Issues after installing Windows Server 2008 R2 on a laptop

After installing Windows Server 2008 R2 on my laptop, I noticed a couple of things:

  1. On closing the lid of the laptop, it did not go into sleep or hibernate mode, but was instead running and draining power
  2. I could not see the list of wireless connections available, and hence was not able to connect to one
  3. Internet Explorer was in High security level for the Internet zone and I could not change that

All these issues happen because the OS I installed was Windows Server 2008 R2. I guess the defaults associated with that server OS were not really applicable for a laptop.

Here are the fixes:

  1. The obvious place to look was power options inside the Control Panel. I intended to change the “When I close the lid” setting and chose the “Hibernate” option. However it was not an available option. What I had to do first is run the following on a command prompt
    c:\> powercfg.exe /hibernate on

    When I did this, it caused the Hibernate option to show up in the “When I close the lid” setting. I chose that and it just worked.

    This information was obtained from here.

  2. To fix the wireless issue, I ran Windows Diagnostics and like any user expected it not to work. It lived up to expectations. It told me that nothing was wrong. On looking at network adapters, the wireless adapter showed up as enabled. Finally based on this link, I came to know what the issue was. It was that Windows Server 2008 R2 (and probably other servers) doesn’t have wireless access turned on by default, and the “Wireless LAN Service” has to be explicitly started by going to
    Start -> Administrative Tools -> Server Manager -> Features

    and adding the feature with the same name.

    Don’t ask me why Windows Diagnostics would not just give the message “The Wireless LAN service is not running, start it for wireless access”. I’m confounded!

  3. It turns out that in Windows Server 2008 R2 puts Internet Explorer in Enhanced Security Configuration (also known as IE ESC) by default, and when in that configuration, you cannot alter the security setting, and will receive annoying messages whenever you navigate to any site that you have not explicitly added to the trusted list. Also you will probably not be able to download other software like Google Chrome :-). I found the solution here, which is to go to the Server Manager and click on the “Configure IE ESC” link on the right side of the window. Once you turn off ESC, you will automatically be put in “Medium-High” security setting for the Internet zone and can browse normally. Keep in mind that you are lowering the security setting of your machine and hence increasing the probability that your computer is infected with spam ware or a virus, so take the appropriate precautions like installing an antivirus and correctly configuring the firewall.

Anyway, hope this helps.

Issues after installing Windows Server 2008 R2 on a laptop