8 Create a Windows Server

Mathew J. Heath Van Horn, PhD and Raechel Ferguson

Windows Server is a popular server that offers many functions for businesses to control their enterprise network.  It is not a singular operating system, but rather a group of operating systems that can be used in a variety of ways.  This lab’s focus is on installing Windows Server for the first time with the most common features.

Learning Objectives

  • Using an image of Windows Server, install and configure Windows Server as a virtual machine in the GNS3 workspace



  • None – this is a preparatory lab that supports other labs in this book


Contributors and testers

  • Julian Romano, Student, ERAU Prescott
  • Evan Paddock, Cybersecurity Student, ERAU-Prescott
  • Dante Rocca, Cybersecurity Student, ERAU-Prescott

Phase I – Install Windows Server as a VM

Installing Windows Server on a VM has some nuances to be followed in VirtualBox.  Please read the instructions carefully.

  1. Open Virtual Box Manager
  2. Select New from the top ribbon to open the “Create Virtual Machine” window (Figure 11
    1. Name the VM “Windows Server”  1
    2. Use the ISO Image drop-down box to select the iso image for Windows Server that you have downloaded
    3. Click the box that states Skip Unattended Installation
    4. Press Next
    5. Use the default hardware settings (Figure 2)
    6. Press Next
    7. Use the default Virtual Hard disk settings (Figure 3)
    8. Press Next
    9. Review the Summary and press Finish (Figure 4)
  3. Start the Windows Server VM by pressing the big green arrow on VirtualBox Manager to start the setup process
    1. On the setup screen, use the defaults and press Next (Figure 51
    2. Click Install now (Figure 61
    3. Enter your product key (Figure 7) and press next
    4. Select the desktop experience (Figure 8) and press next
    5. Read and accept the license terms (Figure 9) and press next 1
    6. Click on Custom Install (Figure 101
    7. Leave the defaults (Figure 11) and press Next
    8. Wait for the installation to finish (Figure 12) and restart
    9. At the Password Screen, set the password to “Security1” and press Finish (Figure 131
    10. If your Host OS reacts to the pressing of Ctrl-Alt-Delete instead of the VM, press your Host Key (right ctrl by default) and delete simultaneously to get to the Windows Server login screen on your VM
    11. Log into the Windows Server using the administrator credentials (Figure 14)
    12. At the first start-up, you will get two popups (Figure 15)
      1. Server Manager – Click on Don’t show this message again
      2. Networks – Click Yes
    13. This brings you to the Server Manager Dashboard (Figure 16)

Phase II – Install Active Directory

Active Directory (AD) is a collection of processes and services.  It is commonly used to assign and enforce security policies for all computers on the network via a Windows Server running Domain Services.  The Windows Server with Domain Services running is called a Domain Controller.  Most Windows Server services rely on the Domain Controller to function properly.

  1. The Server Management Dashboard should open automatically on Windows Server startup (Figure 16)
  2. On the left side of the dashboard, click on Local Server (Figure 17) and give it a couple of seconds to populate the information 3
  3. Click on Manage in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Once the drop-down appears click on the Add Roles and Features option shown (Figure 183
  4. An “Add Roles and Features Wizard” box will open
    1. Before you begin – Click next (Figure 193
    2. Installation Type – click the Role-Based option – click next (Figure 203
    3. Server Selection – click on your local server (Should be the only option) – click next (Figure 213
    4. Server Roles – select Active Directory Domain Services which will automatically open a pop-up window (Figure 22) where you will press the Add Features button 3
    5. Returns you back to the Select Server Roles (Figure 23) and you can see that the Active Directory Services option now has a checkmark next to it
    6. Select DNS Server from the list of options which will open a pop-up Window (Figure 24) where you will press the Add Features button 3

      NOTE: You may get an alert.  This is normal because we haven’t finished configuring everything.  Just press “Continue”

    7. Returns you back to the Select Server Roles (Figure 25) and you can see that the DNS Server has a checkmark next to it – Click Next 3
    8. Features (Figure 26) – Click Next 3
    9. AD DS  (Figure 27) – Click Next 3
    10. DNS Server (Figure 28) – Click Next 3
    11. Confirmation (Figure 29) – Click Install 3
    12. Wait for the installation to complete (Figure 30)
    13. Click on the blue text that states, Promote this server to a domain controller. (Figure 31) and you will get a popup 3
  5.  Configure Active Directory Domain Services Wizard
    1. Deployment Configuration (Figure 32)
      1. Click on Add a new forest 3
      2. Root domain name:  pick something you would like.  For these examples “mycyber.local” was chosen 3
      3. Click Next

        NOTE: Creating a new forest can take a minute or two.

    2. Domain Controller Options- select a password for the DSRM – we typically use “Security1” in this book (Figure 33) – Click Next 3
    3. DNS Options (Figure 34) – Ignore the alert if there is one and Click Next (Figure 343
    4. Additional Options – It takes a moment to auto-populate with MYCYBER, but if it doesn’t type it in.  Then Click Next (Figure 35)
    5. Paths – Click Next (Figure 363
    6. Review Options – Click Next (Figure 373
    7. Prerequisites Check – (this could take a minute for a green box to appear – Ignore the alerts) Click Install (Figure 383
    8. The Server VM will automatically restart (Figure 39), just wait for it to finish

Phase III – Add to GNS3

Add the newly created Windows Server VM to GNS3.

  1. Follow the procedures for adding a VM to GNS3
  2. You may want to make some changes to the default settings
    • Change the image to look more like a server instead of a PC
    • Change the network options to Allow GNS3 to use any configured VirtualBox adapter
End of Lab


List of Figures for Printed Version
Picture of commands
Figure 1 – Create virtual machine


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Figure 2 – Hardware settings


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Figure 3 – Virtual hard disk settings


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Figure 4 – Review and approve settings


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Figure 5 – Windows server default settings


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Figure 6 – Install now


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Figure 7 – Product key


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Figure 8 – Desktop Experience


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Figure 9 – Accept license terms


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Figure 10 – Custom install


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Figure 11 – Use defaults


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Figure 12 – Waiting for installation to finish


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Figure 13 – Set the password


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Figure 14 – Login as admin


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Figure 15 – First start up


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Figure 16 – Server manager dashboard


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Figure 17 – Local Server


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Figure 18 – Add roles and features


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Figure 19 – Click next


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Figure 20 – Installation type, Roll-based


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Figure 21 – Select the server


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Figure 22 – Add features to active directory


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Figure 23 – Select server roles


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Figure 24 – Add features to DNS


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Figure 25 – Verify changes and select next


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Figure 26 – Confirm Features


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Figure 27 – Confirm AD DS


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Figure 28 – Confirm DNS


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Figure 29 – Confirm settings


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Figure 30 – Wait for installation


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Figure 31 – Promote the server


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Figure 32 – Active Directory Domain Services Wizard


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Figure 33 – Set password for DC


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Figure 34 – DNS Options


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Figure 35 – MyCYBER


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Figure 36 – Confirm paths


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Figure 37 – Review and confirm


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Figure 38 – Wait for green checkmark


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Figure 39 – It will restart automatically


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Mastering Enterprise Networks Copyright © 2024 by Mathew J. Heath Van Horn, PhD and Raechel Ferguson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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