Create Windows Server 2008 Virtual Machine with Drivers on Proxmox!

When I first started using Proxmox, I was not really happy with how things are working out even with their web-based graphical user interface. Creating a Linux-based virtual machine was fairly easy all you have to do is download iso to the server create virtual machine and setup network. However creating a Windows VPS on proxmox was not that easy.  You first have to download windows iso, download drivers and then installation was possible.

In this article, I am going to write how to create Windows Server 2008 virtual machine with drivers on proxmox.  We will see that how we can create Windows VPS using the drivers. If you are looking for an easy way to create a Windows VPS you can read my previous article where I’ve explained how you can do the same without doing anything using a ready-made downloadable template:

How to create Windows VPS in Proxmox through Template!

Well if you are more interested in doing everything on your own, then you should continue reading this article, we will see that how Windows Server 2008 virtual machine is created. So let us dive into it.

Step 1: Download Windows Server 2008 Iso!

As we are creating a Windows Server 2008 virtual machine we need its iso, we can download 180 days evaluation ISO directly from Microsoft. Just execute following two commands on CLI of your proxmox server.

# First change your directory to where proxmox stores ISOs

cd /var/lib/vz/template/iso

# Now download the ISO.

wget https://download.microsoft.com/download/7/5/E/75EC4E54-5B02-42D6-8879-D8D3A25FBEF7/7601.17514.101119-1850_x64fre_server_eval_en-us-GRMSXEVAL_EN_DVD.iso

Please note that by the time you are reading this article, Microsoft download link might not be working, but you don’t need to worry. You can still search for any valid Windows Server 2008 iso online and download it to the server via wget or SCP (or anything that makes you feel more comfortable).

And if the links work, it will take some time and ISO will be downloaded to the server.

Step 2: Download required Drivers!

You will not be able to create a Windows VPS without these drivers, so please do not skip this step.

cd /var/lib/vz/template/iso

# Download the drivers

wget https://fedorapeople.org/groups/virt/virtio-win/direct-downloads/stable-virtio/virtio-win.iso

Alright, now we’ve everything we need to create a Windows Server 2008 VPS. We don’t have to do anything further from the command line, you can now open your proxmox web based control panel to create VPS.

Step 3: Create Windows Server 2008 VPS

Before continuing with this step make sure you have correctly followed step 1 and step 2 because without these downloads we can not create a virtual machine. Well, I assume that you have already done that. So let us start creating a VPS.

General Settings

  1. First click “Create VM”.
  2. Give your virtual machine any name, I’ve given it a name “Windows2008VPS”.
  3. Finally, click Next.

OS Settings

  1. First, select OS type as selected in the image above.
  2. Then click “Next”.

Add CD Roms

This step is very important, please carefully perform this step.

Now when you normally install the operating system on your laptop/computer you insert windows CD inside CD-ROM, however, that is physical. With virtual machines we’ve everything virtual, you can virtually add a CD-ROM and insert any desired ISO to it. Here we’ve added Windows Server 2008 iso inside CD-ROM that is attached to this virtual machine, now VPS will boot through this CD-ROM device.

  1. Just select the ISO that we’ve downloaded in the first step.
  2. Click “Next” once the iso is selected.

Hard Disk Settings

  1. From the “Bus/Device” drop down please select “VirtIO”.
  2. After selecting Virtio simply click “Next”.

CPU Settings

On the CPU settings window you can keep everything default or if you need to give more cores or sockets to the VPS you can give as desired or required.

Memory Settings

Keep the memory settings as they are in the image above if you need to give more ram you can specify in this window as required.

Network Settings

  1. From the “Model” drop down please select “VirtIO (paravirtualized)”.
  2. Then click “Next”.

Confirm Window

Confirm window is just the summary of all the settings you have configured in all those previous windows, just click “Finish” and your virtual machine is created. But don’t get excited yet, we still have work to do.

Step 4: Add Another CD-ROM!

Before starting your virtual machine to install Windows we need to add one more CD-ROM to this virtual machine, this CD-ROM will contain ISO of the drivers. So that when we are installing windows we don’t need to separately add this iso again.

  1. First click “Hardware” from the left menu.
  2. Then click “Add” and select CD/DVD Drive.

This window will then pops up, you have to select the ISO of drivers this time from the drop down and click “Create”. Now our virtual machine has two CD-ROMS. First one has windows iso and the second one has drivers iso. It will be easy for us to later do the installation if we attach drivers before starting the VPS for configuration.

We are now ready to start this VPS for installation of windows server 2008 through the console.

Step 5: Install Windows

  1. First, click “Start” to start the virtual machine.
  2. Click “Console” on the left menu, and you will have something like you see in the image above.

Leave everything default and click “Next” on this window.

Just click “Install Now”.

Select the first option and click “Next”.

Do not select “Upgrade, select “Custom”.

Installing Drivers

The next part from here is very important, we now have to install drivers. You will see something like this on your screen:

You can see that even though this virtual machine has a virtual hard disk attached we can not see it here, so installation can not be continued. It is because of the missing drivers. To install the driver’s click “Load Driver”, and we’ve already inserted the driver’s CD as well, so let see how to proceed from here.

Click “Browse”.

Just follow these 5 steps and then click “OK”.

On this Window, just click “Next”. It will then install 1 of the 3 drivers that we need to install. Now let us install Network drivers following the same procedure. You again have to click “Load Drivers”, and then “Browse”.

This will install the network drivers. Before we continue with installation we need to install one last driver. Procedure again is same.

Now after installing this 3rd and last driver, our installation window will let us click “Next” and we can continue with the installation.

Just click “Next”, and it will start the installation process, wait until the installation procedure is completed, you can then set the administrator password and start using your Windows VPS.

Step 6: Configure Password

Once you complete all the steps mentioned above your installation of Windows Server 2008 VPS will be finished. We now have to set a password so that we can start using our virtual machine.

Enter password and press “Enter” on your keyboard, it will than take you to your desktop. However, this virtual machine does not have a public IP yet, if you are interested in accessing this virtual machine from remote desktop you need to assign a public IP, you can read the following guide:

How to create Windows VPS in Proxmox through Template!  (Skip to Step 7 for Network Configuration)

Once the network is configured you can also access this virtual machine over the internet via remote desktop connection.


Well this article have more images than I’ve first imagined, however images were necessary. I hope this guide should be helpfull for someone out there, if someone has any questions you can feel free to put them in the comment box below. Have a great day 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *