Installing Windows Server 2016 on VMWare Workstation Player

VMware workstation player is a desktop virtualization application that allows you to run multiple operating systems on a single physical computer. This can be useful for a variety of purposes, such as testing new software or applications, training employees on new systems, or simply providing a safe environment for browsing the internet. The application is free for personal use otherwise you’ll need to license it.  Workstation player is a great tool for anyone who needs to use multiple operating systems on a single computer. In this post I will be installing WMWare Workstation Player and Windows Server 2016 Standard.


Windows Server 2016 New Features

Windows Server 2016 is the latest release of the Server operating system from Microsoft. It includes a number of new features that aim to improve performance, security, and stability. One of the most notable new features is support for Nano Server, a stripped-down version of Windows that is designed for cloud deployments. Nano Server requires far less disk space and memory than traditional versions of Windows, and it can be deployed more quickly and easily. Other new features in Windows Server 2016 include support for containers, improved storage management, and enhanced security. With its focus on cloud deployments and improved performance, Windows Server 2016 is poised to become the standard platform for enterprise data centers.

Windows Server 2016 Containers

Windows Server 2016 containers provide a new way to package and deploy applications. By isolating an application from the underlying operating system, containers allow for greater portability and compatibility across different environments. Containers also offer a higher level of security, as each container can be run with its own set of permissions. As a result, Windows Server 2016 containers offer a number of advantages over traditional virtualization techniques. In addition, the use of containers can help to improve the efficiency of server deployments by reducing the need for duplicate configurations. As more organizations move to adopt containers, Windows Server 2016 is likely to become the leading platform for container-based deployments.


Internet Information Services 10

Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS) 10 is the latest version of their web server software, and it comes with a few new features that are sure to please users. One of the most noteworthy new additions is support for HTTP/2, which is a major upgrade to the HTTP protocol that promises faster page load times and improved security. IIS 10 also includes a new Application Initialization feature that allows web applications to warm up before handling user traffic, and a revised URL rewrite module that makes it easier to manage redirects and URL rewriting rules. Overall, IIS 10 is a solid update that should make life easier for web administrators and developers alike.


Installing VMWare Workstation Player

VMWare Workstation Player is free to download and install for personal use.  It is a popular choice for running virtual machines on a desktop or laptop computer. It’s easy to use and supports a wide range of operating systems, making it a versatile tool for both developers and IT professionals. One of the key benefits of VMware Workstation Player is that it can be used to create isolated environments for testing purposes. This means that you can run different versions of an operating system or different applications on the same computer, without the risk of interference or data loss.

Installing VMWare Workstation Player is very straight forward. Just launch the installer after downloading and follow the prompts of the installation wizard.



During the install you will first need to pick the location of where you install the application. This is not the path for the virtual machines you will be creating later.



Check the boxes if you want to be notified about new updates or join the Customer Experience program.



Choose where you want the application shortcuts created.



At this point the installation is ready to start. Click Install to complete the installation.





As mentioned previously you can use the application free for personal use otherwise purchase a commercial use license.



Once the application is installed you’ll arrive at the dashboard. This is the screen you will see every time you start the application. Once you have a few virtual machines created they will be displayed on the left side of the window.



Installing Windows Server 2016

The latest versions of Windows Server are available for free trials from the Microsoft Evaluation Center. After selecting the version you want to download you will be prompted to provide your contact information.



After downloading the Windows Server 2016 ISO file click Create New Virtual Machine from the VMWare Workstation Player dashboard and then Select the option to run an Installer disc image file.



Choose the amount of disk space you want to allocate to the new virtual machine.



Click Customize Hardware to change other configuration settings such as adding more RAM to the vm.



My vm is going to use 4 GB of RAM. These settings can also be modified after the vm is created.



The next step in the installation process is the familiar Windows Boot Manager.



Microsoft Software License Terms

During my initial installation I came to this curious message which stopped the install from proceeding. The message indicates “Windows cannot find the Microsoft Software License Terms. Make sure the installation sources are valid and restart the installation.” After doing some research I found this is a common problem when installing on VMware.



The workaround for this issue is to shutdown the vm and then remove the Floppy drive from the configuration settings. My PC doesn’t have a floppy drive so this is not an issue. After saving the new settings just restart the installation following the steps above.



Now you will arrive a the familiar Windows Server Setup screen. Click Next to continue.



Choose which version of Windows Server you want to install.



You have to accept the license terms before continuing.



If you’ve ever installed Windows software before the next screen will be very familiar. My virtual machine only has 25 GB of space allocated so that is all the installer can see. If you decide later that you need to add more disk space you can do that from the VMWare Player properties but you will then also have to go through Windows disk management to expand the drive to use the new space.




Once the Windows Server install completes you’ll be prompted to enter the server administrator password.



After setting the administrator password you’ll be prompted to login.



The server installation is now complete. After logging in you’ll arrive at the server desktop. Using the Server Manager you can change the configuration of the server by adding or removing roles.


In Summary


If you’re looking for a powerful, yet easy to use virtualization software, VMware Workstation Player is a great option. With this software, you can run multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single computer, without the need for a separate physical machine. This can be extremely helpful if you need to test different applications or configuration such as Windows Server 2016. Thanks for Reading!

Peter Viola

Creative, customer focused, results oriented, Senior Web Systems Engineer who enjoys providing the highest level of customer service supporting complex Windows hosting solutions. MCITP, MCSA, MCTS

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