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NUC7I7BNH and Windows Server 2012 and 2016 - WARNING


I was very hopeful I could replace my LAB Windows Servers with Intel NUCs. Replacing a stand alone (desktop type computer) with a NUC seemed like a win-win. Less space, less energy consumption, latest hardware, etc., however; to my dismay, Intel and/or Microsoft have decided not to support Windows Server 2012 and 2016 on the Intel NUC. I made the mistake of assuming if Windows 10 would work on a NUC so would Windows Server 2016 - never had a problem before installing Windows Server on "desktop" computers. My mistake, should have done more research.

So - BE WARNED - you will be able to install Windows Server 2016 on a NUC, but most of the hardware drivers that are needed will not be there, especially the onboard NIC driver. What good is a computer with no network connection? Windows Server 2016 does not even recognize there is a NIC installed. I downloaded and tried using the latest Window 10 drivers from the NUC download site, but that did not work either. I did run across a couple of potential hacks, which I might have tried if it was just the NIC, but there are no display adapter drivers, wireless drivers, sound drivers, etc.

It really is a shame. It seems like Intel/MS *deliberately* do not want users to run Windows Server OSes on a NUC (how hard would it be for Intel to use hardware that is supported?). In a Production environment, probably would not want to use NUCs, but in a LAB/Testing/Education/Home environment - the NUCs would be perfect. So - back to the store with my NUC.

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Super User

NUC7 uses Intel® Ethernet Connection I219-V. You can try this one if it works or not. Download Intel® Network Adapter Driver for Windows Server 2012*

or Download Intel® Network Adapter Driver for Windows Server 2016*

or O.S. independent and MS DOS: Download Intel® Network Adapter Drivers for MS-DOS*

If the driver will fail during installation (i.e. you will see the same massage: Error "Cannot install drivers. No Intel(R) Adapters are present in this computer"), try to install the driver manually step by step. Follow these steps:

1. The driver file is in .exe format. Extract and decompress the file to a folder. (To extract the file, you need an archive utility such as 7zip. If you don't have one, you can download it online.)

2. Go to Device Manager.

3. Expand category "Network adapters". Right-click on the Intel network device and select Update Driver Software…

Note if the network driver is missing, it might be listed under category "Other devices". In this case, there is a yellow mark next to the device which is displayed as Ethernet Controller.

4. Click Browser my computer for driver software.

5. Click Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.

6. Check the box next to "Show compatible hardware" and click Have Disk… button.

7. Click Browse… button and navigate to the folder where you extracted the driver file to.

8. Continue to open the folders until you can choose any of the .INF files. Then follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver.