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09 April 2017 @ 03:59 am
Windows Server 2016 on NUC7i3BNH: struggling with drivers  
I bought NUC7i3BNH.
Then I tried to install Windows Server 2016 Standard on that NUC.
Windows Server installation itself was successful, but several drivers, including Network Adapters(!) and "Multimedia Audio Controller" - did not install.

Search for drivers brought me to:
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/boards-and-kits/intel-nuc-boards/000005628.html
where to my amazement I discovered that most of NUCs do NOT support Windows Server OS.

Further research pointed me to a hack that allows to manually use Windows 10 drivers on Windows Server 2016.
It goes like this:
1) Open C:\install\LAN_Server2016_64_22\PRO1000\Winx64\NDIS65\e1d65x64.inf
2) From this section:
[Intel.NTamd64.10.0.1]

copy these 3 lines:
===
%E15D8NC.DeviceDesc% = E15D8.10.0.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15D8
%E15D8NC.DeviceDesc% = E15D8.10.0.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15D8&SUBSYS_00008086
%E15D8NC.DeviceDesc% = E15D8.10.0.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_15D8&SUBSYS_00011179
===

into this section:
[Intel.NTamd64.10.0]

3) Then turn off drivers checks:
bcdedit /set LOADOPTIONS DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit /set TESTSIGNING OFF
bcdedit /set NOINTEGRITYCHECKS ON

4) And finally install the driver:
pnputil.exe -i -a C:\install\LAN_Server2016_64_22\PRO1000\Winx64\NDIS65\e1d65x64.inf

After that Network (and Internet) started working on my new NUC.


But I do not understand - why Intel does not allow these drivers under Windows Server 2016 by default?

Update: Windows Server 2016 on NUC7i3BNH struggles - part 2.

Originally posted at: http://dennisgorelik.dreamwidth.org/129240.html
 
 
 
rezkiy on April 9th, 2017 09:40 am (UTC)
they don't want to cannibalize server NIC sales.

I recommend you turn on integrity checks back on after you are all set.
Dennis Gorelikdennisgorelik on April 9th, 2017 06:24 pm (UTC)
> they don't want to cannibalize server NIC sales.

Under "they" do you mean "Intel" (not "Microsoft")?
Does "NIC" mean "Network Adapter"?

I still do not understand: how could NUC compete with much less expensive network adapters?
Besides, NUC still supports Linux, so NUC with Linux would still be a competitor to other server solutions.
rezkiy on April 10th, 2017 12:03 am (UTC)
Microsoft enforces signature verification for each OS separately. There are technical reasons for that. One example, you need NUMA support on server while you can get away without it on consumer-grade hardware. Microsoft charges some reasonable money for certification process (<$500 per OS I believe). They do look at your test results.

You can definitely install consumer-grade Linux on this box and maybe even Ubuntu Server. What you cannot install is ESXi. That's what MS cares about.

Now look at it from Intel's point of view. They need to spend extra $$$ to get exactly how much in new business? The customer has to be someone who 1) wants to run Windows Server 2) doesn't want to buy a server-class NIC from Intel (which are BTW widely available for reasonable price) 3) will abandon Intel for an alternate vendor (whom?).
Dennis Gorelikdennisgorelik on April 10th, 2017 12:38 am (UTC)
> They do look at your test results.

Do you mean that Microsoft looks at Intel's driver test results and charges sub-$500 per certified driver per OS for that?

> You can definitely install consumer-grade Linux on this box and maybe even Ubuntu Server. What you cannot install is ESXi.

1) What is the significance of ESXi?
2) Why ESXi cannot be installed on cheap NUC?
===
http://www.vmware.com/products/esxi-and-esx.html
Customers can use ESXi with either the free vSphere Hypervisor or as part of a paid vSphere edition.
===

> They need to spend extra $$$ to get exactly how much in new business?

It can be quite a lot (relatively to the overall sales).
Typical consumer buys a laptop anyway (not a NUC).
So NUC kit is already for the weird buyers like us.

> doesn't want to buy a server-class NIC from Intel

I do not understand that line of reasoning.
I do not want to buy a separate NIC because it is a hassle to deal with a separate NIC.
I want it in a bundle. So Intel provides that NIC in a bundle with NUC.
What sales exactly does Intel is trying to protect here?

> will abandon Intel for an alternate vendor (whom?)

For whatever NIC is integrated into NUC I guess?
rezkiy on April 10th, 2017 03:36 am (UTC)
>> Do you mean that Microsoft looks at Intel's driver test
>> results and charges sub-$500 per certified driver per OS for that?

Yes.
Dennis Gorelikdennisgorelik on April 11th, 2017 01:13 am (UTC)
That is not expensive.
I think Intel is getting sloppy (with drivers support) and would gradually lose their market share.
They still produce the fastest processors, but the gap with competitors (mostly mobile) is getting smaller and smaller.
Dennis Gorelikdennisgorelik on April 9th, 2017 06:46 pm (UTC)
> I recommend you turn on integrity checks back on after you are all set.

I actually consider returning that NUC7i7BNH and buying NUC6i7KYK ("NUC Skull") instead (in spite of "NUC Skull" being a little bit more power hungry due to being older 6th generation of i7 processor).

