware. I have used it and it seems to work fine now - there were some teething problems in the early days. You do have to read the guidelines on how to use it although you don't have to prepare images in any particular way just collect relevant resources for the new system and give the restore process access to them during the restoration onto a new machine.

With the corporate version you can also purchase a renewable annual maintenance contract (I have just renewed mine and it cost £12 (UK pounds) for 12 months). This includes priority support (and they do get back within a very short time - usually an hour or two) and access to all new versions. The latter isn't particularly special because the corporate version doesn't leap through the generations like the Home edition does (which is why it isn't generally full of bugs!)

Alas, I already have the corporate version of Acronis True Image and the Universal Restore add-on, and agree that it's a fine application. Director Suite is the home user version. At any rate, once I determined that DD wouldn't run under Server and neither it nor TrueImage would install, I didn't even try ATI's bootable CD. .However, I'll give it a go - my main concern is backing up my installation anyway - the drive partitioning isn't so urgent as my intention had been to back up my 32-bit installation to an external drive and then write the 64-bit image to that partition. That's not clear... I have two drives containing these installs, both of which get swapped into and out of my latest Notebook. The 5400rpm 250GB drive that I got with the notebook has Vista Home Premium 32-bit on it while an older 100GB 7200 rpm SATA drive that I have kicking around has the 64-bit Server installation. If all went well (and it largely has), I was planning to simply make images of both drives and then wipe the 32-bit partition from the 250GB drive and replace it with the 64-bit image...

That's a convoluted way of saying "thank you", I'll try again and may stay the course after all.

Carol Haynes:
How about installing a small XP or Vista 'backup server' install on your server machine - just install a consumer Windows version with Acronis to dual boot beside the server installation and then boot into XP to backup the server partition regularly. It doesn't solve automating backups but at least you could do it every day and it would only take 5 minutes if you keep increments up to date.

I don't see why the standard recovery CD shouldn't work as a fall back boot up for backup. I have never used the CD beyond a quick and dirty backup of a failing partition - does it support incremental and differential backups in the same way as the installed version?

I agree that a lot of these products are reasonable for workstations but are prohibitively expensive if you want a version to run on server editions of Windows. It's a shame they can't ditinguish between corporations and small home server type setups or small office networks. It is quite conceivable that a business with 3 or 4 employees would want to run a server but at that level most of the server products would be very expensive!

There are loads of examples of this issue Acronis and Perfect Disk are just two but quite a few AV products seem to make the distinction too.

I don't see why the standard recovery CD shouldn't work as a fall back boot up for backup. I have never used the CD beyond a quick and dirty backup of a failing partition - does it support incremental and differential backups in the same way as the installed version?
-Carol Haynes (November 26, 2008, 05:40 AM)
--- End quote ---

AFAICR, it does.

I understand the distinction that developers make, and why... Just don't like it when I get caught in the technicalities  ;D

I'm really obsessing over a non-issue as Vista 32-bit is just fine for everyday use and is nice and quick on the hardware that it shares with the Server version (minus the HD, of course).

I'll just keep playing for now, I suppose.


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