Installing Windows 8 Server as a Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V Guest

I’m using Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V to install my new Windows 2012 server (Windows 8 server was renamed to Windows 2012 on 17th April 2012). Before beginning the install it is necessary to install a patch for Hyper-V, Microsoft released an update for Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V to avoid a blue screen scenario caused by a Windows Server 2012 guest:

An update that enables Windows 8 Consumer Preview or Windows Server “8” Beta to be hosted in a Hyper-V virtual machine on Windows Server 2008 R2

Once the update has been installed successfully and the host rebooted we can install Windows Server 2012. I’m using the Datacenter version that is available through my TechNet subscription.

  • Create a new virtual machine from Hyper-V Manager; right click on the host computer
  • Give the new guest a name, mine’s called HV-SQL2012

Microsoft state that the minimum requirement for Windows Server 2012 is 512MB and 32GB of disk space; I’m giving mine 2GB of memory and 40GB of disk space. My Hyper-V server has an SSD drive which I use for the host and some of the guests, this makes a huge difference in client responsiveness especially considering the other drives are consumer based SATA.

  • Set the memory value:

  • Select the network connection, my server has a single physical NIC so the choice is easy:

  • Select the volume where the virtual disk should be created and the size:

  • Now the source media can be selected, in my case the media is the ISO file I downloaded from TechNet:

  • Check the settings you have made for your new guest confirm and finish the wizard.
  • I’ve got into the habit of giving my Hyper-V guests two virtual processors, mainly because .Net application seem to run better with this config (for reference my host has a Sandy Bridge i5 quad core processor):

  • Connect to the guest and start the virtual machine
  • The install should commence by displaying the Setup dialogue box where you can alter the language settings, I’ve changed mine to United Kingdom to reflect my location and keyboard settings:

  • After clicking Next the Install Now option is available:

  • After a short period the option to select the operating system appears, in this instance I’m going for GUI version:

  • Next you’ll be presented with the EULA, assuming you accept the terms you can then choose between installation options of Upgrade or Custom. I select Custom:

  • The 40GB partition created for the virtual machine should be presented and we just click next:

  • That’s it sit back and wait for the OS to install, with a SSD drive this took less than 5 minutes

  • Once logged complete the following tasks:
  1. Change the server name; mine’s called HV-SQL2012
  2. Change from Workgroup to Domain
  3. Enabled Remote Desktop

  • I then set a static IP address along with my internal DNS and WINS servers.
  • Reboot the server and afterwards run Windows Update to ensure the server is fully patched:


Windows Deployment Services – Part 2

In my first article, Windows Deployment Services, I covered the installation of Microsoft Windows Deployment Services for Windows 2008 R2. If you’ve followed the article then you will have an installation of WDS and configured to respond to PXE clients. However, it isn’t much use at the moment because we don’t have any images to boot into or install.


Create a Boot Image

First thing that needs to be done is configure a boot image which will allow client machines to PXE boot into and give us a basic interface so we can choose the installation image (which we’ll cover later)

To create a boot image you need access to an operating system DVD disk or have an expanded ISO image. From my own experience it is best to use the latest operating system for the boot image as latter OS installations using an earlier PXE / boot image can cause problems. I am using the source files from Windows 2008 R2 which I downloaded from my TecthNet subscription and expanded using WinRAR

  • Start Windows Deployment Services (located under Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Windows Deployment Services)
  • Navigate to “Boot Images” under your WDS Server of the MMC
  • Right click and select “Add Boot Image


  • In the new dialogue box window navigate to the folder location where you have expanded the DVD ISO image or the DVD drive with a Operating System
  • Select the “Sources” folder from the OS source files root
  • Click the file boot.wim which is a Windows Imaging Format


  • Confirm your selection is correct and then select Next
  • You can then rename the images or leave the defaults, I’ve left the default values; click Next


The image will now be loaded to the WDS server and a summary screen displayed if the task completes successfully.


The next step is optional but I’d recommend setting a default boot image so clients can boot into an image without waiting for a choice to be made.

  • Click on your WDS server so that it has the focus and right click to select “Properties


  • Select the tab “Boot” from the “Properties” dialogue box


Use the Select button to choose the boot image file that we uploaded a minute ago; in my case I’m using Windows 2008 R2 which is only 64bit and so the choice is easy I just select the boot.wim for the x64 architecture.


Installation Image

Setting up the installation image is very similar to the boot image, but you may want to create a folder structure to make the separation of different OS easier.

  • Start Windows Deployment Services (located under Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Windows Deployment Services)
  • Navigate to “Install Images” under your WDS Server of the MMC
  • Right click and select “Add Image Group
  • Choose a name for the image group, in this case I am using Windows 2008 R2 so I’ve created a Image group called “W2K8R2-Images”; Select “Ok”
  • Now right click on the newly created “Image Group” and select “Add Install Image
  • In the new dialogue box window navigate to the folder location where you have expanded the DVD ISO image or the DVD drive with a Operating System
  • Select the “Sources” folder from the OS source files root
  • Click the file install.wim which is a Windows Imaging Format and Open


You then have a list of available images within the image file that was just selected. You can leave the default option and select all images or you can remove the ticks to only include images you know you are going to use


  • Select “Next” and your choice with be "summarised” for you to check and select “Next” again

The image will now be loaded to the WDS server and a summary screen displayed if the task completes successfully.


