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Microsoft Windows Server is a popular operating system that you see running in almost every company. What if you want to install Windows Server in your home lab or an organization? Most of the time, you have a template that you can spin up within a couple of minutes. But sometimes, you need to install a new Windows Server manually. Let’s look at how to install Windows Server 2019 on a Virtual Machine that’s running on VMware ESXi. The same steps will work if you want to install a different Windows Server version on a bare metal server.
Table of contents
Download Windows Server ISO file
Do you already have Windows Server on a USB stick or ISO file? You can skip this step.
Go to Microsoft Evaluation Center. Find the Windows Server version that you want to download on the page. Check the checkbox ISO and click on Continue.
In this example, it’s Windows Server 2019.
Fill in the form and click Continue.
Select the Windows Server language and click Download.
After the Windows Server ISO download is finished, we can go to the next step.
Mount Windows Server ISO
Go to the VM settings and mount the Windows Server ISO. After that, boot the VM to start the Windows Server installation setup.
In the next step, we will install Windows Server on the Virtual Machine.
Install Windows Server
When the VM is powered on, pay close attention, and press any key to boot from CD or DVD.
Windows is loading the installation setup.
Select the preferences and click Next.
Select Windows Server 2019 Standard Evaluation (Desktop Experience). Click Next.
Accept the license terms and click Next.
Click Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).
Click on the drive with Unallocated Space. Click Next.
Windows Server installation will go through the steps:
- Copying Windows files
- Getting files ready for installation
- Installing features
- Installing updates
- Finishing up
Windows needs to restart to continue with the setup.
The Windows Server installation restarts a couple of times and gets everything ready.
Fill in a password for the built-in administrator account. Click Finish.
Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to unlock.
Fill in the administrator password, which you did enter in the previous step.
Server Manager starts automatically after signing in.
Windows Server is installed successfully on the Virtual Machine.
After installing Windows Server, there are a couple of configurations to go through. In the following article, we will look at the Windows Server post-installation configuration.
You learned how to install Windows Server on a Virtual Machine. The same steps will work on physical servers. Microsoft made the Windows Server setup easy with two phases, which are collecting information and installing Windows.
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