Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Windows Server 8 beta - Installation

Windows Server 8 beta installation process from start to finish. The installation process hasn’t changed a whole lot since Windows Server 2008 R2, but some of the screens look quite different. The final step – viewing the Server Manager – is where you’ll see the most radical changes coming.

The next step of the process is pretty simple, requiring that you simply click the Install Now button to proceed with the installation. Note that this window sports the new, simpler Windows logo that has been talked about. The new branding is certainly front and center in this beta release.

you have the option to select between a server core only edition and a full GUI edition of Windows Server 8. Either selection results in the installation of a Datacenter version of the product.

Microsoft would never release a product without a 50 page licensing agreement! That’s the next step in the installation process. Select the I accept the license terms checkbox and then click the Next button to continue the installation.

need to choose the Custom install option. If you want to try upgrading one of your non-production Windows Server 2008 R2 machines, you can use the upgrade option.

Since this is a brand new installation, no Windows installation yet exists on this machine. As such, all of the space remains unallocated. The drive Hyper-V provided virtual hard drive file. I’ll select this location as the install point and click the Next button to continue.

The next screen is probably pretty familiar if you’ve installed any recent version of Windows. On this screen, you can track the progress of the installation. Once the process completes, the server will automatically reboot.

For whatever reason, once Windows 8 Server is installed, you get this fish-looking thing on the boot screen.


On the first boot after initial installation, you’re asked to provide a password used to secure the Administrator account. When you click this icon, the dots disappear and are replaced with a visible version of the password. Personally, I love this feature. If this is in all new Microsoft products, I can envision a decrease in the number of password-related calls to the help desk. Click the Finish button to continue.

Once you click Finish, Windows starts to finalize your settings and is even so kind as to tell you that it’s doing so.

you get to see the new logged out window in Windows 8 Server. Here, you’re starting to get a good feel for what the Metro interface is like, although Metro is not as prominent in the Server edition.
Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete to log in.

This is one of the first things that pops up after the first login. This is the message asking for your permission to send crash information to Microsoft in the event that the system takes a dive. Personally, I like sending crash dumps to Microsoft if it can help make the operating system more stable over time.
However, in some organizations, doing so would violate company policy, so check before you accept. If you want to allow such information to be sent to Microsoft, click Accept. If you don’t want this to happen, click Decline.

Once you log in, the new Server Manager – in Dashboard view – opens up for you to see. Note that the Server Manager has undergone a tremendous transformation since earlier versions of the tool.

The bare Windows 8 Server beta desktop. You will notice that, as is the case with the consumer edition, someone at Microsoft has decided that removing the Start menu from the server edition was also a good idea.
News item: It’s a terrible idea.

But, back to the Server Manager tool. Fortunately, from here you can access the primary server administration tools that you need.

What you’ve seen so far in the Server Manager is the general dashboard.

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