How to Install Windows Server 2016 on Virtual Machine

Table of Contents


Windows Server 2016 is a powerful operating system designed for enterprise computing. It offers a range of advanced features, enhanced security measures, and streamlined management capabilities. With its scalability and reliability, Windows Server 2016 has become a popular choice for organizations of all sizes.

This operating system introduces significant improvements and updates across various areas, including virtualization, security, storage, networking, and administration. It provides businesses with the tools they need to optimize their infrastructure and ensure smooth operations.


Before proceeding with the installation, ensure that you have the following:

  • A virtualization platform: Choose a reliable virtualization platform such as VMware Workstation, Oracle VirtualBox, or Microsoft Hyper-V. I'm using Oracle VirtualBox as it is free to use.
  • Windows Server 2016 ISO: Download the Windows Server 2016 installation ISO file from the Microsoft website or obtain it from a licensed source.
  • Adequate hardware resources: Ensure that your physical server has enough CPU, RAM, and storage to accommodate the virtual machine.

Creating a Virtual Machine

Follow these steps to create a virtual machine for installing Windows Server 2016:

Step 1: Open the Virtualization Platform

Launch your chosen virtualization platform (e.g., VMware Workstation, Oracle VirtualBox).

In my case, I'm using Oracle VirtualBox.

Step 2: Create a New Virtual Machine

Click on "New" to start the VM creation wizard.

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Step 3: Select VM Configuration

Choose the appropriate VM configuration options, such as VM name, location, and hardware compatibility.

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Allocate a minimum of 2GB ram and at least 2 CPU cores, VM configuration depends on your Machine's configuration the higher the configuration you have the more you can allocate to the VM.

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Create a Virtual Hard Disk, Allocate at least 30 GB of space I'm allocating 50GB.

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Here's the summary of your VM go through this once

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Once you are done with the configuration, it's time to do some additional configuration.

Click on "Settings"Windows Server 2016

Inside the General go to the "Advanced" tab here you will see 2 options Shared Clipboard and Drag'n'Drop from the dropdown menu select Bidirectional for both options it will make it easy for you to transfer and copy and paste your resources from your host machine to your VM.

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Now go to "System" and in boot order uncheck the "Floppy" and bring the "Optical" at the top.

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Now go to "Storage" and click on "Optical Disk icon Empty" and under attributes and click on "Optical Disk" dropdown menu and click on "Choose a disk file.."

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Locate your windows server 2016 iso image and click on "Open" and then click on "ok"

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Installing Windows Server 2016

Now that the virtual machine is properly configured, follow these steps to install Windows Server 2016:

Step 1: Power On the Virtual Machine

Start the virtual machine by clicking "Start" and wait for it to boot from the Windows Server 2016 ISO.

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Step 2: Begin Installation

Once the virtual machine boots from the ISO, you will be prompted to begin the installation process. Press any key to proceed.

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Step 3: Choose Language and Keyboard Settings

Select your preferred language, time, and currency format, and keyboard input method. Click "Next" to continue.

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Step 4: Start the Installation

Click on the "Install Now" button to start the Windows Server 2016 installation.

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Step 5: Select the Windows Server 2016 version

Select the "Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Evaluation (Desktop Experience)" version and click on "Next"

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Now accept the license terms and click on "Next"

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Step 6: Select the Installation Type

Select "Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)" as we install it on the fresh machine.

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Step 7: Select the Installation Drive

Select "Drive 0 unallocated space" and click on next

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Step 8: Complete the Installation

Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process. Windows Server 2016 will copy files, configure settings, and install updates.

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It will take some time so be patient

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After the installation is completed set the Administrator Password Click on "Finish" (Make sure to set a strong password with alphanumeric and special characters)

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Now you will be redirected to the lock screen of windows server 2016 (Note: it says "Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to unlock" but this combination won't work in VM instead press "right Ctrl+Delete" to unlock)

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Enter your password and log in

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Here you go, You have successfully installed the Windows Server 2016.

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By following the outlined steps, you can successfully install Windows Server 2016 on a virtual machine. Virtualizing Windows Server 2016 offers flexibility, scalability, and efficient resource utilization within your IT infrastructure. Leverage the power of virtualization to create multiple instances of Windows Server 2016 and optimize your server environment.


Q1. Can I install Windows Server 2016 on a virtual machine on any virtualization platform?

You can install Windows Server 2016 in a virtual machine on various virtualization platforms such as VMware Workstation, Oracle VirtualBox, or Microsoft Hyper-V.

Q2. What are the advantages of installing Windows Server 2016 on a virtual machine?

Installing Windows Server 2016 in a virtual machine offers advantages like server consolidation, resource optimization, easy management, and flexibility to scale your server environment.

Q3. Can I run multiple instances of Windows Server 2016 on different virtual machines?

Yes, virtualization allows you to create and run multiple instances of Windows Server 2016 in separate virtual machines simultaneously on a single physical server.

Q4. What are the recommended hardware resources for running Windows Server 2016 on a virtual machine?

The hardware requirements depend on the workload and expected performance. Generally, allocate sufficient CPU cores, memory (RAM), and storage space to meet the needs of your virtualized Windows Server 2016 environment.

Q5. Where can I find additional support and resources for installing Windows Server 2016 on a virtual machine?

For specific virtualization platform-related support and resources, refer to the official documentation and user guides provided by the respective virtualization platform. Additionally, online forums and communities dedicated to virtualization can also provide valuable insights and assistance.

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