Category Archives: Server 2008 Workstation

Youtube Channel

Latest video’s from the win2008workstation Youtube Channel. Any feedback, suggestions and requests are welcome via the comments or at the forum.

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Custom Logonscreen Background

By default Windows Server 2008 has a (boring) blue logonscreen background. This tutorial will help you to customize the Windows Server 2008 x86|x64 (Build 6001) loginscreen with Vista’s or your own background. Members of the forum found out that using the authui.dll file from Vista SP0 (Vista without any Service Packs) allows you to modify the logonscreen background and (as far as we tested) doesn’t have side-effects. You can do this either autmatically or manually. You can test if this also works for newer builds of Windows Server 2008, but at your own risk!

After overwriting the authui.dll file(s) you will get the default Vista logon background. To modify this, use the free Vista Visual Master, the commercial Stardock LogonStudio or any other Vista Logon Screen modification tool to edit the background.

Modded Windows 2008 Workstation logonscreen
Customized Windows Server 2008 logonscreen

Automatically

I extracted the authui.dll files for the x86 and x64 architecture respectively from the x86 and x64 MSDN iso’s of Windows Vista (SP0) RTM. See names of iso images below.

Download: authui.dll_VistaSP0_x86x64.zip (1.91MB) from Rapidshare and run install.cmd. This installer works for both the x86 and x64 architecture.
Contents:

install.cmd
x64
     System32authui.dll
     SysWOW64authui.dll
x86
     System32authui.dll

Manually

x86
1. Get the authui.dll file from the C:WindowsSystem32 directory of a clean Windows Vista SP0 pc or extract it from the MSDN iso with name en_windows_vista_x86_dvd_X12-34293.iso.

2. Go to your Windows Server 2008 pc and take ownership and get permissions for the C:WindowsSystem32authui.dll file. To do this follow the instructions in the “Take Ownership/Permissions” article.

3. Rename the authui.dll file and copy the authui.dll file you got from the Vista SP0 pc to the System32 directory.

x64
1. Get the authui.dll file from the C:WindowsSystem32 and C:WindowsSysWOW64 directory of a clean Windows Vista SP0 x64 or extract it from the MSDN iso with name en_windows_vista_x64_dvd_X12-40712.iso.

2. Go to your Windows Server 2008 pc and take ownership and get permissions for the C:WindowsSystem32authui.dll and C:WindowsSysWOW64authui.dll file. To do this follow the instructions in the “Take Ownership/Permissions” article.

3. Rename the authui.dll files and copy the authui.dll files you got from the Vista SP0 x64 pc to respectively the System32 and SysWOW64 directory.

 

Take Ownership/Permissions

In this article I’ll explain how to get permissions to modify/replace a protected system file. We will use authui.dll as an example. You can do this either via the GUI or via the Command Line. If you have problems with permissions, check the Troubleshooting section or ask your question at the forum. Remember: always make a backup before modifying/replacing system files!

GUI

The first 3 steps help you to get ownership over the file; the last 2 gives yourself permission to edit/replace the file.

Taking Ownership

1. Start Windows Explorer, go to the folder or file you want to get ownership for, right click the file and choose Properties. Now go to the Security tab.

2. In the Security tab click the Advanced button. In the window that opens now go to the Owner tab and click Edit.

3. From the list select the user or group you want to give ownership, click OK and click OK when a notification window appears. Now close all windows by clicking OK.

Setting Permissions

4. Reopen the properties of the file by right clicking the file and choosing Properties. Now go to the Permissions tab again.

5.Click the Edit button and choose in the Permissions window the user you want to edit the permissions from. Check the Full control checkbox if you want to give the selected user all permissions and click OK when you are done. Click Yes when a warning appears about setting the permissions of System folders.

6. Now you have permissions to replace/edit/delete the files or folder you just took ownership of.

Command Line

Start the Command Prompt by clicking Run in the Start menu, entering cmd.exe and clicking OK. Browse to the file or folder you want to set permissions from and use the following commands.

Give ownership of a file to current user

C:\Windows\System32>takeown /F authui.dll
SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “C:\Windows\System32\authui.dll” now owned by user “WIN2008WS\Administrator”.

Give ownership of a file to Administrators group

C:\Windows\System32>takeown /A /F authui.dll
SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “C:\Windows\System32\authui.dll” now owned by the administrators group.

