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How to install Windows 8 Server Developer Preview (step by step)

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Windows 8 also features a server side operating system known as Windows 8 Server. Windows 8 Server is downloadable if you have subscribed to an MSDN account. In this article, we take you step by step through installation of the Windows 8 Server Developer Preview. Step 1: Get Windows 8 Server using MSDN subsciption You have to download the setup file to begin installation. You require a Windows Live account with an active MSDN subscription at http://msdn.microsoft.com. Login using your username and password and access the downloads section in the subscriptions panel on the right. You will need a product key to activate the developer version that will also be provided to you. Click on Windows 8 Server Developer Preview downloads and you will see the following page. A built in transfer manager will take control as soon you start downloading. Depending on your bandwidth, this will take a while. Step 2: Determine installation media You end up downloading the ISO file that can be mounted on a CD or DVD or a USB depending on your preference. Use an image mounting tool such as Daemon Tools to create a bootable DVD. Booting from USB The ISO file needs to be loaded on the DVD first. Once the ISO file becomes accessible on the DVD, type the commands listed below while the USB is still connected to the computer. diskpart.exe DISKPART> list disk Select the USB device from the list and substitute the disk number below when necessary DISKPART> select disk 1 DISKPART> clean DISKPART> create partition primary DISKPART> select partition 1 DISKPART> active DISKPART> format fs=fat32 DISKPART> assign DISKPART> exit X: cd boot bootsect /nt60 Y: xcopy X:*.* /s/e/f Y: where X: is your mounted image or physical DVD and Y: is your USB device Step 3: Begin installation

  • Based on the media you have chosen in the previous step, either plug the USB in the USB slot or insert disc into the DVD drive and boot your computer
  • Configure your regional settings by setting your Language, Time and currency format and Keyboard or Input method. Press Next to proceed.
    • If you want to install a fresh copy, do not click on Repair your computer, select Install Now option to proceed with normal installation.
    • The next screen brings three options in front of you namely :
    • Choose one of the installations and click on Next to proceed. One thing to be noted is that Windows 8 Server is fully based on x64 architecture and hence x86 is not supported.
    1. Windows Server Developer Preview (Full Installation)
    2. Windows Server Developer Preview (Server Core Installation)
    3. Windows Server Developer Preview (Features On Demand)
    [caption id="attachment_64083" align="alignnone" width="512"]Figure 5: License Agreement Figure 5: License Agreement[/caption]
    • Please ensure that you read the license terms before proceeding with installation further. Click on I accept the license terms option and Next to proceed.
    [caption id="attachment_64084" align="alignnone" width="512"]Figure 6: Type of install Figure 6: Type of install[/caption]
    • There are two options presented to you at this stage- upgrade and custom installation. If you want to retain files and folders on your primary partition, select upgrade option. If you are installing a fresh copy of Windows 8 Server, choose custom option.
    [caption id="attachment_64085" align="alignnone" width="512"]Figure 7: Select partition Figure 7: Select partition[/caption]
    • The next screen displays the various partitions present on your system. You can change the partitions by selecting Drive options at the bottom right from where you will be allowed to create and delete partitions. Remember, deleting a partition will erase all data on that partition and this operation cannot be undone. So, determine the partition where you would like to install Windows 8 Server and click on Next to proceed. It is a general practice to install operating systems on C: drive.
    [caption id="attachment_64086" align="alignnone" width="512"]Figure 8: Installing Windows Figure 8: Installing Windows[/caption]
    • This screen is similar to Windows 7 installation where the setup files are copied and then expanded to proceed with installation.
    [caption id="attachment_64087" align="alignnone" width="512"]Figure 9: First Reboot Figure 9: First Reboot[/caption]
    • The system will restart itself in 10 seconds once the installation process is complete. You can trigger a manual restart at this point by clicking on Restart Now.
    • The Window Server Setup modifies registry files, gets the devices ready and prepares the user interface for loading after which it redirects you to the Logon screen.
    [caption id="attachment_64088" align="alignnone" width="512"]Figure 10: Create user Figure 10: Create user[/caption] Create an administrator account at this point with a username and password. Ensure that the created password obliges to the password policy having 8 characters and a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters along with other characters. [caption id="attachment_64089" align="alignnone" width="512"]Figure 11: Logon screen Figure 11: Logon screen[/caption]
    • The lock screen will be displayed where you press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to log on.
    [caption id="attachment_64090" align="alignnone" width="512"]Figure 12: Enter password Figure 12: Enter password[/caption]
    • Now the real logon screen is displayed where you enter the password that was created two steps ago.
    [caption id="attachment_64091" align="alignnone" width="512"]Figure 13: Server Manager Figure 13: Server Manager[/caption]
    • The server manager launches itself to configure your Windows 8 Server and include the list of devices that will be connected or managed by this computer.
    [caption id="attachment_64092" align="alignnone" width="512"]Figure 14: Dashboard Figure 14: Dashboard[/caption] Let us know what you think about Windows 8 Server. Was it easy to install and use?]]>

    Written by Onuora Amobi

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