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XP Backwerds Compatablility?

I would like to use Windows 2003 Server on my Laptop computer, the problem is that I need to make sure that 2003 will work before I buy it (to bad Microsoft doesn't offer a demo). I am currently running Windows 2000 Server on my laptop. I have the following issues
A: HT is not fully supported
B: The Graphics card will not let me run an attached monitor at a differnt resolution in expanded desktop mode.

The manual says that these issues will be resolved with an upgrade to Windows XP. The problem I have, is that I need a Microsoft Server operating system on my laptop. Will Windows 2003 work with the WinXP Drivers?

Thank you for your time,
2 Solutions
Hi Arrummzen,

Ms does offer a demo of 2003:

Try it yourself and hopefully you can answer your own questions.

As What90 has suggested, you can install an evaluation version of Windows 2003; however, installing it to test your solution may not be the simplest way to answer your questions. I would think that contacting the support folks for the manufacturer of your hardware would be the simplest and most accurate route. Windows XP drivers aren't specifically designed to work with Windows 2003 Server, but the OSs are in the same "family" so their drivers will be similar enough that it may "work". But you are going to want to get the "clearance" from the manufacturer so that you will be covered for future support issues.

If you do go the installation route, make sure you perform a full backup of your currently working configuration so you can recover easily if there is a failure. Then I would do a clean install of Windows 2003 as opposed to an upgrade.

Here's a decent read on Microsoft's Windows support for Hyper Threading: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/hwdev/platform/proc/HT-Windows.mspx


Windows XP drivers will often work with Windows 2003, however on my laptop (IBM Thinkpad A31p) I have had issues with the power management, very high res screens (1600*1200), mouse roller wheels and bluetooth and the CDWriter.

In the end I couldn't live without the wheel mouse, bluetooth and CDRW, so I returned to XP and installed VMWare instead with Windows 2003 in the Virtual Machine. This solved all my problems nicely.

One other thing - I run a few additional utils, like AV and a defragger. Both of these wanted to charge me 100's of pounds for server version because I chose to run a server OS on my laptop. I advise you go with the VMWare tool (or virtual PC 2004) instead.


I absolutely agree with you JamesDS, I was going to suggest Virtual PC '04, but because Arrummzen's concerns were about the ability to take advantage of video features and HT, Virtual PC wouldn't help because it installs a generic driver for video and you can't take advantage of multiple processors with Virtual PC-- but I'm not wholly certain of any overall gains using HT. Certainly not on the Virtual PC itself, but perhaps on the host system.
ArrummzenAuthor Commented:
Wow, I didn't know Microsoft did demos, thanks for the information. I alredy own both VMWare and VirtualPC (I personaly Perfer VMWare). I think Ill just go with VMware, this server is used for testing applications, performance isn't to much of an issue.

Thank you for your time,
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