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Upgrading your WD DX4000 to Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

Hello,

The WD Sentinel (DX 4000) Storage Appliance from Western Digital comes with stock Windows Storage Server 2008, I wanted to upgrade it to Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard to make use of the following features:

  • Data Deduplication
  • SMB 3.0
  • Native NIC Teaming

However because it is a headless system (does not have a screen), it was virtually impossible to simply upgrade it. Also, for me to be able to keep the Essentials Dashboard (which is only a feature of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials) I have to first install Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, then upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard.

I finally found this awesome guide to perform the upgrade, it depends on Windows Assessment and Deployment Toolkit to create a WinPE image that will automate the installation of Windows Server 2012 R2.

http://blugged.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/wd-dx4000-building-windows-server-2012-part-1/

http://blugged.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/wd-dx4000-building-windows-server-2012-part-2/

http://blugged.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/wd-dx4000-building-windows-server-2012-part-3-the-lcd/

Because those steps are too complex, it is not an easy task for the average person to go through it, I’ve depended on this guide to create an ISO image that will automate the upgrade for you. The ISO image can be downloaded from here.

So simply follow these steps to upgrade your DX4000 to Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard whilst keeping the Essentials Dashboard:

  • Backup your data
  • Backup your backup
  • Have a recovery ISO image (EMEA) (PANAM) from Western Digital ready in case something goes wrong, here is the manual
  • Download and extract the DX4000_WindowsServer2012R2Essentials.iso
  • Use software like Rufus (http://rufus.akeo.ie/) with the following settings to convert the ISO Image into a bootable USB
    1: boot-disk = ISO (Select the ISO file)
    2: Partition = MBR for UEFI
    3: Filesystem = FAT32
    4: Size = Default FAT32
  • Modify the file “autounattend.xml” on the root directory of the USB to replace “XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX” with your Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials product key
  • Insert the USB into your DX4000 and boot from USB (by holding down the reset button for 15 seconds while starting your device)
  • That’s it, everything will run automatically, after about an hour you will be able to connect via Remote Desktop to your device.
  • After your system is up and running, you can simply mount a Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard ISO and upgrade your Essentials edition into Standard edition (to get use of NIC Teaming and Data Depuplication via the upgrade wizard

Notes:

  • After like 5~10 minutes from booting with the USB you will be able to use TightVNC Viewer to view the installation status, simply make sure you note the IP Address assigned by DHCP to your device and use TightVNC to connect to it
  • Windows default username is “Administrator” and the default password is “P@ssw0rd”
  • The Intel NIC drivers are not compatible with Windows Server 2012 R2, so do not bother trying to install them, Windows will pick up a default driver which will work just fine
  • The LCD of your system will stop working after performing the upgrade, this ISO image does not have any software to control the LCD

Enjoy 🙂

Install Zune 4.7 on Windows Server 2008 R2

Hello,
I recently bought a Windows Phone, and as most of tech people do, i use Windows Server 2008 R2 as a workstation for testing purposes.
I needed to install the Zune software onto my workstation and i was bumbed to find out that it is unsupported.

Here is a little workaround that got me going:
1- Download the Zune setup package from http://www.zune.net
2- Once the package is downloaded, open the command line (make sure you right click it and choose “Run as Administrator”)
3- Navigate to the directory where the zune package was downloaded using the command “cd C:\Users\UserName\Downloads”
4- Run the command “ZuneSetupPkg.exe /x”. A window will popup to prompt for where you want to extract the package. Extract it anywhere you would like.
5- Depending on your system architechture (x86 or x64) navigate inside the extracted directory to the “packages” folder (in my case x64\Packages)
6- Install the files “zune-x64.msi” and “zunewmdu-x64.msi” (again the x64 or x86 is according to your system architechture.

And you’re done 🙂

Now as i tried to install the first msi file an error occured “FirewallCA: operation ‘PreserveWirelessFWRuleConfig’ has finished with result 0 × 80070005”.
I dunno how that happened however i found a post somewhere which instucts you to replace “C:\Windows\System32\PortableDeviceApi.dll” with this one here. You also might need to take ownership of the system32 folder before you can replace it.

Another thing that i have needed was to use the Zune media sharing option to enable viewing my Zune media library from my XBox 360. It turns out you have to do the following in the following order:
1- Go to the Server Manager > Features > Install the Desktop Experience Feature
2- Open Services.msc
3- Start the service SSDP Discovery, switch the starting mode to Automatic
4- Start the service UPnP Device Host, switch the starting mode to Automatic
5- Start the service Zune Network Sharing Service, switch the starting mode to Automatic
6- Go to Network and Sharing Center > Change Advanced Sharing Settings, and turn on Netowrk Discovery and File and Printer Sharing.

And that is all. Also note that any updates that Zune requires will fail. You must download the newer version of the package again and do the same all over again and see if it works.