1. Boot up your Windows Server 2008 dvd. If you see the screen below, choose the approperiate settings and click Next.

2. On the next screen just click the button Install Now.


3. Enter your Windows Server 2008 productkey. If you don’t have one (yet) you can just skip this step by clicking Next and click No when asked when asked if you want to enter your product key.


4. Select the version of Windows Server 2008 that says Full Installation. Don’t select one of the Server Core Installation’s, because then you won’t have a GUI 😉


5. If you agree to the license terms, select I accept the license terms and click Next.


6. If you have a clean harddisk or if there is no possibility to upgrade from a previous version of Windows you will only have the option Custom (advanced). In this manual I will use the Custom installation.


7. Select the harddisk and partition where you want to install Windows Server 2008 and click Next.


8. Now Windows 2008 Server setup will install the selected version on your harddrive.

setup8.jpg setup9.jpg

9. After the installation has finished the computer will restart and a message about changing your password will be shown. Click OK.


10. You MUST type in a strong password with at least one capital letter and one number, for example P4ssword (capital P/number four), otherwise you will get an error message saying that you doesn’t comply to the security enforcements of the domain. You can disable this strong password enforcement later. After succesfully changing the password you will see the message that your password has succesfully been changed. Click OK. Your desktop will now show up.

setup11.jpg setup12.jpg

11. In the Server Manager window check the Do not show me this console at logon to not show the Server Manager at startup. You can access it later via the the Server Manager shortcut in your quick launch bar or Start menu.


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41 Responses

  1. I get a black screen with gray letters:

    a Hardware error.

    and then i need to put in a installation disk. but that disk is mounted,
    its coming back all the time

    Arris: I think you ‘d better ask this question in the Windows Server 2008 Section at the Microsoft Technet Forums. There are lots of geeks there that can help you! 🙂

  2. TimC says:

    R. Vail – Fixed my HP XW6600 by going to BIOS and changing from RAID to IDE. If you don’t you will need to create a floppy with the Sata Raid drivers to use during install.

    Admin: Thanks for putting this info together!

  3. Maddy says:

    Thanks, this worked out…!!!

  4. matt says:

    Can you really skip the license key screen and get away with it??

    Arris: That’s right, it is possible to skip the license key screen and enter your license key later in Windows. Same is possible in the Windows Vista setup.

  5. Frans says:

    Check the media if something fails. The first DVD I burned did give a generic error. After reburning, the installation went smoothly.
    I couldn’t install on Raid-0 as well, installed on SATA/IDE and try to migrate to RAID later on. And had to start over when I tried to add the Nvidia drivers. Blue screens pops up and I could start over again 🙁

  6. Orlando says:

    Awesome guide! It has been really useful.


    Arris: Thanks for the compliments. 🙂 If you have ANY questions, don’t hesitate to ask them at the forums!

  7. Danny Yoon says:

    I’m having issues installing Windows 2008 on a machine. (A Server)
    Dual Xeon 3.0GHz, 6 Gig, “C” RIAD 0 – 120G sATA and Data “D” drive RAID 5(4x400G – sATA drive – Custom Built server.
    When it comes to expending files – it goes upto 18%, 10% and just few % and will not go further. I’ve tried with less memories, pulled RAID 5 drives out but nothing works. I have someone else tried on their home computers and it works. DVD/CD are good. Your recommandation and help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Arris: I have no idea what the problem can be. You can try to find a solution at the Microsoft Technet Forums in the Windows Server : Setup Deployment section or create a thread there so other Microsoft Professionals can help you. Good luck!

  8. Joe says:

    There are few different version of 2008 server. What one did you use? Or what would you recommend.

    Arris: Here is a topic about the different versions of Windows Server 2008. I am currently using the x64 Enterprise because it’s the most extended version that includes Hyper-V.

  9. Phil medes says:

    Gee! It would be nice to have that kind of money to blow for a copy of Windows Server 2008, esp. since I got my Vista for nothing.

  10. Just had a look at this. Looks awesome. Will try this if my Win XP x64 fails – and this might be only a few weeks away as i’m willing to destroy it over and over again…..

  11. Lyndsay says:

    Thanks. 🙂

    I’m downloading it now.

  12. webdesign says:

    It worked like a charm ! thx for the tip this is much better then plain Vista !!

  13. John Spartz says:

    Thanks for this guide! I am now tri-booting Windows Server 2008, Mac OS X 10.5, and Ubuntu 8.04 on my MacBook Pro.

  14. Gilbért says:

    Yes! 😀 It is working fine om my laptop now! Thanks for this great manual!

  15. valorisa says:


    Like already said by Admin, the following examples (Passw0rd or P4ssword or P4ssw0rd or P@ssw0rd) work fine.


  16. chimera says:

    come installare languace pack italian file *.cab

  17. R. Vail says:

    For some reason, I can’t boot from an optical disc when the bios is set to Raid mode. Abit still has not fixed the following bios error (running v. 16 b10):
    When attempting to boot from a SATA DVD-RW drive connected to either Intel or JMicron SATA port, bootable optical discs cannot boot when the Intel Raid/IDE/AHCI bios selector is set in Raid mode. Switch back to IDE mode, and the optical disc becomes bootable again.
    Anyone else encountered this? I ran into this, when the board was newly released about 9 months ago. A workaround solution is: use the set of (6) WinXP SP2 bootable floppies, in order to install onto a Raid 0 pair of hard drives.
    Does MS offer a set of bootable floppies for installing Server 2008 (either: x32 or x64 version?)

  18. Dparada78 says:

    i installed it on Parallels for mac….never asked me for a password.

  19. Niptech says:

    I’ll try to make it more cleer…
    Capitalizing the first letter in your password…..and make sure there are letters and numbers in the password….so that its “complex” enough for microsofts standards.

    Good Luck!

  20. m.oreilly says:

    it won’t get past the stupid password screen. i just spent an hour trying different combinations. a feckin waste of my day, as now i have to reinstall 03…

    Arris: I added the remark to step 10 that you *must* enter a strong password, otherwise you can’t log in!

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