Create a bootable USB pen drive for your Windows 2012 R2 installation

Create a bootable USB pen drive for your Windows 2012 R2 installation

As I mentioned in another article “A do-it-your-self guide for installing Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials” most servers nowadays ship without a DVD drive. The only time you would possibly need a DVD drive is when you are installing an operating system for the first time but it can also be done with a USB pen drive. There a basically two steps involved if your server was shipped with a OEM version on a DVD.

First step is to create an ISO file from that DVD on your laptop or desktop. If you want to read an overview of all the tools available please read this Comparison of disc image software - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. My favorite is ImgBurn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. You can download it from The Official ImgBurn Website but be aware that if you install it read carefully through the wizard because part of the installation wants to install crap on your computer. To give you any idea what I mean I have made some screenshots about the installation sequence of ImgBurn.

  1. Begin with the setup of ImgBurn
  2. Accept the license terms and click Next
  3. Accept the defaults and click next.
  4. Click next
  5. Click next
  6. There is the sneaky part. If you choose Express it installs crap you do not want. Choose Custom Install and uncheck both option and then click next.
  7. And another one that you do not want. Choose Advanced and uncheck the only option.
  8. I guess that is a good idea.
  9. Click close to finish the installation of ImgBurn.

As you have seen the ImgBurn tries to install stuff you do not want and if you are in a hurry you would click next and next and then you are stuck with rubbish on your computer. It helps to carefully read what you are presented with. I do understand that the owner of ImgBurn wants to make some money but the way they try to do that stinks imho.

Now that we have installed ImgBurn we are going to make an ISO image of the DVD that was shipped with your server. Remember that you must use the media that was shipped with your server to create the ISO image, you cannot use a Technet or MSDN ISO for this installation because it will fail as soon as you try to enter your product key!

  1. Put the DVD in your drive and start ImgBurn. Choose Create image file from disc
  2. After awhile ImgBurn has found the DVD and shows the name of it
  3. Hit the little enveloppe and browse to a place where you want to save the ISO file
  4. Click the button to create the image file.

As I mentioned before I always use Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way to create bootable USB pen drives because it offers most options. There is nothing to install when you want to use Rufus, just double click the executable you just downloaded from Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way.

  1. Click the DVD icon to open the ISO image file you previously created.
  2. Choose MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computers because offers most flexibility though if your server is new it will be UEFI compatible. Set the rest as described in the screenshot and hit start. After two minutes you have a bootable USB pen drive. Tip: if you need special drivers it is now the time to put them in a folder on the pen drive.

Next is to boot the server from the USB pen drive. If that does not work you need to adjust the boot order in the BIOS of your server.

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