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How to Install Windows Server 2016

Recently we were asked about Windows Server 2016. Before we progress further with a live set up, we are trialling this in our test environment so that we can be prepared for any surprises and test the new features in the office.

Windows Server 2016 was released 12th October 2016. This evaluation copy has an expiration of 180 days (or as some say server 2016 activation timeout).

There are various links online to obtain this software, but we recommend you acquire the software from the manufacturer directly. In this case, it is Microsoft and you can download this and other 2016 products from the Microsoft website.

You will need to fill in a few details which we have details here:

1. Sign in with your live account (or create one if you do not have one).
Image of the software downloads page

2. Download option: We chose ISO as we will install this for various customers. Please note you can download Windows Server 2016 or Window Server 2016 Essentials. For our demo, we will be installing Windows Server 2016.
Image of download options
Image of download options

3. Fill in your personal details
Image asking for your details

4. The download starts (file name will be similar to 14393.0.160715-1616.RS1_RELEASE_SERVER_EVAL_X64FRE_EN-US.ISO). The file size is 4.95GB (so you will need a dual layer DVD). Once downloaded we can set up on a real server or virtual machine for testing purposes.
Image prompting you to save the software

At this state, please note the following. Microsoft state:
-Evaluation versions of Windows Server must Activate over the internet in the first 10 days to avoid automatic shutdown.

Once the download completes and this is on a DVD (or you may be installing this on a virtual machine), please read on.

The next steps are simple (if you have install Windows or a server in the last few years):
5. Select the language (currently English US is the only option).
Image showing language settings

6. Click on Install now
Image showing that you can proceed to install Windows Server 2016

7. We have then selected Standard Evaluation (desktop experience) so we get a similar view to Windows 10.
Image showing operating systems

8. Accept the license agreement (if you wish to proceed).
Image of Microsoft license agreement

9. Select the install type. As this is a new installation we selected custom.
Image of the install options

10. You will need to give a certain amount of space (we are giving 60GB).
Image of hard drive partitions

11. Wait for the install to complete. The server may reboot a few times. Then we can proceed from here.
Image showing Windows installing
Image showing Windows installing

After the reboot, here we tweak this to our company standard or customer standard.

12. Set the password. We recommend a mix of letters, numbers and special characters. Unlike Windows 10 you are not asked for a password reminder.
Image of password change screen

13. Now you can login with this password. You will see from the below pictures:
-The login screen
Image of login screen

-The desktop (shows the license expiry and the OS build number from the ISO we downloaded)
Image of server desktop

-Server Manager allows you to make changes to this server or other servers in the network from one console
Image of server management tools

-The start menu (with the ability to search for an application and settings for Internet Explorer). Note there is no Cortana in the taskbar and no Edge Browser. You can also search for applications and settings.
Image of start menu
Image of start menu search

-You can see this is activated now. We can change the computer name, set up this up on a domain and change various settings.
Image of system settings

-Internet Explorer security settings page.
Image of Internet Explorer 11

-Check out our website from Server 2016.
Image of the Birak IT website

14. Once you are happy you can shut down the server. You will notice the shutdown options appear (like previous server editions). We have selected Other (Planned).
Image of shutdown options

If you have managed to install Windows Server 2016, well done. If you want read more about Server 2016, please see the guide from Microsoft.

If you require further help or want to license Server 2016 in your business, please contact us or call the team on 01489 290 001.

This post was brought to you by Baldeep on 21 Dec 2016.

Baldeep started the company knowing that IT doesn't have to be your frustration. Baldeep continued developing his skillset and has multiple accreditations to his name including his degree, Microsoft Certifications, ITIL and VMware Data Center Virtualization Certification. He is always learning to move IT forward for your business.

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