Windows 2016 Server installation

Installation for Windows 2016 Server step by step:

  • Buy the Windows 2016 Server or download the evaluation image from Microsoft:
  • If you install on a physical server (not a virtual machine) make o bootable USB disk and put the image on that disk
  • Start the server and choose to boot from USB. When the window shows up, make your selection for Language/Time and Keyboard then click Next.
  • With the next window click on Install now.
  • Next window if for Product Key. If you have the evaluation version and don’t have a key, just click on “I don’t have a product key”.
  • Next step will prompt you to choose which version you want to install. For a Production (24×7) environment choose Datacenter (Desktop Experience). Without Desktop Experience you install a minimal version without GUI which is designed to be managed via command-line using PowerShell.
  • Accept License Terms and click Next.
  • Next step require to choose the installation type. My personal preference is Custom and select where you want to install it (create also partitions)
  • When you choose Custom, depending of the disk configuration, you can see a new drive that was never partitioned or formatted. Click first on New.
  • After click on New, you will be able to choose how big the drive will be. If you want the whole space for one drive just leave default and click Apply.
  • On the next window you will see the partitions created. One partition is System Reserved and cannot be used to install Windows. Select the second partition, that has most of the space left and has the type Primary. Click on Next, it’s no need to Format it since Windows will do that during the process.
  • The installation process begin, relax because will take 15-30 minutes, depending of your configuration (fast processor, more RAM, SSD instead of HDD). My last install since I’ve click next until Reboot window took about 15 minutes.
  • After is done, click on Restart now or will restart in about 10 seconds.
  • Windows will restart and the next step will require to choose a password for local Administrator account.
  • The installation is done, login into the Administrator account. After you login, my next step is to do Updates. Click on Settings and then Update & Security.
  • It will search for any available updates and will start downloading all the available updates. Will take up to one hour for Updates to be downloaded/installed.
  • When the Updates are done, will require to Restart your server. Click Restart Now or schedule for another time.
  • The last step is to make sure Windows is activated. When you click on Settings -> Activation you will see an error (if you skip the Product Key during the installation).
  • Click on Change product key and enter your key. If your server will be part of a Domain and your company has Volume Licensing, when you connect to your Domain it will activate Windows with a key provided by the KMS server.

Those are all the steps for a basic installation of Windows Server 2016 Datacenter (Desktop Experience)