Give ownership of a folder to current user

C:\Windows\System32>takeown /R /F Boot
SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “C:\Windows\System32\Boot” now owned by user “WIN2008WS\Administrator”.
SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “C:\Windows\System32\Boot\en-US” now owned by user “WIN2008WS\Administrator”.
SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “C:\Windows\System32\Boot\winload.exe” now owned by user “WIN2008WS\Administrator”.
<cut for brevity>

Give ownership of a folder to Administrators group

C:\Windows\System32>takeown /R /A /F Boot
SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “C:\Windows\System32\Boot” now owned by the administrators group.
SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “C:\Windows\System32\Boot\en-US” now owned by the administrators group.
SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “C:\Windows\System32\Boot\winload.exe” now owned by the administrators group.
<cut for brevity>

Edit the permissions of the file authui.dll to give full permissions to the Administrator user. Administrator can be replaced by any user or group.

C:\Windows\System32>icacls authui.dll /grant Administrator:F
processed file: authui.dll
Successfully processed 1 files; Failed processing 0 files

Edit the permissions of the Boot folder in C:\Windows\System32\ to give full permissions to the Administrator user. Administrator can be replaced by any user or group.

C:\Windows\System32>icacls Boot /T /grant Administrator:F
processed file: Boot
processed file: Boot\en-US
processed file: Boot\winload.exe
processed file: Boot\winresume.exe
processed file: Boot\en-US\winload.exe.mui
processed file: Boot\en-US\winresume.exe.mui
Successfully processed 6 files; Failed processing 0 files

References:
* Microsoft Technet: Icacls parameters
* Microsoft Technet: Takeown parameters

Troubleshooting

Q: After setting ownership and permissions I still get a You need permission to continue message when modifying files or folders.
A: Try disabling User Account Control (UAC): Start -> Control Panel -> User Accounts -> Turn User Account Control on or off -> uncheck -> OK -> Restart.

Q: How can I restore a file I backed up previously?
A: There are multiple possibilities to do this:

Possibility 1: Safe Mode
1. Go to the boot menu by repeatedly pressing F8 before Windows is loading and select Safe Mode.
2. Remove the edited file and replace it with your backupped file.

Possibility 2: Windows Boot DVD
If your pc couldn’t even boot in Safe Mode, you have to use an external medium to restore the backup file(s).
1. Insert the Windows Server 2008 Installation DVD (download iso) into the dvd drive and boot from it.
2. Click Next at the Language Settings screen.
3. In the next screen choose the Repair your computer link, select the Windows Server 2008 operating system you want to recover from the list and click Next again.
4. At the System Recovery Options screen choose the Commandline Prompt option.
5. Copy the backupped files back to their original location overwriting the edited ones. Reboot your computer when done!

 

Missing xinput9_1_0.dll

The xinput9_1_0.dll file is a library needed for using Xbox controllers and is by default included in Windows Vista but not in Windows Server 2008. This dll is needed to play several games like Grand Theft Auto IV, ed Halo 2 and more.

To install this dll I created a zip file including an batch installer that works on both the x86 and x64 editions of Windows Server 2008.

  • If you are using the x86 version of Windows Server 2008, it will install the x86 version of xinput9_1_0.dll into %windir%System32.
  • If you are using the x64 version of Windows Server 2008, it will install the x64 version of xinput9_1_0.dll intoย %windir%System32 and also the x86 version of this file into %windir%SysWOW64.

Download: XinputInstaller_x86x64.zip (118 KB)

Contents:

install.cmd
x64
     infinst.exe
     xinput9_1_0.dll
     xinput9_1_0_x64.cat
     xinput9_1_0_x64.inf
x86
     xinput9_1_0.dll
     xinput9_1_0_x86.cat
     xinput9_1_0_x86.inf

 

For those who want to get these files manually: you need to download the DirectX Software Development Kit, extract it somewhere and go to the Redist folder where you can find the x86 dll in the file Oct2005_xinput_x86.cab and the dll for the x64 architecture in the Oct2005_xinput_x64.cab file.

