Early Experts Study Lab Setup Process

Early Experts” Windows Server 2012 Challenge

Study Lab Setup Process

To setup your own study lab for the Windows Server 2012 “Early Experts” Challenge, you’ll need a PC that meets the following requirements:

  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 as installed OS
  • 64-bit capable hardware (x64)
  • Intel-VT or AMD-V support in firmware
  • Hardware-assisted memory protection in firmware (XD)
  • At least 4GB total RAM
  • At least 60GB free space on HDD
  • Full Administrator Rights to existing PC OS
  • No disk encryption or pre-boot authentication

NOTE: If your PC does not meet the above requirements, do not continue with this process. Instead, you may prefer to Build Your Server Lab in the Cloud by leveraging Windows Azure Virtual Machines.  Building your lab in the cloud will allow you to complete most hands-on activities in this study group, but will not permit you to perform hands-on activities related to Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

DISCAIMER: This process installs Windows Server 2012 in a dual-boot scenario using Boot-to-VHD features in Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.  While this process is not intended to disrupt your existing OS installation, these steps are for use at your own risk.  No support or warranties are implied or provided.

Lab Setup Process

1. Backup your existing PC operating system before beginning this process.  While this process is not intended to disrupt the existing OS installation on your PC, performing a backup before any system upgrades or installation is recommended as a precaution.

2. Download the Windows Server 2012 installation bits in VHD format from the following link location: http://aka.ms/eewin2012

3. Extract the downloaded VHD file by running the compressed .EXE file.

4. Copy the Extracted VHD file to C:BootVHDServer2012.vhd

5. Mount the copied VHD file as a virtual Drive Letter
– Right-click on the “Command Prompt” shortcut and select “Run as Administrator”
– Run “DISKPART.EXE” from the Command Prompt
– At the “DISKPART>” Command Prompt type the following commands, pressing Enter after each:
SELECT VDISK FILE=”C:BootVHDServer2012.vhd”

6. Wait for the VHD file to be mounted as new Drive Letter.  When completed, this new drive letter will display in “My Computer” and “Windows Explorer”

7. Add a new OS Boot Menu Choice for Windows Server 2012
– Right-click on the “Command Prompt” shortcut and select “Run as Administrator”
– Run “BCDBOOT <mounted_drive_letter>:WINDOWS” from the Command Prompt

8. Reboot and select “Windows Server 2012” for the OS Boot Menu displayed

9. Complete the OS installation process using the steps documented above using the VHD or if you prefer to do a clean install using DVD media check the video below

10.  In case you need more help getting Hyper-V installed and configured… See Lab Guide – Windows 2012 RTM Install and Configure Windows and Hyper-V

Video 9.5 minutes




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