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Essentials 2012 R2


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#1 Spider99

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 12:42 PM

Hi

 

Proud owner  :P of a shinny new Essential Server

 

Its along time since i played with Windows server - some things are the same but a lot has changed so....

 

Any recommendations on what to read/watch on how to set it up and use some of the features etc

 

There appears to be a lot of info but where to start with a good guide etc?

 

Thanks

T


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Tim

---------

DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#2 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 09:59 PM

Well, Essentials is very nice.  

 

Also, IIRC, the "We Got Served" website had some nice guides on stuff you can do with the server. 

 

 

From there, look up Group Policies. ;)


Christopher Courtney

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This is my server

 

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#3 Spider99

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 01:43 PM

So anybody else who may be wondering - i got Terry Walsh guide to setting up Essentials R2 of the WGS site

 

Easy to follow and half way through 787 pages!

 

Chris - Terry's book covers GP - was there something specific i should be looking for?


Tim

---------

DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#4 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 07:18 PM

Terry's book only *touches* on Group Policies. There are two built into Essentials.... 

 

But have you ever done a hack that requires running "secpol.msc", "gpedit.msc" or the like?  If so, you can do that for the entire domain. 

 

Additionally, it supports software installation, of MSI files (at least some). 

 

 

You can spend hours going through the administrative templates. :)


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#5 Spider99

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 11:38 PM

yes have used gpedit a few times

 

not secpol though

 

lol a bit sad going through admin templates :)


Tim

---------

DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#6 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 02:07 AM

Anything you can set via gpedit, you can use "Group Policy Management" to create a "global" group policy for the network. 

 

The settings in "Secpol" are in "gpedit" as well, but it's a bit more specific. 

 

 

And it can be. But there are a lot of options, and things you can do there. 


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#7 Spider99

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 02:37 AM

Hmm ok will add to my ever growing list of things to look at in detail :)


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Tim

---------

DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#8 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 06:29 PM

Hmm ok will add to my ever growing list of things to look at in detail :)

 

It never really stops. There is also something new and shiny (at least to you). :)


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#9 asdaHP

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 11:32 PM

Hi

 

Proud owner  :P of a shinny new Essential Server

 

Its along time since i played with Windows server - some things are the same but a lot has changed so....

 

Any recommendations on what to read/watch on how to set it up and use some of the features etc

 

There appears to be a lot of info but where to start with a good guide etc?

 

Thanks

T

Hi,

Congrats on a new server :-) I was curious if you picked 2012 r2 over 2016 because it came prebuilt or if it is a better price or you just like it better!

 

I am on the eval version of 2012 r2 essentials but am tempted to look at 2016 essentials as they are more or less priced the same (399 on newegg).



#10 Spider99

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 09:50 AM

Hi @asdaHP

 

I went with 2012 RE2 because of lots of issues with raid cards under Win 10 and wanted something else to try - 2016 is a tad to shinny and new - and usually that means some issue with it being MS :) - and had six weeks of faffing around did not fancy anymore :)

 

Also if you look on ebay you can find Essentials 2012 for as low as 20 for the lic number - i got my first one at 80 and downloaded the technet preview version and installed and activated no problem :)

 

First impression is its stable and finds most things out of the gate with working drivers - what i dont like is the interface (part Win 8) and the way it forces you to the dashboard and makes finding some tools kind of difficult - i.e. several clicks to find computer management - to get to disk management - to map a drive. could be i have not found it in the dashboard but.....

 

Overall its a server version of windows and it will do what i need once i get used to the interface or change it so its more Win7 ish rather than win 8

 

If you do go Win 2016 - comeback and start a thread so we can see if you find it any better - not looked in detail but i did not see a huge feature set change?

 

T


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Tim

---------

DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#11 aws1971 (TRaSH)

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 07:21 PM

I installed classic start,
That will make it a bit easier to find.
I also set it up to stay in desktop mode and not the tiles.

#12 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 08:03 PM

.... I just right click the start menu button 90% of the time. :)


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Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#13 asdaHP

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 03:16 AM

Hi @asdaHP

 

I went with 2012 RE2 because of lots of issues with raid cards under Win 10 and wanted something else to try - 2016 is a tad to shinny and new - and usually that means some issue with it being MS :) - and had six weeks of faffing around did not fancy anymore :)

 

Also if you look on ebay you can find Essentials 2012 for as low as 20 for the lic number - i got my first one at 80 and downloaded the technet preview version and installed and activated no problem :)

 

First impression is its stable and finds most things out of the gate with working drivers - what i dont like is the interface (part Win 8) and the way it forces you to the dashboard and makes finding some tools kind of difficult - i.e. several clicks to find computer management - to get to disk management - to map a drive. could be i have not found it in the dashboard but.....