Fine-Tuning Services

To make Windows Server 2008 as fast as possible you also need to do some Windows Services fine-tuning. Below is a table with a list of all services on a clean Windows Server 2008 Enterprise machine. This list is quite the same as the list of services in other editions of Windows Server 2008. If you have any additions/corrections to this list, site please leave a Comment with a description why you can tweak the service and when you might need it.

To edit the Startup Type of services do the following:
1. Open the Start menu, click Run, enter services.msc and click OK.
2. Right click the Service name and choose Properties.
3. Choose the value you want from the Startup type dropdown and click OK to save the setting.

ServiceNameDefault Startup TypeSafe Startup TypeTweaked Startup TypeComment
Application ExperienceAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic (Delayed Start)
Application InformationManual--
Application Layer Gateway ServiceManual--
Application ManagementManual--
Background Intelligent Transfer ServiceAutomatic (Delayed Start)--
Base Filtering EngineAutomatic--
Certificate PropagationManualManualDisabledThis service is only needed when you use Smart Cards.
CNG Key IsolationManual--
COM+ Event SystemAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic (Delayed Start)
COM+ System ApplicationManual--
Computer BrowserDisabled--Set it to Automatic if you want to view what other computers there are in your network. The service is not needed to browse them.
Cryptographic ServicesAutomaticAutomaticAutomaticNeeded for checking for signed drivers.
DCOM Server Process LauncherAutomatic--This service is needed for almost every other service so leave it.
Desktop Window Manager Session ManagerAutomaticAutomaticDisabledHeavy backgroundservice that is needed for the Aero interface. If you use Aero, leave it on.
DHCP ClientAutomatic--Can only be disabled if you configured a static ipaddress.
Diagnostic Policy ServiceAutomaticManualDisabledEnables problem detection, troubleshooting, and resolution for Windows components. Can forewarn disk failure based on SMART report.
Diagnostic Service HostManualManualDisabledDiagnostic tools that attempt to detect problems in memory, disk and files.
Diagnostic System HostManualManualDisabledDiagnostic tools that attempt to detect problems in memory, disk and files.
Distributed Link Tracking ClientAutomaticDisabledDisabledKeeps track of file locations across the network.
Distributed Transaction CoordinatorAutomatic (Delayed Start)ManualDisabledIs used by Microsoft SQL Server and IIS.
DNS ClientAutomatic--
Extensible Authentication ProtocolManual--
Function Discovery Provider HostManual--
Function Discovery Resource PublicationManualManualDisabledPublishes your computer resources over the network.
Group Policy ClientAutomatic--
Health Key and Certificate ManagementManual--
Human Interface Device AccessManual--
IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying ModulesAutomaticAutomaticManualInternet Key Exchange is used for some VPN software.
Interactive Services DetectionManual--
Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)Disabled--
IP HelperAutomaticManualDisabledOnly needed if you need IPV6 support. Probably not needed.
IPsec Policy AgentAutomatic--
KtmRm for Distributed Transaction CoordinatorAutomatic (Delayed Start)ManualDisabled
Link-Layer Topology Discovery MapperManual--
Microsoft .NET Framework NGEN v2.0.50727_X86Manual--
Microsoft Fibre Channel Platform Registration ServiceManual--
Microsoft iSCSI Initiator ServiceManual--
Microsoft Software Shadow Copy ProviderManual--
Multimedia Class SchedulerManual--
NetlogonManualManualDisabledIf you are using a Domain Controller, leave this service. Otherwise you can disable it.
Network Access Protection AgentManual--
Network ConnectionsManual--
Network List ServiceAutomatic--
Network Location AwarenessAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic (Delayed Start)
Network Store Interface ServiceAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic (Delayed Start)
Offline FilesDisabled--
Performance Logs & AlertsManualManualDisabledPerformance logging. You probably don't use/need it.
Plug and PlayAutomatic--
PnP-X IP Bus EnumeratorDisabled--
Portable Device Enumerator ServiceManual--
Print SpoolerAutomatic--
Problem Reports and Solutions Control Panel SupportManual--
Protected StorageManual--
Remote Access Auto Connection ManagerManual--
Remote Access Connection ManagerManual--
Remote Procedure Call (RPC)Automatic--
Remote Procedure Call (RPC) LocatorManual--
Remote RegistryAutomaticManualDisabledIs needed if you want to access the computers registry from an other computer, but it might also be needed for local applications.
Resultant Set of Policy ProviderManual--
Routing and Remote AccessDisabled--
Secondary LogonAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic (Delayed Start)
Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol ServiceManual--
Security Accounts ManagerAutomatic--
ServerAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic (Delayed Start)
Shell Hardware DetectionAutomatic--
SL UI Notification ServiceManual--
Smart CardManualManualDisabledThis service is only needed when you use Smart Cards.
Smart Card Removal PolicyManualManualDisabledThis service is only needed when you use Smart Cards.
SNMP TrapManual--
Software LicensingAutomatic--
Special Administration Console HelperManual--
SSDP DiscoveryDisabled--
SuperfetchDisabled--
System Event Notification ServiceAutomatic--
Task SchedulerAutomatic--
TCP/IP NetBIOS HelperAutomatic--
TelephonyManualManualManualNeeded for dialup and VPN connections.
Terminal ServicesAutomaticManualDisabledAllows users to log in to this computer. Not required to make outward connections with Remote Desktop.
Terminal Services ConfigurationManual--
Terminal Services UserMode Port RedirectorManual--
ThemesDisabled--Needed if you use Themes.
Thread Ordering ServerManual--
TPM Base ServicesAutomatic (Delayed Start)--
UPnP Device HostDisabled--
User Profile ServiceAutomatic--
Virtual DiskManual--
Volume Shadow CopyManual--
Windows AudioManual--
Windows Audio Endpoint BuilderManual--
Windows Color SystemManual--
Windows Driver Foundation - User-mode Driver FrameworkManual--
Windows Error Reporting ServiceAutomatic--
Windows Event CollectorManual--
Windows Event LogAutomatic--
Windows FirewallAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic
Windows Image Acquisition (WIA)AutomaticAutomaticManualHas to be turned on if you hava digital camera (or a scanner) and want to be able to get images from your device.
Windows InstallerManual--
Windows Management InstrumentationAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic (Delayed Start)
Windows Modules InstallerManual--
Windows Remote Management (WS-Management)Automatic (Delayed Start)--
Windows TimeAutomatic--
Windows UpdateAutomatic (Delayed Start)--
WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery ServiceManual--
Wired AutoConfigManual--
WMI Performance AdapterManual--
WorkstationAutomatic--

