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Windows Server 8 Beta – Let’s Install in Hyper-V


Microsoft has released Windows Server 8 Beta. Going through its features provides an understanding that this release will be capable of running in world’s largest datacenters as well as SMB server rooms around the global. One of the primary goals of this server is to capture the private and public cloud datacenter space with highly advanced virtualization and network storage features reducing the TCO and increasing the ROI.

The Windows Server 8 Beta is out. Let us download and go through its installation process in a HyperV virtualized environment.

Article Breakup:

I will break up this article in three steps:

  1. Downloading Windows Server 8 Beta
  2. Preparing a Windows Server 8 Beta VM with minimum recommended hardware
  3. Installing Windows Server 8 Beta

Step1: Download Windows Server 8 Beta:

Fire up your internet browser and type the following:

Figure 1: Search for Windows Server 8 Beta download

Select the second search result “Download Windows Server 8 Beta” that will take us on to the next page:

Figure 2: Download Page

Before we start the product download, let us review the “Microsoft Windows Server 8 Beta Requirements” link. After we click on it, we can download a PDF showing the minimum system requirements to install a Windows Server 8 system. Let us keep a note of these requirements:

Figure 3: Windows Server 8 Beta System Requirements

Let’s go back to our browser, scroll down and click “Get Started Now” of the Download the 64-bit:

Figure 4: Downloading 64-bit ISO file of Windows Server 8 Beta

Provide your credentials below and click “Sign-in”:

Figure 5: Profile Center Authentication

After sign in, you will be taken to a registration page. Fill in your details and proceed further to see the below page:

Figure 6: Download Manager Page

Let us provide a location where the ISO image of Windows Server 8 Beta will be downloaded:

Figure 7: Windows Server 8 Beta Download Location

Wait for the download to finish.

Step2: Create a VM as per the system requirements in Figure 3

Fire up your Hyper-V Manager, in the Actions Pane, click New > Virtual Machine

Figure 8: New Virtual Machine

Click Next in Figure 9

Figure 9: New VM Wizard Begins

Provide a name and location for this VM and click Next

Figure 10: VM Name and Location

Let’s allocated 512MB of RAM to this server, which of course is the minimum RAM requirements for Windows Server 8 deployment as noted in step1. Click Next

Figure 11: VM Memory Assignment

Select the network adapter you would like to use, and click Next

Figure 12: VM Network Adapter Provision

I kept the default storage allocation. Minimum requirements are 32GB storage so make sure that you do not allocate it less than this number. Once provided, click Next

Figure 13: VM Virtual HDD

Select the option “Install an operating system from a boot CD/DVD-ROM” and specify the .iso Image File that we download in Step1 by browsing to Windows Server 8 Beta download location. Once done, click Next

Figure 14: ISO File Specification for Installation

Click Finish in Figure 15

Figure 15: Completing the VM Wizard

As seen in Figure 16, our Windows Server 8 Beta VM is created and ready to be initialized for installation:

Figure 16: VM Created

 Step3: Installation of Windows Server 8 Beta

Let us Connect and Start the W8Beta VM using the Action Pane buttons:

Figure 17: VM Startup

We will see a familiar Windows Setup wizard as we are used to for Windows Server 2008 R2. Click Next in Figure 18:

Figure 18: Windows Setup Wizard First Page

Click Install Now in Figure 19:

Figure 19: Click Install Now

Wait for the setup to start:


 Figure 20: Wait for Setup to start

In this exercise, we will proceed with Windows Server 8 Beta Datacenter (Server with a GUI). Click Next:

 Figure 21: Select Windows Server 8 Beta (Server with a GUI)

Read the EULA and accept it. Click Next:

Figure 22: Real EULA and Accept it

Select “Custom Install Windows only (Advanced)” option:


Figure 23: Select Custom Install Windows only (Advanced)

Create “System Reserved” partition by clicking New:

Figure 24: Click New

Specify partition size and click Apply:


Figure 25: Specify Partition Size and Click Apply

System Reserved partition will be created. Notice the unfamiliar total System Reserved partition size: 350MB.


Figure 26: System Reserved Partition Created (Notice the size 350MB)

Format the OS Partition:


Figure 27: Format the OS Partition

Click OK:

 Figure 28: Click OK

Click Next:


Figure 29: Click Next

Wait for the installation to finish:

Figure 30: Wait for Installation to Finish

Once the installation finishes, the VM will reboot and you will be presented with a familiar Administrator password change prompt:

Figure 31: Windows Server 8 Installed: Password Change Screen

Specify a password and hit Finish. You will notice that the system will now finalize the settings:

Figure 32: Last Window Finalizing Phase

And you will be presented with a new look of Windows Server 8 Beta having a big time display and Alt+Ctrl+Del option:

Figure 33: Sign-In Screen

Let us hit the Alt+Ctrl+Del and see our login screen. Enter your password that you created in Figure 32 and hit Enter:

Figure 34: Administrator Password Screen

Wait for the profile creation and personalization:

Figure 35: Initializing OS

Accept the Windows Error Reporting Privacy Statement:

Figure 36: Error Reporting Privacy Statement

Finally the Windows Server 8 Beta initial dashboard shows up. Scroll down and view the Windows Server 8 Beta task bar. New looking icons…

Figure 37: Windows Server 8 First Look

Congratulations, your Windows Server 8 Beta is ready for test drive.

The dashboard looks awesomely exciting, isn’t it? I will be exploring a few Windows Server 8 Beta roles and features installation/configuration experience in a later article God willing.



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