Monday, 16 July 2012

Installing Windows Server 2008 as a VM in VMware Workstation

Installing Windows Server 2008 as a VM in VMware Workstation

NOTE: Although this guide specifies installing Windows 2008 Server as a VM, the same steps can be performed on a physical box as well.

Installing Windows Server 2008 is pretty straightforward and is very much like installing Windows Vista, but I thought I'd list the necessary steps here for additional information. For those of you who have never installed Vista before, the entire installation process is different than it used to be in previous Microsoft operating systems, and notably much easier to perform.

NOTE: Windows Server 2008 can also be installed as a Server Core installation, which is a cut-down version of Windows without the Windows Explorer GUI. Because you don’t have the Windows Explorer to provide the GUI interface that you are used to, you configure everything through the command line interface or remotely using a Microsoft Management Console (MMC). 

The Server Core can be used for dedicated machines with basic roles such as Domain controller/Active Directory Domain Services, DNS Server, DHCP Server, file server, print server, Windows Media Server, IIS 7 web server and Windows Server Virtualization virtual server.

In this tutorial however, we will install Windows Server 2008 with standard GUI.

To use Windows Server 2008 you need to meet the following hardware requirements:

• Minimum: 1GHz (x86 processor) or 1.4GHz (x64 processor)
• Recommended: 2GHz or faster
• Minimum: 512MB RAM
• Recommended: 2GB RAM or greater
• Maximum (32-bit systems): 4GB (Standard) or 64GB (Enterprise and Datacenter)
• Maximum (64-bit systems): 32GB (Standard) or 2TB (Enterprise, Datacenter and Itanium-based Systems)
Available Disk Space
• Minimum: 10GB
• Recommended: 40GB or greater

To be able to install and run successfully, the following requirements should be met by physical computer.

1) Hardware Virtualization Technology (VT) enabled processor. VT should be enabled. Check our earlier guide how to enable VT on motherboard BIOS.

2) VMware workstation 8 or VMware Player 4 and later versions. 

This tutorial assumes that you must have already downloaded the correct ISO and architecture (64 bit/ 32 Bit) of Windows 2008.

I have downloaded 64 bit version. My physical computer OS is Windows 7 64 bit with VMware workstation 8.0.4

NOTE: You could install the OS using VMware’s Easy Install, but in this tutorial, we will do it the hard way !! (cause its much more fun to actually install an OS rather than having something else do it for you !!)Select "I will install the OS later"

On next screen, select Windows 2008 64 Bit (Depending on the architecture of your Windows ISO)

Set the Virtual machine name and location.

Hard disk size can be anything more than 20GB. For now, we have left it to 20GB. We will add an extra Hard Disk later in this tutorial.

Customize additional hardware settings before powering on virtual machine. I have increased memory size to 2GB and configured 2 processor cores.

I have also enabled the “Virtualize Intel / AMD” option. (You don’t actually have to do this.. but if you are planning to install Microsoft’s HyperV (Hypervisor) on this VM, then you will need to enable this checkbox)

For this tutorial purposes, I have added 1 NIC as “Bridged” and the other as “Host Only

To know more about VMware’s Networking Concepts, Click HERE.

Don’t forget to add/ mount the ISO Image to the CD Drive.

Once done, simply Power ON the VM

When prompted for an installation language and other regional options, make your selection and press Next.

Next, press Install Now to begin the installation process.

Next, you will be prompted to select your correct version in the next screen. I have a License key for Windows 2008 Standard Edition, hence I have selected that itself.

Select the Full version of the right Windows version you're prompted, and click Next.

Read and accept the license terms by clicking to select the checkbox and pressing Next.

In the "Which type of installation do you want?" window, click the available option – Custom (Advanced).

In the "Where do you want to install Windows?", if you're installing the server on a regular IDE hard disk, click to select the first disk, usually Disk 0, and click Next.

NOTE that this disk0 size is 20GB. 

If you're installing on a hard disk that's connected to a SCSI controller, click Load Driver and insert the media provided by the controller's manufacturer.

If you must, you can also click Drive Options and manually create a partition on the destination hard disk.

The installation now begins, and you can go and have lunch. Copying the setup files from the DVD to the hard drive only takes about one minute. However, extracting and un-compressing the files takes a good deal longer. After 20 minutes, the operating system is installed. The exact time it takes to install server core depends upon your hardware specifications. 

Faster disks will perform much faster installs… Windows Server 2008 takes up approximately 10 GB of hard drive space.

IMPORTANT: The installation process will reboot your computer, so, if in you have inserted a floppy disk (either real or virtual), make sure you remove it before going to lunch, as you'll find the server hanged without the ability to boot (you can bypass this by configuring the server to boot from a CD/DVD and then from the hard disk in the booting order on the server's BIOS)

Once rebooted, it will prompt you to change the password before logging on the first time

Provide a strong password. Enter a new, complex, at-least-7-characters-long new password twice. A password like "topsecret" is not valid (it's not complex), but one like "T0pSecreT!" sure is. Make sure you remember it. Once done, press Ok.

Someone thought it would be cool to nag you once more, so now you'll be prompted to accept the fact that the password had been changed. Press Ok.

Finally, the desktop appears and that's it, you're logged on and can begin working. You will be greeted by an assistant for the initial server configuration, and after performing some initial configuration tasks, you will be able to start working.


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