This is the second of a three part article on building a laptop with Windows Server 2008 R2 and configuring Hyper-V to provision an SCCM lab.
Now you are comfortable with the idea of having a virtual lab on a laptop, there’s the list of omissions to address as I described in part one of this article. To recap, the list is below:
|Windows Easy Transfer||Fixable with sigverify tool|
|XPS viewer||Disabled by default|
|Windows Media Center||Use alternative Media Center|
|Codecs to play MP4 videos||Use VLC or similar|
|Windows Performance rating||Hack available|
|Windows Sidebar||Fixable by copying files from Windows 7|
|No hibernation (if you use Hyper-V)||Not available|
|No Bluetooth||Not available|
Windows Easy Transfer (WET)
If you want to transfer data easily from your laptop and then import it once rebuilt, you need to use Easy Transfer. The solution is that you can persuade WET to run by using Microsoft’s Application Verifier tool. This can create a shim to run WET as if it’s on Windows 7. The steps are:
- Copy the %windir%\system32\migwiz directory from your old/another Windows 7 machine
- Using Application Verifier tick “HighVersionLie” and right-click properties to be:
- Save the result and you’re ready to run Easy Transfer
Running XPS viewer is very easy as it’s just not installed by default. To enable it you simply tick the feature in Server Manager.
Enable XPS Viewer in Server Manager, Features
Windows Media Center
Enabling the Streaming Media Service role, after installing a patch Given my goal was not to sit watching on my laptop I ignored this and the lack of codecs. Windows 2008 R2 does still include Windows Media Player 12, but it will play native videos – WMV, ASF and audio WMA or MP3. If I want to watch videos I will use the feature- rich VLC portable instead. It comes with the codecs for most media formats.
Ironically, you can add the Media Streaming Service to 2008R2 but you have to download a patch first. This will encode videos and broadcast them as a stream to other machines on your network. The catch is unless the video is in WMV format already, you will have to convert it.
Enabling the Streaming Media Service role, after installing a patch
Windows Performance Rating
The numeric rating system introduced since Vista is really a tool called WinSAT – Windows System Assessment Tool. Windows then uses this to generate an aggregate score, the Windows Experience Index (WEI). It’s of no interest to server people so Microsoft left it out, but it works fine. You simply copy the %windir%\System32\WinSAT directory to your machine. It’s command line only though. If you want the pretty GUI version, there’s a hack you can download.
If you insist on having it, just copy the Sidebar folder, register the sidebar executable and reboot.
Personally, I’d just avoid it. Microsoft has issued an advisory if you want more detail why not.
In my next post I will how to setup the host machine and lab.