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Windows 2003 performance and security?

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17 replies to this topic

#1
OldSchool38

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Recently I've been reading a little about window server 2003, and I was curious-for basic desktop use how does it compare to XP/7?  Also will free antivirus programs that are compatible with XP work with 2003?




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#2
submix8c

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1 - Yes - same codebase as XP

2 - Yes

Many services need to be turned off and/or not selected for install.

Otherwise, same - it's a "Super" XP Professional.


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#3
JodyT

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Actually some important clarifications to submix8c's statements:

 

Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional are in fact two distinctly different operating systems  So they are different codebases.  They may look and act EXTREMELY similar, and 2003 may look and act just like "Windows XP Server", but it's not.  XP reports as Windows NT 5.1 and 2003 reports as Windows NT 5.2.

 

If you happen to be using Windows XP x64 Edition, now there we have a commonality.  XP x64 Edition is a reworked version of Server 2003 x64.  They receive similar updates, have only two service packs, and both report as Windows NT 5.2. But x64 Edition sees the reimplementation of the Welcome Screen, Windows Firewall, System Restore and some other niceties.

 

Now free AV programs are a hit or miss.  By all legal means, only Server versions of vendors app "should" work or be used.  And many free versions do not work when attempting installation on Windows Server 2003.  Once it detects a server OS, it bails.  I think Comodo can be made to work and prehaps Avast.  I know Avira AntiVir did not work, unless you used a server version.

 

Now MSE.  No the XP version DOES NOT work at all.  However, the Vista/7 installation does install, works and operates flawlessly, on both Server 2003 and XP x64 Edition.  And with MSE support extending now to the same extended support deadline as Server 2003 (July 2015), you're golden.



#4
oldskool

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True what the above said.  But while the kernels are slightly differnt.  However the differnce is small enough that I have never had an issue using windows XP drivers on 2003 server. 

 

The only problem I have ever ran into using 2003 32 bit or 64 bit as a workstation is some programs will somtimes refuse to install as well as some drivers.  That doesn't mean the drivers will not work becasue they usually do just end up having to install them by hand.  As far as the Programs it usually do to licensing issues some vendors dont alow thier programs licensed for desktops to run on servers.  So they block install.

 

 

By the way I just use Clam Win AV and am super careful about stuff.  And win 2k3 is faster than XP.  The kernel is faster and the shell is faster becasue it uses a windows 2000 based shell.....XPs shell is not 2000 based even if disableing themes the clasic theme is just a theme where as the classic theme in 2k3 is actually the shell.  Basically 5.2 has a speed improvment over 5.1 and it is noticible.  2k3 64bit xp 64 bit maybe the fastest 64 bit MS OS period.

 

 

Anyways yeah I have ran 2k pro and 2k server.  And 2003 server is way faster than 2k and xp its basically built on 2k server with the improvments of XP.  As far a security if you are running 2003 as a worstation with all services disabled than its more secure than 2k or XP becasue of the Hardened IE.  Just I would advice to leave IE at 6 and leave the Hardened IE alone and don't uninstall that dont use IE and leave it Hardened mode on 6 with patches..  Run firefox instead.  Fully patched IE 6 with all ZONES set on max security and the browser not used is more secure than instaling IE 8 and using it dont let micro soft fool you into thinking otherwise.  There only intreset is in browser wars.


Edited by oldskool, 11 April 2014 - 02:00 AM.


#5
jaclaz

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Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional are in fact two distinctly different operating systems  So they are different codebases.  They may look and act EXTREMELY similar, and 2003 may look and act just like "Windows XP Server", but it's not.  XP reports as Windows NT 5.1 and 2003 reports as Windows NT 5.2.

The 32 bit versions - from my experience are very, very similar, and not in any way "distinctly different".

 

I would go further, saying that they are IMHO exactly the same OS artificially differentiated, though of course Server 2003, also because was released later has more than a few improvements.

 

And, while we are at it, they are also very, very similar to Windows 2000. (with a number of added bells and whistles, and a few nice improvements), they are both "Whistler".

http://en.wikipedia...._.22Whistler.22

 

A number of programs, that are senselessly hardcoded for 5.1 won't work, of course, and as well depending on hardware there may be more difficultues in finding Win 2003 drivers.

