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Installing Windows 7 on a Server?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by OrbitzXT, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. OrbitzXT

    OrbitzXT New Member

    Mar 22, 2007
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    New York City
    At work, they have a small network of office computers...about 12 PCs total. They have 1 server which has some important files, and it has Windows Server 2003 on it. I'm not sure what happened, but the computer became infested with some spyware/malware and they decided to disconnect it from the internet, and just leave it connected to the office network so that they can access the files on it.

    We want to use an online backup service for some of the files but it requires that the server is connected to the internet. Before we go ahead and reconnect it, we want a clean installation of the OS. I've never worked with a server before, so can I just install Windows 7 on it? Or does it need one of those server OS's?
  2. Jizzler


    Aug 10, 2007
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    Geneva, FL, USA
    Why not reinstall with 2003? Lightweight and it's probably what they're used to?

    For just file serving, there's always Linux (free).

    To answer your question, Windows 7 would probably work just fine.
  3. ktr


    Apr 7, 2006
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    10 Year Member at TPU
  4. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

    Feb 27, 2006
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    If it's for centrilized storage ONLY you can use pretty much anything, but you have to be sure about that.
    10 Year Member at TPU
  5. Bot


    Apr 14, 2009
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    i'd stick with what they got. why waste money on a software that the hardware hardly supports.
    yes it will run but without all the bells and whistles.
    besides if the server is running 2003 i assume it is a bit of age .. too many cpu cycles wasted to accommodate a fancy GUI.
    server 2003 is still windows, with some time and effort you will find your way around
  6. Easy Rhino

    Easy Rhino Linux Advocate

    Nov 13, 2006
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    first, leaving the infected server connected to the LAN means the possibility of infecting all of the office PCs!

    second, just reinstall server 2003. the install is pretty much the same and you know it works with the current system. no need installing a new OS just to realize it doesnt work the way you want it to.
    10 Year Member at TPU
  7. Completely Bonkers New Member

    Feb 6, 2007
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    I've never quite understood online backup services for a small business that has multiple PCs and a server.

    IMO, backup your important files to a portable HDD. Reinstall W2K3. Setup necessary server services. Then download something like Cobian Backup (free) and get the server to run a backup service to a LAN based PC or HDD. The backup process is 100x faster. The data is more secure... no possibility of hacking or sniffing. And you can backup 100's GB which you can't with an online service unless you pay big $. You also save a lot of internet bandwidth, helping you, helping others.

    For physical security, like fire/theft, then OK, perhaps you want a different physical location. Easily solved with having a USB based HDD, and physically moving it off-site. (Give it to the company director).

    Cobian will allow you to do direct mirroring of the server HDDs or directories, or it can encrypt and zip and password, depending on the level of security you want.


    I have a webserver in the office. I run Cobian to make weekly backups of the server to a second HDD in the same server. It protects against primary drive failure, but not theft or fire risk etc. Depends on your needs.
  8. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

    Nov 22, 2005
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    Having a local backup is one thing, and there are several free options, including robocopy which is build right into windows. Write a simple bat file to copy the files to whatever local resource you want to use, be it another computer on the network or a USB hard drive.

    Of site backup is a different subject, and for a small business is necessary. It isn't big money to backup 100's of GBs of data. Carbonite is $55 a year weither you backup 1GB or 1000GB. Pop that on your server and your golden. No need to worry about whoever forgetting to take the drive home.

    As for the original question, yes Windows 7 will work fine for a file server. However, I believe it has a maximum of 10 users connected at any one time, so if you have 12 people working there it might be a problem if they all try to connect to the server at the same time. This might have changed though, I know it was a limitation of XP, and I don't know if they carried it over to the newer desktop OSes. I say just re-install Server 2003, it isn't that much different than XP, and setting it up as a file server should be easy.
    10 Year Member at TPU Crunching for Team TPU

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