Windows server is one of the most powerful server operating system. It comes with many features and advantages. By using this OS you can manage large number of users, also it is secure and there is high scope of accountability as well as scalability.
If you are using Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 then you can install Windows server 2003/ 2008 on your computer without any hassle by using VirtualBox. You can also check our previous guide to install Ubuntu on Windows 7 using VirtualBox. There is one other great tool available for virtual OS experience which is known as VMware. This is a step by step guide to install Windows server 2003 on your PC using Virtualbox. The process for installing Windows Server 2008 would be similar.
1. First go to www.virtualbox.org and download and install it on your PC. Now run the application.
2. Click on “New”. A new wizard “Create New Virtual Machine” will appear. Click on “Next” button.
3. Give a name to your virtual machine. Select Operating system and Version of Windows Server you are installing. Click “Next” button.
4. Select the memory you want to give to the virtual machine. If you are having 3 GB RAM then you can give 512 MB to your virtual machine. If you have more RAM on your PC then you can select the RAM according to that. More memory means your virtual device can handle more processes without any hassle.
5. On a next screen, select “Create new hard disk” option and then click on “Next” button.
6. Click “Next”.
7. If you have low disk space then you can select “Dynamically expanding storage” in storage type. You can also select “Fixed-size storage” for better performance. Click “Next”.
8. Select the location of virtual disk. You can make virtual disk on any volume of your computer. It’s not necessary to select C Drive only. Choose the size of hard disk as 20 GB (if you have enough hard disk space). Windows server takes only less than 3 GB of your hard disk increase in size of active directory will increase the size of virtual disk location. So it is good idea to keep the size more than required. Click “Next”.
9. Read the summary given on the window and click “Finish” button to complete the process.
10. Now right click on the Windows Server icon given on the left pane and select “Start” from the right click menu.
11. On the first run wizard, click “Next”.
12. Now select the .iso file of Windows server 2003 from the location where you kept it. Click “Next”.
13. It will again show you the summary. After reading it, click “Finish”.
14. It will redirect you to Windows setup. Wait for the instructions to come on your screen.
15. Read the instructions carefully and press Enter.
16. Press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
17. In the next step you have to select whether you want to create a new partition or install the OS in the 20 GB space (Note: We have chosen 20 GB space as a virtual disk size). Follow the instruction to create a new partition. Enter the space you want to allocate to the primary partition and press Enter.
18. Now select the partition where you want to install Windows. It should be C: Partiton1 [New (Raw)].
19. Now select the file system using which you want to format the partition. Select NTFS file system and press Enter.
20. It will start formatting the partition.
21. Now the installation of Windows Server will start. It will take some time to install. You can check the remaining time on a left pane.
Thats it. Windows sever will get installed on your PC. After that you can add roles like Active directory, DHCP, DNS server and start using it affectively.