    Now the WDS server has a boot image and install images


    Testing the WDS Configuration


    Make sure your client computer or Hyper-V instance is enabled for PXE (or network boot) and this selected as the client boots up.


    In the first article in this series I suggested that Unknown Clients continue automatically unless Esc is pressed. Clients will start the PXE process but will then be held for approval on the WDS server, the client will look like:


    The client will need to be approved on the WDS server

    Start up WDS, if it is not already running

    • Navigate to the “Pending Devices” folder and highlight the request ID (note the number on client matches that on the server.
    • Right-click and select “Name and Approve


    The client machine after a few seconds will continue PXE boot using the boot image we created.


    Once the boot process has completed the splash screen will appear and clearly indicates we have booted using Windows Deployment Services


    Click Next and you are prompted for a username and password to authenticate (this can be used to allocate images based on security settings)


    Once authenticated a list of images are presented which you can choose from to install. (note this screenshot shows more images than I covered during the install image section)

    Next screen should be familiar as it asks “Where do you want to install Windows?” Accept the default and click Next

    Windows will now Install


    That’s it the process can be streamlined by using unattend.xml files to skip all of the screens above as well as granular control of the OS deployment. But that is not for this article…

    Windows Deployment Services

    April 23, 2010 1 comment

    As described in my first post I’m going to use WDS to install the servers I need to test SharePoint 2010 (now on MSDN and TechNet).

    So how do we install WDS? Well I’m using Windows 2008 R2 for this installation on a separate server to the rest of my environment. You are going to need an existing infrastructure of Windows Active Directory, DHCP and DNS already installed to make use of WDS.


    Installing WDS

    Windows Deployment Services is a role (as opposed to a feature of Windows 2008 R2) and it can be installed via server manager.


    Once the wizard starts for the Add Role you can navigate to and select “Windows Deployment Services” checkbox


    • Click next and you can read the WDS Overview
    • Next, leave the default of “Deployment Server” and “Transport Server” checked
    • Next again and you get a summary of options prior to the installation of WDS finally click “Install”

    After a short period of time you should receive a message confirming the installation has been successful and we can move on to the configuration.

        Configuring WDS

        Once you close the role dialogue box after the installation of WDS you’ll be back to the “Server Manager” interface and have “Windows Deployment Services” added to the Roles list (if you closed Server Manager then Windows Deployment Services is available under Administrative Tools).

        The first time you expand out WDS you’ll see your server and it will have a yellow explanation triangle and the main element of the MMC will have a message:


        So lets go ahead and configure our new installation

      • Right click or under More Actions in the Right Actions Toolbar of the MMC select “Configure Server”
      • Read the initial advice and select “Next”. You’ll be asked for a directory to hold “Remote Installation” files, as this will hold images you’ll probably want to change the default from “C:\RemoteInstall” to a data drive.
      • Next your are asked about where your DHCP server is installed, if it is on the the same server as WDS then you’ll need to select both check boxes. If your DHCP server is on another server but on the same subnet then don’t select either check box. Anything else and you’ll need to read the help file for further guidance.
      • Now you need to determine how you want the WDS server to respond to clients as they boot up and go through the PXE boot process. For most implementations you’ll probably find the last option works best:

      The configuration wizard will now copy files to the location you selected earlier for the RemoteInstall directory.

      Once the copy process completes you have the option to upload images or you can do this later, which is what I’ll show you in a bit.

      Click Finish and you’re returned to the main MMC window and the WDS server will now be green with additional folders created underneath the main element.


      Post Wizard Configuration

      The wizard sets most parameters or asks you for choices as above, but a couple of other settings may need to be changed. From my own experimenting I’d recommend changing the following from the Properties of the WDS Server element in the MMC

      • First of all you’ll probably want to create computer accounts in a specific OU of your Active Directory. Select the “AD DS” tab from the Properties of your WDS server
      • Under “Computer Account Location” select browse and navigate to the OU where you want your computer accounts to be created. In my environment I’ve created a root OU to hold computer accounts for SharePoint



      Note: You need to delegate control of the OU you choose to the computer account of the WDS Server so that it can create computer accounts.

      • From Active Directory Users and Computers MMC select the OU that you are going to use for the computer accounts
      • Right click the OU and select “Delegate Control” to start a wizard
      • Select Next then Add
      • In the standard AD search box you’ll need to add Computers from “Object Types” then enter the name of your WDS computer
      • Click next; then “Create a custom task to delegate”
      • Change the default option to “Only the following objects in the folder:” click “Create selected objects in this folder” and then select “Computer Objects” from the list
      • Click Next make sure “General” is selected and from “Permissions check Full Control”
      • Confirm the options on the Summary screen and click Finish
      • You may also want to review how the client machine is handled by the WDS server during PXE boot. PXE boot downloads a small package via TFTP (Trivial File Transfer Protocol) to enable the machine to boot via the network card and initialise the WDS boot image.
      • I’d recommend handling known clients differently to unknown clients as the latter implies machines that are new and need an OS installed. To review or make changes select the “Boot” tab from the WDS Server Properties:


      That’s it for the configuration, we just need to add some images which I’ll cover in my next article.