These hacky games are pretty tiring. I have plenty of real problems to solve.
Yaturkenzhensirhiv - a handheld spyyatur on April 9th, 2017 04:09 pm (UTC)
Judging by the price ($299), it's a consumer grade product. If you buy a cheap PC, it is quite possible it may not support Windows Server, since its main market is a home user. Anything that has the word 'Server' in its name, or anything geared for business use in general, typically sells at several hundred $$$ premium to the price, just because they can. It may or may not come with better quality or support.
Dennis Gorelikdennisgorelik on April 9th, 2017 06:41 pm (UTC)
> Judging by the price ($299), it's a consumer grade product.

It is actually not that cheap.
You still need to buy SSD and RAM.
I bought 1TB Samsung Evo 960 SSD for $479.99

> If you buy a cheap PC, it is quite possible it may not support Windows Server

Modern hardware is extremely powerful (even if cheap), so it's not about cheap hardware not being able to be a server. Lack of support for Server edition is intentional. But I still cannot understand the reasoning behind that malicious intent.
Intel still did not release server version of their NUC for the 7th generation of their i7 processor.
Intel only released server NUC version based on 6th generation of their i7 processor: NUC6i7KYK "Skull" that was launched Q2'16.
rezkiy on April 10th, 2017 12:07 am (UTC)
a first class citizen scenario for you might be to install Windows 10 and -- run server in a VM. There is some free space overhead, but you probably won't notice any performance difference. You also get Bash and other ubuntu things as part of your Windows 10 box.
Dennis Gorelikdennisgorelik on April 10th, 2017 12:22 am (UTC)
It is tempting to combine my developers' machine with a server in a single box.
However:
1) We would use that server for a team of 5 developers.
2) It would have:
- SQL Server.
- Team City.
- Elastic Search.
- VisualSVN Server.

My main concern is that Windows 10 requires regular reboots, especially if I actually actively using it as a workstation.
Host reboot means downtime for Windows Server VM. Which is kind of acceptable (since it's only a development environment), but not desirable.

So what do you think - does it still look like a viable solution?

> you probably won't notice any performance difference

Is the performance overhead for a server VM - just few percent?

> You also get Bash and other ubuntu things as part of your Windows 10 box.

Do you actually recommend Windows 10 OS (over Windows Server OS) for developers' workstations?
rezkiy on April 10th, 2017 12:44 am (UTC)
I used Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, and Server 2012 as a workstation in the past. My home file share is 2012R2 Hyper-V.

For the primary workstation I switched to Windows 10 and never regretted (not that I regret the past choices).

>> developers' machine with a server in a single box.

For your workload I strongly suggest getting some server grade hardware, run the primary workstation as a VM on that hardware, then RDP to that VM. Not because consumer grade is too slow -- because consumer-grade is significantly less reliable. What is a cost of a 1-day downtime for a team of 5?

One possibility is to get some 2-3 year old workstation (with a Xeon, ECC RAM and a server chipset). Then install whatever on it and deploy the VMs.
Dennis Gorelikdennisgorelik on April 10th, 2017 01:06 am (UTC)
What about the noise from these servers?
I'd rather have a quite NUC.
Server performance is rarely a problem for us.
rezkiy on April 10th, 2017 03:33 am (UTC)
you don't have to go to eleven. I have a (rather old) Thinkstation S20 at home, it only spins fans up if I'm doing something dramatic, which is a rare event.
Dennis Gorelikdennisgorelik on April 10th, 2017 01:03 am (UTC)
> My home file share is 2012R2 Hyper-V.

1) Is "2012R2 Hyper-V" installed on a bare metal server or is a VM?
2) What kind of files do you keep on your home file share?
In particular, do you keep your VMs on that home file share?

> I strongly suggest getting some server grade hardware,

Such as "NUC Skull" (NUC6i7KYK)?
And then install Windows Server 2016 on it?

> run the primary workstation as a VM on that hardware

Under "primary workstation" - you mean VM that runs my Visual Studio and email client?

And then run development server as another VM on the same NUC Skull hardware?

> What is a cost of a 1-day downtime for a team of 5?

It's hard to quantify, actually.
Even if server is down - developers can do some other tasks (but less efficiently).
But anyway, from the downtime perspective, the server should not be hosted at my house anyway (because of occasional electricity downtime and occasional internet connection problems), right?

Where do you host your development server?
rezkiy on April 10th, 2017 03:30 am (UTC)
>> Where do you host your development server?

I cannot precisely answer this question. I don't write for web. I use a variety of hardware that sits in the server room, and some more hardware somewhere in the cloud. Primary dev machine is under my desk at the office. I almost always RDP to it when working.
rezkiy on April 10th, 2017 03:35 am (UTC)
>> 2) What kind of files do you keep on your home file share?

cat videos mostly. I used to have VMs on that Hyper-V (to RDP to them from work). Current work is way more fun, so that functionality has been retired.
Dennis Gorelikdennisgorelik on April 11th, 2017 01:07 am (UTC)
> Current work is way more fun

Do you mean that current work is more fun than cat videos?
What do you do at work?