As good as FreeNAS has been, most of the clients on my home network are Windows based and speak CIFS/SMB, and I’ve not had great success with FreeNAS reliably/stably serving these protocols. Under load, the shares sometimes lock up and stop responding, and permissions can be a bit hit and miss.
FreeNAS support forums drink their own special brand of cool aid, so I’ve decided to try Windows, which, whilst being part of their own borg collective has a much wider base of users and obviously native integration with my client base. So I’m piloting Windows Server 2016 with its various storage capabilities to see how it compares.
I’ve got a HP Microserver G8 which as well as 4 disk trays, supports a fifth SATA device via an additional ODD port, an internal USB and a MicroSD port, as well as various external USBs.
My FreeNAS is a previous N54L Microserver, which installs and boots easily to a USB drive, but Windows is a bit more pig-headed at booting from USB/MicroSD devices.
Daniels instructions are more or less spot on, except for one change.
select disk x
create partition primary
format quick fs=ntfs label="SD"
dism /Apply-Image /ImageFile:D:sourcesinstall.wim /index:2 /ApplyDir:C:
bootsect /nt60 C: /force /mbr