Thursday, 16 October 2008

Windows Server 2008 as a workstation

I have been using Windows Server 2008 as a my main workstation lately and my experiences have been wholly positive but there are two niggling issues. Fortunately both are easily resolvable.

The first is that by default, the use of MSIs is prohibited (okay, this is more than a niggle). To be able to install additional programs you need to change the Local Group Policy. To do this run "gpedit.msc" and navigate to "Computer Configuration\Administrative Temaplates\Windows Components\Windows Installer". Change the "Disable Windows Installer" state to "Enabled".

The second issue is the annoying "Shut Down Windows" dialog that appears everytime you want to shutdown your box. This dialog box requires that you enter a reason everytime you shutdown or restart your box. I have found multiple articles and blogs that suggest you need to change the Local Group Policy. Done by running "gpedit.msc" again, navigating to "Computer Configuration\Administrative Temaplates\System" and changing the "Display Shutdown Event Tracker" state to "Disabled". But this does not appear to work, at least it didn't for me. What did work was editing a registry value. Open regedit.exe and go to "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsNT". Create a new Key called "Reliability" and add a DWORD value at that location. The name should be "ShutdownReasonOn" and the value should be "0".

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