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I'm wondering if there is any software to test if a PC could support Windows Server 2008. I can read the Windows Server 2008 System Requirements in Microsoft web page, and according with that information, my PC statisfy it. But I would like to be sure before attempting to install.

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closed as off topic by Brent Pabst, joeqwerty, John Gardeniers, Michael Hampton, rnxrx Sep 15 '12 at 0:56

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Generally speaking, if Windows Vista is supported, then Server 2008 is supported, if Windows 7 is supported, then Server 2008 R2 is supported.

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Agreed. The client OS is the same as its server counterpart, only services change. – Massimo Sep 12 '12 at 17:00
Though with the caveat that Windows 7 is supported on 32 bit systems. Windows 2008 R2 only works on 64 bit systems. – Zoredache Sep 12 '12 at 19:59
True, though nearly everything nowadays supports 64 bit, so long as you have a middling core 2 duo and up you'll be fine. – Alex Berry Sep 13 '12 at 7:46

At my office we don't have so many resources for testing, so we plan to use just a PC for installing Windows Server 2008

If it is just for testing (and not for raw performance) then I recommend virtualization.

E.g. download Vmware workstation (which is good for a 30 day trail), select the server 2008 profile and install. Test whatever you want. It has the advantage of snapshots, which is very nice when you just want to try something.

NB: There are several of other virtualization packages. I just mentioned the one I used last (and thus foremost in my mind).

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Agreed too, to some extent, maybe see if this pc supports esxi (refer to the HCL at, if it's an intel chip you stand a good chance), however if you can't have a bare-metal hypervisor you will be wasting RAM, so I would install it straight on top instead. – Alex Berry Sep 12 '12 at 17:43

Contrary to the other answers here, I've found that the best software to test compatibility with Server 2008... is Server 2008. Applies to any OS or application too, in my experience.

Will [x] software run on [y] hardware? Put the install media for [x] into [y] and do an install to find out.

If you're not ready to commit to a "real" install, you can always slap a spare hard drive in the machine, install to it and check to see if Server 2008:

  1. Actually installs
  2. Actually boots and runs once installed
  3. Supports drivers for all your hardware
  4. Performs "acceptably" (to you) once installed

Give it a spin for a few hours to check things out and then make the decision to either go ahead with installing it "for real" or not. Actually checking it yourself is really the only way to be 100% sure either way. No shortcuts or magic.

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+1 When in doubt either take an image of the current system or swap out the drive and just do the installation. If it fails you simply restore the original image or drive. In the time the OP posted the question and waited for the answers he/she could already have done this. – John Gardeniers Sep 13 '12 at 6:42
+1 I agree, don't be afraid of hardware or software, just get on with it and see if it works. – Alex Berry Sep 13 '12 at 7:45

Regardless of whether the OS will run many times consumer PC hardware will not support it. Drivers will not always be compatible since client OSes are far more lenient on drivers than their server counterparts. Oh did I mention you can void your warranty in many cases by doing this?

Overall not a good idea, and totally off-topic for ServerFault.

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Yes, drivers could be not compatible. That's why I'm looking for some tool for compatibility checks. At my office we don't have so many resources for testing, so we plan to use just a PC for installing Windows Server 2008. – Delmonte Sep 12 '12 at 17:05
Generally speaking windows 7 drivers will work in server 2008 R2, there's nothing stopping it, in fact I have run server 2008 r2 as a desktop for a short while while trying stuff. Just install and see, there's no chance of damaging your hardware, it just won't work :) – Alex Berry Sep 12 '12 at 17:22
@AlexBerry Not true! I had a Dell Precision running 2008R2 for a while, the drivers barely would load, all kinds of hoops to jump through, plus the drivers that communicated to the Mobo to ensure the fans were running properly malfunctioned due to 2008R2 locking them down and it melted various parts of the machine. Unless its a supported config I DO NOT recommend it. Talk to your hardware vendor! – Brent Pabst Sep 12 '12 at 17:38
So set to manual fan control and keep on going.. And serves you right for buying dell! Mind you I agree with @Hennes to some extent, virtualisation would be easier. – Alex Berry Sep 12 '12 at 17:42
My point through the whole thing is this most CERTAINLY voids the warranty, regardless of brand. Oh and its spelled virtualization ;) – Brent Pabst Sep 12 '12 at 19:32

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