Windows 7 Pro 32bit and Workgroups

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by Marcia, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia Well-Known Member

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    Hi - I'm new to the Forum and not sure if this is the right place to post this but here goes. I understand that unlike XP Pro, Win 7 Pro 32bit can handle up to 20 computers in a workgroup. I'd like to run it on a moderately high end dedicated workstation as a data server with 15 workstations. The workload is actually small and SBS 2003 is overkill.
    I have actually been doing okay temporarily using XP Pro on a low end workstation after my SBS 2003 Server went down but I need to get more serious.
    Is anybody using 7 Pro in a Soho environment? Any comments or suggestions for success?

    I'm looking at a 2 500GB HDD RAID 1 setup
    Thank you for your time
     
  2. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    Hello Marcia and welcome to the forums.
    20 SMB connections it is; Type winver and scroll
    From
    Microsoft Software License Terms, Section 3, subparagraph f.
    Device Connections. You may allow up to 20 other devices to access software installed on the licensed computer to use only File Services, Print Services, Internet Information Services and Internet Connection Sharing and Telephony Services.
    Which can be additionally confirmed by opening a command prompt as administrator and typing
    net config server
    and hit enter
    look at the "Maximum Logged On Users" line, should also say 20.
    Hope that helps.
    Additionally you'll probably want a bit of beef in the hardware specs for the machine (processor speed, memory type and amount, as well as hard drive performance, consider SSDs or 10,000 rpm SATAII.
    Additionally some users have reported issues with Win7 hosting shares used by some downlevel clients like XP. Take a look at this article for further information and consideration Windows 7 Nonpaged Pool Srv Error 2017 | alan.lamielle.net
    and this one to help get you started from microsoft Networking home computers running different versions of Windows
    Finally mirroring your hard drives (Raid 1) is a good idea, but is no substitute for a comprehensive backup scheme combining system images with critical data backups.
     
  3. Marcia

    Marcia Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your prompt reply Randy. I do have some concerns about running all XP workstations with just the "dedicated server" on 7. I am likely to be replacing three of the more heavily used workstations soon and go to 7 on them.
    I currently have 12 computers including the server. Generally (80% of time) only 10 computers are actually in use at one time.
    In your opinion, am I asking for trouble to continue to run XP Pro until I move to Win 7 on the other wrkstations? I could build a nice, quiet, beefy machine and continue w/ XP Pro and keep the rather wimpy one I have now as a backup server.
    Bottom line: I need to stop twirling about what to do and just do it! Build a nice machine and run XP for another year or put 7 on it at build and slowly move the wrkstations to 7? This is where I am getting stuck.

    In addition to the mirroring, I rotate external HDDs and bring one home at night. I was also thinking of trying CrashPlan and backing up to my home office computer as well. There is only about 32GB of data but I don't know how long it will take.

    I'm thrilled to finally find a good Windows 7 Forum!
    Thanks again for your time
     
  4. Trouble

    Trouble Noob Whisperer

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    I wish I had some magical advice that would help you in the decision making process but unfortunately I do not. I don't have the resources to replicate your intended environment but I can tell you that I have had no issues using Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, in a mixed Windows environment (5 computers, Vista Business, XP Pro, Win 7 32bit and 64bit Ultimate and Pro) simple workgroup (No HomeGroups). Aside from some very minor printer driver issues (32bit vs. 64bit) which were easily corrected and one legacy HP Scanner issue, all client nodes get along well with each other happily sharing files/folders and printers without problem.
    My one suggestion would be, to the extent possible, introduce the new build Windows 7 machine (consider 64bit to take advantage of memory in excess of 3gigs) onto the network in a reasoned and stepped process, attach a printer and share it, create a folder share and assign the appropriate share and ntfs permissions and determine if any of the other network nodes have any issues connecting to those resources before moving over all your critical data and finding yourself in a hair on fire situation with more problems than solutions available. With that approach you'll have an opportunity to address and resolve issues before they reach critical mass.
    WARNING: There are always legacy software as well as legacy hardware issues to consider. With a new build the hardware shouldn't be as much of an issue use the Windows Hardware Compatibility Site if you have concerns and look for Windows7 Logo Branded Products where applicable. Software is another issue, like hardware something that runs great and works well on Windows XP may not always perform as expected on a Windows 7 machine. There are some work arounds using various compatability settings but generally you need to consider checking with the software vendor for any known issues with Windows 7 and any updates/upgrades that you may have to purchase which may impact the bottom line (price) of moving to Windows 7.
    Worse case, you'll end up with a machine that will really run XP well.
     

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