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Windows 7 x64 comes with all sorts of signed drivers so there's high probability that all drivers for your machine will be installed during system setup.

On the other hand Windows Server 2008 R2 doesn't. Event though it's practically the same OS when it comes to drivers. I know there's a very good reason for this difference. It's a server product, not a desktop one. But the thing is that many power users and developers use server OS on their workstations which are usually desktop machines (a bit more powerful though) and would benefit from the whole driver spectrum that Windows 7 offers...


I know I've been reading on the internet about some trick where you first install Windows 7, than do something to get either all Windows 7 drivers or just those installed, and then install Windows Server 2008 R2 and use those drivers of Windows 7.

The thing is I can't find these instructions on the internet any more. If anybody knows where they are please provide the link for the rest of us.

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You can't use all Windows 7 drivers on Windows Server 2008 R2. The drivers must be signed.

On all x64 versions of Windows, drivers have to be digitally signed. I guess the logic behind this is for reasons and stability and compatibility. You could however, still force an install of a non-signed driver. The result however, could be some annoyance.


To get around this, driver signature enforcement would have be disabled at each start up. The way this is done is to hit F5 right after the BIOS POST screen and before Windows start, and then hit F8 to bring up the advance options, and select disable driver signature enforcement. Troublesome.

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Nice idea with signing drivers myself but these are not instructions I was looking for. Thanks for the info anyway. – Robert Koritnik Jun 2 '10 at 12:31
One more thing. I installed Win7 x64, all drivers were signed and I was able to install Win server 2008 R2 x64 and they worked like a charm. – Robert Koritnik Oct 13 '10 at 16:28

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