Try ESET Smart Security (http://www.eset.com/business/smart-security
), the anti-virus + firewall, instead of just anti-virus; I've got the it loaded on R2. Can you give me some steps to try and re-produce the crash you see? I tried adding new roles and features, it worked fine.
First you have to download the trial edition of ESET NOD32 Antivirus 4 on http://www.eset.com
. Next download Orca MSI editor tool. Next locate the MSI file you downloaded from ESET (eav_nt64_enu.msi) right-click on the file and choose Edit with Orca. Locate the Property section. Locate "producttype" and change it from eav to eavbe. Save the MSI file. Now you can install the home edition of ESET on Server 2008/R2. It installs fine, everything works good. That is until you try installing a role/feature in server manager. Try it out, see if you get the same results.
LOL, you like the Vista server better? For me R2 runs fine, in fact one noticeable difference between this and W7, this shuts down a lot faster than W7 does. I turned off System Restore, Firewall, Themes and other services in W7, but R2 still shuts down faster.
Let me explain why I prefer Server 2008 over R2. Keep in mind these are my own personal preferences and to other people it might not be suited for them. Firstly, as you may or may not know a 64-bit version of Windows cannot directly launch a 32-bit application. It must use an emulator known as WOW64 in order to launch it. For this reason 32-bit applications ran slower on a 64-bit operating system on my machine. Now personally I am not a gamer, so I would never utilize a 64-bit operating system. The games I play are on pogo.com lol. Plus most, if not every single application I use is 32-bit so why not use a 32-bit operating system to improve application responsiveness. Also think of the hardware, the maximum memory my motherboard supports is 8GB and with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise I can use all 8 GB if I wanted, which would be a waste because I rarely ever hit the 2GB mark.
The next thing I looked at in depth was the differences in boot time between Server 2008 and R2. At first when R2 was barebone there was quite a difference in boot time between 2008 and R2. But as I began to load down the OS with AV, programs, updates, drivers, etc, the difference in boot time became relatively small. This was before I discovered the eBoostr program of course. On average (without eboostr) R2 would boot up in about 45 seconds, compared to 53'ish for 2008. The thing is ... it didn't feel that noticeable because my BIOS is slow as molasses! I think my BIOS took a good 30 seconds to start loading windows! I turn my computer off every night so what difference does it make? I'm going to be waiting a minute to start playing on my computer regardless. A lot of these newer desktops have been built to run by Windows 7 by providing a fast POST time (usually under 3 seconds). My machine does not provide this function so in real time I feel absolutely no difference.
The next thing I looked at was the differences in features between Server 2008 and R2. The first change was improvements to Hyper-V. We can throw this one away because I use virtualization rarely, and most of the times I only use a VM to complete labs for school. I am pursuing a bachelors at ITT Tech in Information Systems (security) so when I do my labs on the Microsoft academic books they provide me (because they are XP based) i use a virtual machine to run them. However I don't even use Hyper V because its a pathetic pile of trash that should be buried in the grave. VMWare is a much better alternative anyways. Screw Hyper V-omit. Another new feature in R2 was changes done to Active Directory, including the new recycle bin. Again this is a useless feature to me because I use Server as a workstation, not a domain controller. I don't even use AD. Pointless to me. Another feature that comes with R2 is DirectAccess which allows remote users to transparently connect to their network while they are away from home. DirectAccess is only available when you are a domain controller, a feature I never intend to use so it is another useless feature for me. As far as the "aero snap" and "aero shake" features, I rarely used them. One thing that annoyed me for a bit (but I got used to it) was the fact that they put the show desktop into the far right corner instead of the left side. I would always click the date and time for a while until i mastered it.
As far as aero shake and snap features are concerned there are 3rd party utilities that I can download on 2008 that will allow me to use them, so no love lost there.
The one program I missed the most that only ran on Server 2008 was this FTP ban program called AutoBanIPLite. It would monitor the log file of my FTP server and would allow you to enter an incorrect username/password 3 times. On the 4th attempt it would ban your IP address. Before I had this program installed I checked out my event logs and filtered the logs to show only failed attempts to access my FTP. I had only 40,000 attempts to access my FTP in 1 day! I was like what the heck... am I that popular or something?
As you can see the decision to migrate back to Server 2008 became more and more easier because R2 didn't provide a clear advantage over 2008. The OS is still as quick and snappy as R2 was and there weren't that much changes that convinced me to go back to R2. If you think about it Server 2008 and R2 aren't that far apart. Windows 7 is not an entirely new kernel. It is an advancement off Vista's kernel. Windows 7 is Vista 2.0. Granted the changes they have done to OS are greater than the work they did to Vista (god help Microsoft) but in terms of the differences between server 2008 and R2 are minimal and they don't warrant a need for change on my computer.