 

Overall its a server version of windows and it will do what i need once i get used to the interface or change it so its more Win7 ish rather than win 8

 

If you do go Win 2016 - comeback and start a thread so we can see if you find it any better - not looked in detail but i did not see a huge feature set change?

 

T

Hi @spider99

Thanks. Yes i too find 12 r2 stable. And there is not much of a benefit with 2016 except that being a newer software, i expect longer support. Ebay does have much better prices, i just worry about whether those are valid versions being sold as many of the sellers have only a small number of ratings. But if it works for you, may be il take a closer look. I asked the same question on homservershow a while back but did not hear from anyone. I am glad you have tried it and it has worked.

 

I installed classic start,
That will make it a bit easier to find.
I also set it up to stay in desktop mode and not the tiles.

I remember hearing about that with windows 8 but never got around to it. Is classic start a software add on for 2012 r2 too?

 

.... I just right click the start menu button 90% of the time. :)

 

That is more or less what i do with 12 and windows 8.1!! (i actually got somewhat used to right clicking on start and working from there...so much so i sometimes right click on windows 7 start and only get properties and explorer!)
 



#14 Spider99

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 08:17 AM

i use Classic Start Menu in win 10 - i was thinking of giving it a try in R2E - glad to know it works

 

another couple of add on's i use in win 10  are QTTabBar and the classic explorer bar which comes with Classic Menu - nice tabbed explorer windows - with lots of other enhancements between them

 

Why MS think 5 clicks are better than 2 - i will never fathom! - and as for win update now being even more dumb and uncontrolable - aaaah

 

 

As for R2E lic on ebay well at 20 a go its not that painful if it does not work - and you can get your money back if needed


Tim

---------

DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#15 Spider99

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 11:50 AM

Question 1

 

is anybody running more than one R2E in the same domain - and have you configured the second instance as a backup DC or just joined it to the domain?

 

Question 2

 

What AV are you using with R2E and if so whats the cost and experience like?

 

Thanks

T


Tim

---------

DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#16 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 06:06 PM

2012R2 Essentials requires that it be the primary domain controller. Meaning you can't run two on the same domain. 

 

You *can* use Standard/Datacenter to run as a backup DC, but that's it.

 

however, 2016 Essentials supports multiple being on the same domain, I believe. 

 

 

And I'm using a Sophos UTM's Endpoint Protection license on the server. 


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#17 AMCross

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 01:52 PM

both 2012r2 and 2016 were too much of a steep learning curve for me

 

 

but when you go back to server 2011 dam its so slow :-(

 

does the domain skip hack also work with 2016 ?



#18 Christopher (Drashna)

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 06:58 PM

The domain part is, yes.  But if you "opt out" of that, it's very, very similar to WHS2011. 

 

And yeah, WHS2011 is very slow by comparison. :)

 

 

And as for the SkipDomainJoin registry hack? I have no idea. 

If it doesn't, you can leave the domain afterwards, and it has the same effect. 

(you leave the domain from the system panel, where you change the computer name)


Christopher Courtney

aka "Drashna"

Microsoft MVP for Windows Home Server 2009-2012

Lead Moderator for We Got Served

Moderator for Home Server Show

 

This is my server

 

Lots of "Other" data on your pool? Read about what it is here.


#19 Spider99

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 09:06 PM

or let it setup the domain - then dont join any users to the domain  :P


Tim

---------

DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage


#20 Spider99

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 09:03 AM

The last comment was made as a joke but actually i have spent the last couple of days trying to join win 10 machines to the domain and every time the connector errors out

 

Turns out the connector is not supported on up to date win 10 machines that have not been connected to the domain before

 

You can manually connect via the pc by using computer properties etc - but essentials does not recognise the client machine as joined and the essentials connector still bombs

 

so basically [attachment=782:hair-fire.gif]


Tim

---------

DrivePool & Scanner on 2012R2 Essentials Server Gigabyte Z87x OC Force, i7-4790S, 32 GB, LSI 9211, HP SAS Expander, 27 Storage disks, 6 SSD Cache, ~115 TB Storage





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