While trying to figure out how to successfully install Windows Server Code Name "Longhorn" x64 on the new disk drive recently added to Nighthawk, I decided to install Longhorn x86 in a virtual PC using Virtual PC 2007.
I created a virtual PC with 2GB of memory and a 130GB virtual disk drive. Longhorn installed without a problem in this virtual PC.
The Longhorn installation was just as quick, if not quicker than the Vista Ultimate x64 installation in Nighthawk.
Unfortunately, I did not keep track of the actual installation time. I'll do that when I install Longhorn x64. That will also make a better comparison.
It was no surprise that the user interface in Longhorn is very similar to that of Vista. After all, both operating systems were initially developed under the same project.
The "Initial Configuration Tasks" is displayed after the Longhorn x86 installation is completed.
This program guides you through the initial configuration of the Longhorn server. I changed the default "Administrator" account name and assigned a strong password to the account.
I was pleasantly surprised that Virtual PC 2007 assigns a MAC address for the virtual PC's network adapter. This allowed me to assign a static IP address for this Longhorn server in my router which functions as the DHCP server in my network.
I also changed the computer name, enabled Windows Update and Feedback, and added a "role" for the server as an "Internet Information Server" (IIS Version 7.0), aka a Web server.
Longhorn makes the installation and configuration of a server much easier and quicker than Windows 2000 Server (I don't yet have any experience with Windows 2003 Server.)
I don't know how much more time I will spend experimenting with this Longhorn x86 installation in a virtual PC. I would prefer to spend the time working with Longhorn x64 installed on a "real" computer: Nighthawk.
I have also just been accepted as a Beta tester for Windows Home Server so I am now in the process of downloading this operating system which I am equally excited about.