How to install Server 2012 in VirtualBox

Another project on my to-do list is learning Windows Server 2012 to become practically knowledgeable of this latest server operating system from Microsoft as well as to make myself more marketable in this highly demanding IT field.

The approach that I take with a lot of tools that I learn is to create a testing environment at home and implement what I have learned from online tutorials or instructor led video training courses. My testing environments usually have anywhere from 2 – 6 computers acting as servers, firewall and clients machines. If you are wondering if I have a computer room at home or my bedroom or living room must be huge, I assure you this is not the case lol. I accomplish this seemingly tedious feat by the use of Virtualization which allows you to have one physically machine and with the use of virtualization software, run other operating systems on that machine is if they were actual physical machines. VirtualBox is the virtualization software I use for my testing. Its enterprise grade, free and open source software (FOSS).

For this install you will need to ensure that you have a 64bit processor with Virtualization support and is enabled in the BIOS. You will also need to download the needed software.

Windows Server 2012 – Download.
VirtualBox – Download.

Download, install and launch VirtualBox. Click New to launch the Virtual Machine (VM) Wizard and then click Next. Enter the name for the virtual machine. As you will notice I named mine Srv12-DC. Select Microsoft Windows from the Type options and Windows 2012 (64bit) from the Version options. Click Next.


Use the systems requirements specified by Microsoft to guide you when creating the virtual machine. In my setup I used the defaults as presented by the Wizard.

Choose ram allocation for the virtual machine and click next. I have 8gb of ram in my host so I accepted the default recommendation by the wizard.


Choose to create a virtual hard drive now and click create.


From the hard drive file type screen accept the default if you do not intend to use this virtual machine with other virtualization software. Click next.


The next screen allows you to chose how you want to allocate space for the virtual machine. This is your preference. If you have a very large hard drive you can choose to allocate in this case all 25gb at once or choose to increase the size allocation as the need arises. Make your selection and select next.


On the virtual hard drive file location and size screen, choose where you want to store the virtual hard drive. By default the file is stored in the VirtualBox VMs folder located at C:/Users/%username%. If you desire to change the location click on the folder icon and browse to the new location. The recommended minimum hard drive size as specified by Microsoft is 32gb. However, as I have limited hard drive space on my Windows 7 host I accepted the VirtualBox recommended size of 25gb. After installation I had 14gb free space left. Adjust as necessary for your case and click create.


The virtual machine is now created but we need to make some systems changes before we move on. On the left pane where your VMs will be listed, select the one you just created and click on settings. Now select System from the left pane.

On the Motherboard tab ensure that Enable IO APIC is checked under Extended Features.


Move to the Processor tab and check Enable PAE/NX.


Move to the Acceleration tab and select Enable VT-x/AMD-V and Enable Nested Paging.


Select Storage from the left pane and click on Empty under Controller:IDE. Click the CD icon and click Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk image and browse to where you downloaded the Server 2012 ISO.


Click Ok and fire up the VM by clicking Start.

You may encounter a 0x0000005D error during the installation initialization process as I did. After some research on Google I found that the error was related to attempting to install the operating system on an unsupported processor. After further checks I found that I needed to enable a feature in my BIOS to avoid the error.

Install Error

Shutdown the VM and restart the host computer. Enter the BIOS and move to the CPU configuration options. Look for No-Execute Memory Protection and change its state to Enabled. Save the settings and restart. Open VirtualBox and fire up the VM again. You should now be in the clear and be presented with the Windows Setup Screen.


Complete the installation and you’ll be good to go. Have fun testing and learning as I will be doing. Peace Out!


Posted on July 14, 2013, in How-Tos and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Talk about multi-talented! From photography to Windows Server 2012 installation…wow! Keep them coming!

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