So RemoteFX didn’t work

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windows-logoI missed the small fact that RemoteFX required Enterprise versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8. All the YouTube videos and forum posts that I encountered didn’t explicitly specify that I needed the Enterprise versions. And thus I wasted my time futzing with all this RemoteFX and Hyper-V nonsense.

I could get my hands on a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate but RemoteFX isn’t worth the cost of that.

So what’s next? I have no idea what to do with that Radeon HD 5770 that I have installed in my home server. I could go ahead and do some digital currency mining. I hear PrimeCoin is the new hotness.

Checkpoint: There is Light Edition

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I think my home server is in the clear. After a couple of days of Prime95 tests and a minor adjustment to the memory voltage, my home server is no longer crashing with the blue screen of death. I’m also running FlexRAID without any issue as well. I’ll purchase a license as soon as the 14 trial draws to a close.

I admit it’s only been a few days and things could still blow up but I’m confident things are on the right track. I’ve even begun my Steam Trading Card “mining” virtual machine idea.

Steam trading cards require me to run games for a period of time. Why run two machines when I can just create a VM and use RemoteFX? It should save me a bit of money. I’m building the VM now in Hyper-V and will report its success or failure as soon as I am done.

I wrapped up Fire Emblem: Awakening and began my life in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. It’s a strangely addictive game but also one that I find myself playing in small spurts.

I have one final story to wrap up in Persona 4: Arena before I can declare it “complete”. The story mode is certainly not what I envisioned and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not yet.

Checkpoint: Not According to Plan Edition

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Don’t you hate it when things don’t fall into place?

With the new PC wrapped up (post about it tomorrow) and all the hard drives in, I decided to work on the home server. My plan to use NAS4Free running in a Hyper-V VM didn’t pan out. I didn’t realize that NAS4Free/FreeBSD didn’t have the necessary SCSI drivers for Hyper-V.

My fall back plan was to use VMWare Player or Oracle VirtualBox. The former worked but I couldn’t map to physical disks. Oracle VirtualBox allows all five physical disks to be mapped but it seems to crash often. I performed a factory reset and will perform the ZFS pool creation one more time. If it causes me grief I may have to resort to using virtual disks on individual drives.

This sucks.

I am tempted to scrap the whole NAS4Free/FreeNAS idea and look into unRAID, FlexRAID or something along those lines.

I was hoping to either wrap up Persona 4: Arena or Fire Emblem: Awakening this weekend but made little progress towards that goal as well. There’s a lot more grinding involved in Fire Emblem than I originally anticipated.

Checkpoint: VMWare ESXi Out. Hyper-V In? Edition

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I had an Evernote page filled with links of possible solutions to my VMWare ESXi hardware compatibility problems. I found posts detailing how ICH8 and Marvell onboard NIC compatibility issues were addressed with custom oem.tgz files for ESXi 4. I was hoping to adapt them for ESXi 5 but unfortunately that didn’t pan out at all.

I discovered ESXi 5 introduced a new driver format; drivers now need to come in a VIB format. Unfortunately due to the age of the hardware, no one has bothered to provide VIB support for ICH8 or older Marvell chipsets.

So where does this leave me? I could get everything working with VMWare ESXi 5 if I bought a new compatible PCI-E storage controller and a new gigabit card. The downside is that I have to spend over $125 to get compatible hardware and I’m not willing to spend more money on this server. I already gave it more RAM and a Core 2 Quad Q9300.

From a software standpoint I could install Windows Server 2012 and just use Storage Spaces or FlexRaid. However, I’m weary about using Storage Spaces and FlexRaid costs $60 for a complete license.

I could also go down the Type 2 hypervisor path and use VMWare Player/Workstation or Oracle VirtualBox on top of Windows Server 2012. Then as I was reviewing virtualization solutions, I recalled Microsoft had its own: Hyper V which is apparently a Type 1 hypervisor like ESXi.

Windows Server 2012 supports Hyper V so there’s no additional cost on that front. It also supports UNIX guest operating systems running FreeBSD 9 or above which means NAS4Free should work just fine. I wish I could test it on my current homeserver but I cannot even install the role due to the lack of VT-d support. I will need to wait for the Q9300 processor and new home server before I could proceed.

There will be more waiting before this home server solution is realized.

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