Hi IT Professionals,
Often I receive lot of queries on evaluating Windows Server on their test environment or on some spare machines. Most of the times users want to carry a laptop to try/test evaluate Windows Server on their laptop. Well during our recent IT Camps, we delivered the same experience using Boot from VHD using Windows Server 2012. Attendees installed Windows Server 2012 on their sample machine and subsequently configured the demo machine to evaluate the features.
Note: I WOULD RECOMMEND EVERYONE TO TRY THIS ON NON-PRODUCTION TEST MACHINE. MAKE SURE YOU BACK UP ALL OF YOUR CRITICAL DATA BEFORE YOU BEGIN.
Minimum System Requirements
Windows Server 2012 Evaluation – https://aka.ms/ws2012rtm
1 GHz CPU supporting Intel-VT or AMD-V
DEP – NX/XD
SLAT – Optional
4 GB RAM
50 GB HDD on C: or D:
Windows Server 2012 RTM Evaluation DVD
NOTE: IN THIS SETUP PROCESS YOUR COMPUTERS’S BOOT LOADER WILL BE UPDATED USING WINDOWS SERVER 2012 INSTALLATION MEDIA.
For detailed System Required kindly visit http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj134246.aspx
Insert Windows Server 2012 DVD & boot your computer from DVD. Press any key to boot from DVD.
Please wait while Windows is loading the installation files…
Once completed you will see the following Windows Setup dialog box. Click Next
Click on Install Now button.
Select Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Evaluation (Server with a GUI) x64 & Click Next
Click on Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)
On your keyboard press SHIFT+F10 key combination to invoke Command Prompt CMD.
After pressing SHIFT+F10 you will a command prompt. CMD
!!IMPORTANT!! – DO THIS STEP IS CAREFULLY. Do not modify/delete System Reserved Partition.
NOTE: At this step we will create a 50 GB Dynamically Expanding VHD on C: or D:. Also, make sure that the physical partition has actual free space available because Dynamically expanding VHD gets mounted & occupies full space during VHD Boot.
Note: In the next screen this D: is actually your original C: Windows Partition (Windows 8, Windows 7 or 2008 R2) When you are running Windows 8/7/2008 R2, you cannot view hidden System Reserved partition. But in this case the C: is assigned to that System Reserved partition & subsequent partitions will be allocated the drive letter in the same series.
Type the following command to create a new VHD on the D:
Close the CMD & Click on Refresh to see a new 50 GB drive with unallocated space. Click on the Unallocated Space (Drive 1 in this e.g.) and click Next
Please wait Windows Setup will installing the files on the disk. (It will take few minutes depending upon system performance) – You can grab a tea/coffee meanwhile
After completion system will be restarted automatically.
Please wait while Windows is getting devices ready…It will take few minutes…
A system will be restarted…
After a restart. You will see a DUAL Boot option. Choose Windows Server 2012& Press ENTER
Please wait while Windows Server 2012 loads for the first time…
On the Settings page, please enter an Administrator account password and click Finish
Please while Windows is finalizing your settings… It will take few minutes…
Congratulations. Your Windows Server 2012 Datacenter is now ready for Evaluation.
Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to sign in. Enter your Administrator account password. E.g. Passw0rd!
You are now logged on to Windows Server 2012 Datacenter with Full GUI. And it will launch Server Manager.
This completes your Windows Server 2012 Datacenter installation using VHD Boot.