Intel NUC – D54250WYK OSX + Win 2012 R2 Server *UPDATED, August 13th – 2014*

It’s been a long time since I posted something on our website, this was mainly due to illness. (I now also have SarcoΓ―dose besides my HHC (HyperHomeCystenemie))

Due to my 3D printed addiction, I’m now a “full-blown” Solidworks user. (I run this within Parallels on my macbook and iMac without any problems) One of my main concerns, is the fact of file security and versioning. Storing CAD files in folders on a NAS (with daily backup) seems a nice solution, but there are so many things that could go wrong with this “method”, that I was looking for another solution. Solidworks does have a “tool” that is called Enterprise PDM (Product Data Management). This seems to be the solution I was looking for: Versioning / Workflow / Secured filevaults / history etc … etc …
There was only one problem: This “thing” needs a Windows server and SQL server to run.

During my fulltime job, I work exclusively with Microsoft (windows) products, and at home I don’t want all this “hassle”, so we switched to Apple iMacs, Macbooks, iPads (and soon iPhones). Also, our Synology NAS (with 4x4TB discs in RAID5) functions as a “server” with automated daily backup (so a second NAS, at the other side of our house), MySQL, GIT, SVN, FileStation ,AudioStation ,VideoStation, PhotoStation, Airplay etc …

After some thinking/thinkering, I decided it was time to get a windows server again …
I didn’t want a “power-hungry” system, but something “fast” that could be left “running” for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (like our NAS)
An Intel NUC looked like the ideal solution ! An i5 processor, 16 GB Ram, 128 SSD, and only using about 35W in “full usage mode”, this must be it πŸ™‚

So, we ordered some stuff from CoolBlue:
Intel NUC kit – D54250WYK
i5 4250U processor, Intel HD 5000 Graphics, mini HDMI, DisplayPort (4K) – Gigabit Ethernet – 4x USB3.0 – 2x mini pciE

2x 8GB Sodimm DDR3
Corsair CT8G3S160BMCEU 1.35 LV (The NUC only supports low-voltage Sodimm !)

128 GB mSATA
Crucial M550 (350 MB/s write – 550 MB/s read)

I wanted to install Windows Server 2012 R2 on it, but Intel doesn’t support this.
(They want you to buy more expensive hardware to run as a server)
As a side-effect, Intel does not provide a network-driver, but don’t worry, this did not stop me from getting the onboard network adapter “up and running” without any problems.
I modified the network driver INF files, you can download a working network driver
for Windows 2012 R2 by clicking here

However, installation is a bit more complicated, because the driver is not “signed”.
So, this is a little “how-to”:

1. Make sure you installed the chipset drivers. (use the windows8 x64 drivers for this)

2. Open a powershell and run the following 2 commands:
bcdedit -set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING ON

3. Extract the downloaded ZIP file, and reboot your system.

4. Manually install the drivers, by going to the hardware management,
select “manual install”, “browse for files on computer”, and select the folder where
you unzipped the ZIP-file. After this, the driver will be installed and your network adapter will work.

5. Execute the following 2 commands:
bcdedit -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING OFF

6. Reboot your system and enjoy πŸ™‚

Installation of Windows 2012 R2 Server Standard did take less then 5 minutes !
After this, I installed IIS 8.5, SQL Server 2012 R2 and the Solidworks Enterprise PDM.
I also added all my Solidworks projects to the eDPM, scheduled daily DB backups, and added the FileVault to the daily NAS backup. (FileVault and backups are first stored on the first NAS, and replicated to the second NAS)
I now fill confident and save about my CAD files πŸ™‚

The NUC is located behind my 27″ Philips Ambilight 3D monitor. This monitor still had a few HDMI ports left, so I connected it to this monitor. Actually, I was planning on buying an extra AppleTV, to be able to do airplay mirroring from my MacBookPro 15″ Retina to this 27″ screen, but I found another solution. Because I use the NUC “headless”, I could use the “video output” for something else. I installed X-mirage, this allows me to use the video output for airplay (mirroring).
So, the extra AppleTV is not needed anymore πŸ™‚

UPDATE – august 13th – 2014

Last weekend, I erased everything from the SSD, and installed Mac OSX Server (Mavericks 10.9.4) on it πŸ™‚ (Ooh well, I must admit, I *love* my Apple equipment)
Following this guide on tonymacx86 , I was able to install my original OSX installation on my NUC. Because of the side of my mSSD, I got a boot0-error after startup.
Because of the size of the new discs, the block-size is changed from 512 bytes to 4096 bytes. It’s a known issue πŸ™‚
This was easily fixed following another guide on tonymacx86

So, I now have a full-blown “mac mini”, based on the D54250WYK πŸ™‚
After this, I installed Win2012R2 server within Parallels onto this machine.
(and SQL2012R2 server and Solidworks Enterprise PDM server)
Because Win2012R2 Server is a supported OS within Parallels, I didn’t have to fiddle with any drivers !

I connect via “Mac screen sharing” to this machine, on my second iMac screen. So I can move my mouse/keyboard “around” from the iMac to the NUC (and back), without any hassle of “switching” inputs etc … I also have AirConnect running on the NUC, so I can use it for Airplay and watching TV via Bhaalu πŸ™‚

Overall, I feel much happier/satisfied with this setup …

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4 Responses to Intel NUC – D54250WYK OSX + Win 2012 R2 Server *UPDATED, August 13th – 2014*

  1. jan says:

    Hi Kris,

    Planning to install a W2012 on a NUC or BRIX (gigabyte) as well.

    Will your workaround break any futher updates? NIC updates, etc.?

    I see less issues with the BRIX, but prefer Intel.



    • Kris says:

      Hello Jan,

      Not a problem at all πŸ™‚
      You can do updates just as before.
      Because there is actually no official driver for this Nic under win2012(R2), the files will never be touched by an update.
      I was also in doubt between a NUC and an BRIX, but I did choose for the NUC, and didn’t had any regret about my choice.
      The machine is performing very well πŸ™‚

      Good luck with your Nuc,

  2. Mike Roeser says:

    Wow! Neat project! I was curious (and hope you see this since this post is two years old), how well did Solidworks run on the NUC?

  3. Artur says:

    Love this post!

    Thank you!

    I lost half my saturday trying to “make it works”. Thanks!

    PS. It’s works for Windows Server 2016 on intel nuc D54250WYK

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