This article shows how to install Windows Server 2008 R2 on VirtualBox. Windows 2008 R2 server is available in 64-bit version only, so your computer processor and motherboard should support 64-Bit architecture and VT (Virtualization Technology) to carry out this installation.
Even if you are using the 32-bit version of Operating Systems such as Windows 7, Vista and XP on the host computer, still it’s possible to use 64 Bit operating systems as a guest on VirtualBox. To make sure your computer processor and motherboard support this feature read this post where you will find relevant tools for AMD and Intel processors. Once the result confirms that your PC is 64-bit ready then you can proceed with the installation of Windows Server 2008 R2 on VirtualBox.
Follow the steps to Install Windows Server 2008 R2 on VirtualBox.
1) Create New Machine.
2) Select Windows 2008 R2 as the guest OS version.
3) Set memory size to 1024MB, and create a new hard disk with 20GB space. You can increase the RAM and hard disk size if your physical computer has enough resources.
Select the Dynamically Expanding storage option. Set the disk size and location of the disk file on the next screen.
4) Press Finish to complete disk and virtual machine creation.
5) Click on the storage option in virtual machine configuration settings.
6) Press ‘Empty’ IDE controller as mentioned below to insert the installation DVD or ISO image. If you have an installation DVD, then insert it into the host DVD drive and select the ‘Host Drive- Drive letter’ mentioned below. So when you boot the Windows 2008 R2 virtual machine, it will read your host physical DVD drive. Since I have an ISO file, I’m mounting it by clicking on the Folder arrow button.
7) Make sure the following options are correct under system setting of the virtual machine. You can click on System to view the settings.
Processor – 1 and Enable PAE/NX enabled.
Hardware Virtualization Enable VT-x/AMD-V should be enabled.
8) Now start the Windows 2008 R2 virtual machine in VirtualBox.
The installation will go smoothly if all settings are correct. No need to explain every installation step.
9) Here is the working Windows server 2008 R2 on VirtualBox below.
10) It is essential to install VirtualBox guest additions to get better mouse integration, display settings, folder share and improved network performance. You can mount the built-in guest additions ISO file inside the guest VM from the menu bar.
Restart the virtual machine after the installation to see the changes & improvements.
There you go, you have the working Windows 2008 R2 64-bit Server OS on your X86 host OS and VirtualBox. You can enable the seamless mode of the virtual machine to work on Windows 2008 R2 VM from the host OS desktop.
NOTE: Since Windows 2008 R2 is a pretty outdated server operating system currently, it is not recommended to use in the production environment. In case, you need to do some testing and development on this older server OS, you can use this guide to install it on a dedicated VirtualBox environment.