Server and Workstation Clean Up Tips

September 1st, 2011

Server and Workstation Clean Up Tips


Whether you are manually updating or refreshing your golden images, here are some things to consider:

  1. Make sure your workstations are doing Microsoft Updates and not just the default Windows Updates.  Microsoft Updates is optional on every version of Windows workstation or server OSes.   The difference is that Windows Update only provides operating systems updates.   Microsoft Updates provides both the operating systems updates AND Microsoft application updates (i.e. Microsoft Office, SQL, etc.).
  2. For machines where you have set Automatic Updates and they are directly updating to Microsoft, please manually test the Windows Update connection.  Microsoft occasionally requires software updates to maintain the most current version.  Also some important updates require acknowledging license agreements.  In a stand-alone setting someone needs to acknowledge those updates – even with automati updates.  Also this is a great way to validate (and perhaps fix) that you are running Microsoft Update and not just Windows Update. 
  3. Service Packs.  Make sure that you are at the most current levels:
    • Windows XP SP3 (Microsoft's update process is now based upon SP3 and not previous SP versions).
    • Vista SP2. SP1 has been discontinued.
    • Windows 7 SP1. We have been routinely installing this and it has been fine.
    • Windows Server 2003 SP2.
    • Windows Server 2008 SP2.
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

Clean up your computers

One of my favorite clean up utilities is the free CCLEANER.  You can download it for free at .  This does a pretty good first generic cleaning of the usual suspects in terms of basic cleaning and temp files.


  1. Windows 2000 is a discontinued operating system that is unsupported and has no future security updates.  There are known exploits out there which Windows 2000 cannot and will never be able to defend against.  Retire any Windows 2000 servers or workstations in your organization ASAP.
  2.  Windows Server 2003 remains the most popular server OS.  However it is also a discontinued operating system.  Unlike Windows Server 2000 Microsoft continues to fully support Windows Server 2003 with security updates until 2014.   However, if you are planning a new server installation, the time has come to install Windows Server 2008 R2 UNLESS you have a specific compatibility requirement that precludes you from running on your applications on a 64-bit server OS.
  3. Windows XP remains the most popular workstation OS.  However, the gap between Windows XP and Windows 7 in terms of usage is narrowing every day.   Windows XP is discontinued operating system.   Again Microsoft is fully supporting Windows XP with security updates until 2014.   However, downgrade rights have been discontinued.  Therefore, you cannot legally install Windows XP unless you have pre-existing XP volume licenses (paper licenses) that you purchased separately which are you are not using on existing workstations.  You cannot transfer OEM licenses to any computer – EVER.    Installing new licenses of XP without pre-existing licenses is not legal.  The time has come to deploy Windows 7 SP1 for anything new.
  4. There are modest Windows configurations changes to make a Windows domain fully compatible with Windows 7.   A Group Policy Central Store should be setup.
  5. Windows 7 requires licensing planning to determine your strategy for OEM, KMS, or MAK licensing to ensure a smooth deployment.

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