 

However the OP might be interested in this :):

http://www.msfn.org/win2k3/

 

jaclaz



#6
OldSchool38

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How about xp drivers for Nvidia cards (like 620/8400?) any issues there?  Also does spybot/malawarebytes work?



#7
jaclaz

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How about xp drivers for Nvidia cards (like 620/8400?) any issues there?  Also does spybot/malawarebytes work?

I don't get it.

How about using some google ?

Like, you know,  Nvidia 8400 drivers "server 2003":

http://www.techsuppo...3-a-386187.html

 

Seriously most XP drivers (32 bit) will work fine on Server 2003 (32 bit).

 

A number of "free" tools on the other hand may check the OS and refuse to run on a "business" OS or run "badly".

I believe that Malware bytes runs on it, though the OS is not supported, and possibly there are issues with specific hardware.

 

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#8
submix8c

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I don't get it either. :unsure:

What has been said applies. You can even run (OMG) games that require XP.

 

The point is, even though a given software SAYS XP, it will ALSO (probably) run on 2003.

Stipulation - NORMALLY true, but some vendors (e.g. Symantec, O&O) intentionally (did) make separate Workstation and Server versions to charge different prices. :yes: Also what jaclaz said above re: "freeware".

 

Now, to specifically Spybot/Malwarebytes - absolutely will install and run. ;)


Edited by submix8c, 11 April 2014 - 09:21 AM.

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#9
OldSchool38

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Thanks guys, as for using google to get answers there's three issues.

 

1. I'm on dialup so it takes a while to search for info.

2. If you go to 10 different sites-well you tend to get 10 different answers.

3. Running around looking up stuff on a bunch of new sites you aren't familiar with increases your chances of running into some nasty virus/malaware.

 

So instead I ask on MSFN, where I know the guys here know what they're talking about! :)

Thanks for the information, I just wanted to make sure I understood what 2003 was capable of before I got it and went through a big effort to install.


Edited by OldSchool38, 11 April 2014 - 12:50 PM.

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#10
jaclaz

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2. If you go to 10 different sites-well you tend to get 10 different answers.

 

Well, should you have not noticed :w00t:, also here on MSFN you have been told:

  1. that Windows XP and 2003 "are in fact two distinctly different operating systems So they are different codebases. " <- Black
  2. that Windows XP and 2003 "are IMHO exactly the same OS artificially differentiated" <- White

so, you need anyway to make choices :ph34r:, and you will probably find yourself that the real essence will in practice come out as different shades of gray ;):

http://reboot.pro/to...lack-and-white/

 

jaclaz



#11
submix8c

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Not necessarily (i.e. -totally-) accurate -

http://confidentialf...ws-server-2003/

 

HTH


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#12
pointertovoid

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I've tried (too) shortly 2k3 and abandoned it as a desktop OS, because:

- It shuts down very slowly, and only after many confirmations. Maybe I made something wrong.

- I've seen no single advantage as a desktop over W2k nor even Xp. Not faster. Ram>4GB on 32b OS, oh good.

- It takes quite some tuning before one can use it as a desktop.

- Updates lists are plentiful and debunked for W2k and Xp, and nice experts are here for both - less so for 2k3.

 

Just one example of a bad gag: you can't have a dual-boot W2k+2k3. It works for some time with W2k-Xp, but not at all with 2k3. Or I missed something (again, I didn't investigate for days). That's a hint to differences that are not superficial.

 

Then I'm wary about drivers refusing to install just because the authors didn't want to test them. Forcing them by hand is a lottery. If they crash after a week, and do that once a day, you won't find the cause among hundreds of possible ones, but you'll be upset.

 

As a sidenote, W2k and Xp are different. Xp's dll offer many more entry points than W2k (you know: "entry point DoFancyThing has not been found in Thingy.dll") - that's why some heroes have added entry points to W2k's dll. An other example is the USB stack, which was completely rewritten for Xp. Though, this is no prejudice about how near Xp and 2k3 are.


