Install Windows Server 8 Beta
How to Install Windows Server 8
This page is designed simply to get you started with Windows Server 8. My message is this install is straightforward, and very like the setup for Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
Windows Server 8 Beta Topics
I downloaded my 64-bit iso version of Windows Server 8 from Microsoft's TechNet site. 8250.0.WINMAIN_WIN8BETA.120217-1520_X64FRE_SERVER_EN-US-HB1_SSS_X64FRE_EN-US_DV5 (Why such a long filename!) I burned the .iso file to a DVD, thus creating a bootable disk.
TechNet also supply VXD versions, as well as English there are Chinese, French, German and Japanese language variations. Before downloading I had to fill in a simple registration form requiring an email address; the stated reason was to advise me of future releases. Incidentally, they also ask people to blog their experiences of the Windows Server 8 install!
The machine specifications for this Windows 8 Server were undemanding, only 512 MB of RAM, 40 GB of disk space and a 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor.
Setup kept me informed of completed stages, rebooted as necessary, and showed me the current task's progress. My only gripe was I missed the screen where I could have named my new Windows 8 server, instead I received a default gobbledegook name.
About the only other time the setup procedure halted was near the beginning when a menu asked if I wanted Core or GUI. I nearly said 'Core', but just in time I realized that this meant a 'headless' edition, so I selected the normal 'GUI' edition.
Summary of Install Decisions
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Troubleshooting Windows Server 8 Beta Install
Windows Server 8 Beta Product Key
Let me say that: a) I did not need this key, b) I have not tested it.
Cscript C:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -ato
Finding the Windows 8 Beta Desktop
When Will Windows Server 8 Expire?
I believe that Windows Server 8 will start rebooting automatically every hour in January 2013. On simple way to mimic what will happen is to fast-forward the clock and see what happens. A better way is to:-
As far as setup is concerned, the two main difference with Windows 8 Server compared with Windows 8 (client) were that the server logon did not ask for a Windows Live ID logon, and that there was no Metro UI when it booted.
I would like to make a general point that this is called Windows Server 8 Beta rather than Customer Preview, furthermore, it seemed to be at an earlier stage of development than the Windows 8 client editions that I have tested. For instance, I crashed the server manager twice in the first half hour, whereas I could not crash the clients in 6 months of playing around. To be fair the Server, it did not actually blue-screen, more that menus produced all sorts of red errors and then closed.
Upgrade Paths to Windows Server 8
You can upgrade from Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Naturally, you can only upgrades your edition on a like-for-like basis.
Warning: You will not be able to upgrade to the RTM version of Windows 8 Server, which is to be called Windows Server 2012.
While this is called Windows 8 Server Beta, Microsoft has decided that the final product will be called Windows Server 2012. This labelling scheme will save confusion, because the clients alone will be have the Windows 8 name, while Domain Controllers and application machines will run Windows Server 2012.
The latest build I have is 8250; let us keep our ear to the ground for more pre-release editions of this Microsoft server.
Summary of Windows Server 8 Install
The process required minimal input from me because it used maximum intelligence to gather the information Windows 8 Server needed to setup. Get your copy here 64-bit iso version of Windows Server 8 download
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Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Topics