Getting Started with Windows Server Essentials 2016 Preview 3

Microsoft has released Preview 3 of the Windows Server Essentials 2016 Operating System, and while it hasn’t differed from Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials much so far, we thought we’d run through a quick setup and configuration to get a feel for the latest update.

Downloading the ISO Image

If you want to download the ISO image to follow along, or for testing, you will need a Microsoft account. You must register to download any of the Microsoft Evaluation software, but the good news is that the registration and download process is very fast. There was no wait time for me to download the software.

Head over to Microsoft’s website and register your evaluation to download the ISO image: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter

Getting Started

I’m not going to go through how to create a virtual machine or how to install Windows Server because we’ve already done this in the past. I’ll be beginning this demonstration from the “Configure Windows Server Essentials” wizard that pops up after you have installed the operating system and entered a password for the administrator account.

Start by clicking Next in the Configure Windows Server Essentials page

Configure Server Essentials Wizard

Be sure that the Time Settings are correct. If they are not, click Change system date and time settings, then make your changes. Click Next when you are finished.

Essentials 2016 Time Settings Wizard

The Company Information page will ask you to enter some information. After entering the company name, it will automatically fill in the Internal domain name and Server Name with some recommended entries. I did not like the automatically placed information, so I changed this to fit my needs. Click Next to continue.

 Keep in mind: Once this information is set, it cannot be changed. Be sure the information is correct before finishing the wizard.

Company Information Configuration Essentials 2016 Wizard

The next screen will ask you to provide an Administrator account name and password. Now, it’s not recommended that you use a name like “Admin” as I did in this demonstration, but keep in mind that I’m only using this as a test environment.

Create a network administrator account essentials 2016 wizard

Here we are asked to choose our update settings. It is always recommended to install Windows Updates to be sure you have all of the latest security patches from Microsoft and to fix any bugs that may have been reported. Choose your options then click Configure.

Update Settings Essentials 2016 Wizard

The wizard will now download any needed updates and begin preparing your server for use. This can take a while depending on the hardware used and updates needed.

Updating and Preparing Your Server Essentials 2016 wizard

When the configuration is done, you will get the Configuration Completed page. Click Close to begin configuring the server.

Configuration Completed Windows Server Essentials 2016 Wizard

 

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