I’m doing a server build for a business at the moment who needs the neat automated backup functionality found in Windows Home Server 2011 to help keep daily backups of important point of sale computers and office machines while consolidating and centralising the data storage on the network. For this task, I thought that Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials would be most suitable.
The only “gotcha” was that the box that I am repurposing for the task scrapes in with the minimum 2GB RAM required by the operating system. My main concern was that given that this computer has integrated that uses system memory for video memory and in some cases this can make it look as if there is less physical memory installed. The setup will actually refuse to continue if you don’t meet the prerequisites so this was an important point to check.
What I did to help things along was to disable the use off Protected Audio Video Path (PAVP) in the BIOS. What this function does is to set aside an amount of system memory dedicated to protected video decoding by the onboard graphics chipset. This is necessary for Blu-ray playback but since this computer will never play a Blu-ray disc enabling this function was a waste of RAM. So make sure this is set to “Disabled” instead of “PAVP Lite” or “Paranoid PAVP” as the default option tends to be “PAVP Lite”.
Anyway, after changing this setting the installation went off without a hitch (albeit slowly). This is testament that boxes with borderline specifications and integrated graphcs can still meet the system requirements but of course more RAM is always a good help!