Edited by pointertovoid, 11 April 2014 - 04:03 PM.


#13
oldskool

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In reply to above.

It will shut down without conformations and work just like XP.  Just requires a group policy change.

http://www.windowsne...ndows-2003.html

 

2k3 Enterprise can handle just as much more ram than 2k or XP excpet for 2k serve of course.

http://msdn.microsof..._server_2003_r2

 

Not true You can dual boot 2k3 and anything else.

 

2k3 has same usb stack as XP, same entry points if not more.  And it doesn't need shell hacks.

 

Also the Kernel on 2003 Is way better and faster than XP or 2k.

Here is the DOC from microsoft outlining those improments retreived from wikapedia.

http://download.micr...2fb/scaling.doc

 

Kernel improvements in Windows Server 2003 provide scalability gains for large x86-based and 64-bit systems with eight or more processors. Specifically, improved scheduling, memory management, kernel spinlocks, and heap functionality coupled with enhancements to process creation, threads, handles, objects, and named pipes give Windows Server 2003 significantly enhanced scalability on large enterprise class multiprocessor systems.


Edited by oldskool, 11 April 2014 - 05:30 PM.


#14
submix8c

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Well, my (nunyabiz ;) ) runs just fine. Bootup and shutdown time is strictly related to any Services -or- additional software (eg Real-Time AV or "replaced" Firewall). A "raw" 2K3 and -only- MS Updates along with the "workstation" tweaks (including disabling all unnecessary Services) makes it run (nearly) EXACTLY like XP.

 

Pointertovoid, you are doing something wrong. Win2K3 "experts" are here, it's just that there are few of them and "aooarently" they know enough all on their own so the lack of Win2K3 topics are few and far between.

 

-IF- you decide to use it, -THEN- ask questions in new Topics and bets are up, you'll get accurate answers. :yes:


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#15
tomasz86

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Seriously most XP drivers (32 bit) will work fine on Server 2003 (32 bit).

I experienced a problem with one scanner driver (don't remember the model now) which completely refused to work in Windows 2003 Server. I tried to install both the 2000 and XP version but the driver just wouldn't initialise at all. As a result, the scanner wasn't detected properly and didn't work.

My advice is to always check for sure whether all devices work in Windows 2003 before making a switch from XP.
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#16
jaclaz

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Seriously most XP drivers (32 bit) will work fine on Server 2003 (32 bit).

I experienced a problem with one scanner driver (don't remember the model now) which completely refused to work in Windows 2003 Server. I tried to install both the 2000 and XP version but the driver just wouldn't initialise at all. As a result, the scanner wasn't detected properly and didn't work.

My advice is to always check for sure whether all devices work in Windows 2003 before making a switch from XP.

Sure :), that's why i said "most drivers" and not "all drivers" or "every single driver" ;).
To be fair, it is not like "probable" that a Server will have a scanner connected and - from my general experience with scanners - I would say that usually their drivers (or the Windows imaging subsystem and/or Twain and or "whatever" in it) are often a PITA, even on "desktop" OS's.

JFYI ;):
http://en.wikipedia....ess_and_the_Pea

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#17
submix8c

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JFYI - HP Scanjet 4300c (flatbed Scan/Copy/Print) - a "special" procedure to get it to work (two install files). Have been happily using it since the day I got it - from a thrift store for $5USD and a "spare" power supply (wall wart). Had a heck of a time figuring it out (note the second EXE had to be done in Safe Mode for some odd reason). Scanning Software says "PrecisionScan LTX". Also does OCR (text).

 

Sometimes drivers work, sometimes they don't.


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#18
OldSchool38

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Well, it's been a busy last couple of days-I had ordered a new dell reinstallation disk from ebay with win 2003 on it, thought I had a great deal-but it didn't come with an activation key!  However I got the chance to observe 2003 on another computer and noticed a few things.

 

1.  It's FAST!-I LOVE the speed!

2.  Many security programs like spybot, malware bytes 1.75, and clamwin will work-but some firewalls like Outpost pro wont.

3.  The lastest version of Foxit PDF acts funny (also on XP sp3) but Sumatra PDF is good.






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