As a volunteer, I look after the office computers at a small private school. We have Small Business Server 2003 and about ten desktops. Nearly all the desktops are XP Pro and are joined to the domain.

They bought a new laptop for someone without involving me but now want me to connect it to the network. Unfortunately, they bought it with Windows 7 Home Premium. If they had asked, I would have recommended Pro so it could join the domain.

I should probably hassle them about this and insist that they upgrade it to Windows 7 Pro but I'm struggling to answer the obvious question which I'll probably be asked. What is the real disadvantage if they don't upgrade to Pro?

I know it can't be managed from the server but, to be honest, I haven't done much "managing" of the other workstations anyway.

I assume that I can map network drives on this machine by keeping the user name and password the same as on the server. Can someone confirm that please? I've done this with the one XP Home machine we have that someone donated. Outlook seems to be able to connect to Exchange just fine too. The fact that the user won't be able to change the server password really isn't a big deal in this organization.

We run WSUS but I don't think I've ever declined an update so the standard windows update will work for this one. I've haven't really done anything with policies.

They need this machine setup kind of urgently so... am I missing anything before I bite my tongue or hold my nose and do the somewhat hacky thing to make Windows 7 Home work?


These are the differences:
- As you said, join the machine to the domain.
- Cannot run Windows XP mode
- You cannot make backups to a network.
- Unlike Windows XP you wont can map network drives on Windows 7 home editions.
- As @Multiverse said in this answer you can not connet to the computer by RDP.

Microsoft has a comparision page of the Windows 7 Editions.

Outlook can connect to the exachange without hassles.

Windows 7 home edition can connect to a WSUS, but keep in mind that how it's not a domain you will ned to manually modifiy the Windows Update registry keys to make it to connect to the WSUS Server.

  • 1
    And you cannot RDP TO the machine. Aug 28 '11 at 2:10
  • Thanks. They're going to change it. I'm surprised to hear that you cannot map network drives with Windows 7 Home. Are you sure about that? At home I have a Win 7 laptop which has a drive mapped to a share on my "server" which runs Win XP Home. Are you saying that won't work if I had real server with a domain?
    – tetranz
    Aug 28 '11 at 12:32
  • @tetranz yes i am sure. You cannot map network drives if you are running Windows 7 hombe editions. Aug 28 '11 at 18:28

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