Windows Server 2008 Workstation Converter

If you don’t want to configure all options to convert Windows Server 2008 to a Workstation manually, sawo now made it possible to use a tool for this. He has done a great job by creating this converter to automate all steps of the manual!

Get the Windows Server 2008 Workstation Converter

Support & Suggestions

Known Issue
The UxTheme patch may in cause an unbootable system in a few cases. To fix this, boot up the pc in Safe Mode with Command Prompt, change directory to %windir%System32 and rename the UxTheme.backup file back to UxTheme.dll. Now reboot and everything should work fine again!

Features of the Converter

General

Visual Tweaks

Network

Games

Other

Delay Activation

Possible commandline parameters
-audio Enable windows audio
-cpu Optimize CPU performance for programs
-ie Disable IE Enhanced Security Configuration
-dotnet Install .NET Framework 3.0
-superfetch Enable SuperFetch
-desktop Install desktop experience
-themes Enable themes
-cad Disable CTRL+ALT+DEL at Startup
-events Disable shutdown event tracker
-name Change computer name
-wireless Enable wireless networking
-offline Enable offline files
-search Enable windows search service
-autologin Enable auto logon
-delay Delay activation
-check Check the remaining days left until activation
-uxtheme32 Apply the UxTheme Patch for 32bit systems
-uxtheme64 Apply the UxTheme Patch for 64bit systems
-sidebar32 Install the sidebar for 32bit systems.
-sidebar64 Install the sidebar for 64bit systems.
-joy32 Install the control panel item for game controllers on 32bit systems.
-joy64 Install the control panel item for game controllers on 64bit systems.
-cursors Install the vista aero cursors.

More information can be found in Readme.txt and Changelog.txt.

Preview thumbnails in Windows Explorer

Previews of media files are disabled by default in Windows Server 2008. In this article we will enable it so we get the small previews back again!

