Knowledgebase:
How to install Windows Server OS using Custom ISO?
Posted by Dovainis K., Last modified by Ugnius S. on 29 October 2017 12:39 PM

Follow these steps to install Windows Server to Cloud Server via Custom ISO feature.

Step 1. Download your preferred Windows Server version ISO file. (In the example, we are using Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard.

After you have finished downloading the ISO, you need to add VirtIO drivers to the ISO so that during the installation, all needed drivers will be found.

Step 2. Get the latest binary VirtIO drivers for Windows, packaged as an ISO file, from here.

Step 3. Make an empty folder on your computer. We will create folder "Custom" in our C drive in this example c:\custom

Step 4. Extract your Windows Server ISO (example version 2012r2) to the folder you just created (Our example is: c:\custom\server2012r2) with a compression tool such as 7-Zip or WinRAR.

Step 4. Make a new folder inside your extracted Windows Server folder and name it virtio. Then, extract the VirtIO ISO to the folder (Our example: c:\custom\server2012r2\virtio).

Step 5. Use ImgBurn or equivalent ISO mastering tool to create your custom slipstream ISO.

Note: The following configurations apply to ImgBurn.

Step 6. Click on Mode > Build

custom-iso-image-one

Step 7. Select your source by clicking the icon of a folder with a magnifying glass and choose a folder where your extracted Windows Server ISO files are (Our example: c:\custom\server2012r2).

custom-iso-image-two

Step 8. Select your destination (output) by clicking the icon of a folder with a magnifying glass under destination field, choose where you would like to save your created bootable Windows Server ISO and name it as you like. (Our example: c:\Users\Test\Desktop\server2012r2_virtio.iso)

custom-iso-image-three

Step 9. Click Options tab and select UDF under File System.

custom-iso-image-four

Step 10. Click on Labels tab and enter the name of the ISO that you have chosen in Step 8. without the file extension. (Our example: Server2012r2_virtio)

Step 11. Click on Advanced tab, then click on Bootable Disc sub-tab and configure everything as following:

Check "Make Image Bootable"

Select Emulation Type: "None (Custom)"

Boot Image: click on the folder icon with a magnifying glass and locate boot file of your ISO. (Our example location: c:\custom\server2012r2\boot filename: etfsboot.com)

Platform ID: "80x86"

Developer ID: "Microsoft Corporation"

Sectors to load: 8

Click on Build button. (Folder pointing an arrow to disc icon) 

Step 12. Congratulations! You now have a Windows Server bootable ISO with VirtIO drivers intact to use with Custom ISO feature.

Note: Before proceeding any further, you need to make sure that your ISO is uploaded somewhere so that you can download it to your Cloud Server via HTTP direct link.

Step 13. Log in to your Client Area and select your desired Cloud Server for which you want to install Windows Server via Custom ISO feature.

Step 14. In the Cloud Server management panel click Templates tab and under Custom Templates section click Add ISO

Step 15. Under ISO URL enter HTTP link to the actual ISO and not the download page. Once you enter the URL, name your template (for example, “Windows Server 2012 R2”, click on "Bootable" checkmark and select OS type that you are going to install from the ISO (in our example template would be Windows Server 2012 R2), and finally click Fetch ISO button.

Step 16. Wait till your ISO is downloaded to the Cloud Server and then mount it. Once you have mounted your ISO to the Cloud Server, click Install.

Step 17. Connect to your Cloud Server via Virtual Console and proceed with the installation by following the on-screen instructions.

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