1. Open the Start menu and click Run. Now enter SystemPropertiesPerformance and click OK. In the Performance Options window at least check the Show thumbnails instead of icons option. If you are using themes you should also check the Use visual styles on windows and buttons option to keep you theme.

2. If we now browse to C:Windows\WebWallpapers as a test we can see that we now have previews for pictures! Previews should also work for most movie files. Note that you have to set the View to Small Icons, cialis sale Medium Icons, find Large Icons or Extra Large Icons in order to see the previews.

Game Controllers

To get your joystick/steering wheel or other game controllers working and to configure them in Windows Server 2008, you first have to get the Game Controllers item in the Control Panel.

1. To get the Game Controllers item in your Control Panel download joy_32bit.zip from Mirrorcreator if you are using the x86 version of Windows or joy_64bit.zip from Mirrorcreator if you are using the x64 version. These files are taken from respectively a clean installation of Windows Vista Ultimate x86 and Windows Vista Ultimate x64. The .cpl files of Windows Vista don’t work.

2. Right click joy_32bit.zip or joy_64bit.zip and choose Extract All in the context menu. Choose as destination C:Windows and optionally uncheck Show extracted files when complete. Click Extract and choose Yes when asked if you want to merge the System32 (and SysWOW64 in x64) folder.

3. In the Start menu click Control Panel.

– If you use the Modern View, click the Hardware and Sound section and choose Set up USB game controllers.

– If you use the Classic View, doubleclick the Game Controllers icon.

4. Configure your game controller and play!

Thanks to microslav for this nice trick and Mark for the files!

Aero Cursors in Server 2008

By default Windows Server 2008 has the plain white mousepointer. In this tutorial we will install the aero mouse pointers of Windows Vista.

1. Download aero_cursors.zip from Win2008Workstation, help Rapidshare or 4shared.

2. Open aero_cursors.zip and browse within the archive to the folder cursors. Within the cursors folder select all files by pressing ctrl+A, ask click with your right mouse button on the selection and select Copy.

3. Browse with Windows Explorer to C:WindowsCursors and click Paste in the Edit menu. All Aero cursors will now be unpacked to your system.

4. Go to the root of the aero_cursors.zip archive and double click at the aero_cursors(.reg) file. Click Yes when the Registry Import warning appears.

5. In the Start menu click Control Panel.

– If you use the Modern View, click Mouse in the Hardware and Sound section.

– If you use the Classic View, doubleclick the Mouse icon.

In the Mouse Properties window click tab Pointers, select Windows Aero from the Scheme dropdown list. Optionally you can also check the Enable pointer shadow.

6. Enjoy the smooth looking mouse pointers and cursor animations! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Installing New Languages

To get Windows Server 2008 in your own language you have the option to install Multilingual User Interface Language Packs. Currently the following languages are available for Windows Server 2008 (x86/x64): English, German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Italian, Russian, Portuguese (Portugal), Dutch, Swedish, Polish, Turkish, Czech, Hungarian, Arabic, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hebrew, Greek, Thai, Ukrainian, Romanian, Slovakian, Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian Latin, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian.

1. First you have to download the language pack from here for Windows Server 2008 SP1 or from here for Windows Server 2008 SP2.

2. Mount the downloaded .img (cd image) with cd emulation software like Daemon Tools. (Rightclick the Daemon Tools icon in the Systray -> Virtual CD/DVD-ROM -> Device 0: [E:] Empty -> Click Mount Image. In the Files of type dropdown list select All Files (*.*), then select your languagepack.img file)

3. In the Start menu click Control Panel.

– If you use the Modern View click Change Display Language in the Clock, Language and Region section.

– If you use the Classic View, doubleclick Regional and Language Options and go to tab Keyboards and Languages.

Click the Install/uninstall languages button.

4. At the Install or Uninstall Display Languages page click Install Languages.

5. At the Select the languages to install page click Browse and browse in your Virtual CD/DVD-ROM device to the folder langpacks. Click the language you want to install and click Select Folder.

6. Verify the language you want to install and click Next.

7. Review the Microsoft Software License Terms. If you accept them select I accept the license terms and click Next.

8. Click the Install button!

9. Get a cup of coffee while installing, it will take a while.

10. After the installation has finished you can optionally directly change your own language to the one you installed and also apply it for all other accounts on this computer.

11. I love my native language! ๐Ÿ˜‰