First Impression of Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2

Posted by Aruna Lakmal on 4:03:00 AM with No comments
Microsoft has announced the release of the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2 and it is at your finger tips now. There are lots of new features added to this version and new approach to the Azure Cloud platform. We will discuss these features later time.

Now you can download Windows Server 2016 TP 2 from Microsoft TechNet Evaluation Center  and here I would like to demonstrate the installation and the first experience of the server platform.

There is no difference of the installation as it similar to the normal OS installation. Download the ISO file or VHD from TechNet Evaluation Center, and proceed with the installation.


  • Boot from the CD rom and continue the installation, select the language, time and curency format and the Keyboard format. Click Next to continue.
  • Click on "Install now" to continue
  • At the next step you can see a cool feature , there are two installation methods:

    • Windows Server Technical Preview 2
    • Windows Server Technical Preview 2 (with local admin tools)
  • If you select the windows server Technical Preview 2 (First Option) , you won't be able to see any of the fancy windows after you logon to the server. There is only CMD prompt on the screen and you have to manage all the configurations on the CMD prompt, formerly this option also known as "Core Edition" in windows 2012 . If you select the Windows Technical Preview 2 (with local admin tools) option you can see the Server Manager Console and cmd prompt on the screen. You can't see any other Desktop features such as task bar menu bar, etc. I know most of the windows users are familiar with windows GUI and you don't need to keep in your mind a simple command to continue the configuration. But this GUI is a pain and you can see a better performance without this GUI and do you know... 90% of the windows updates are issuing to fix the bugs in the GUI. If you are running your server without GUI you don't need to worry about this bundle of updates. But don't worry still you can install your GUI with this server edition. I will show you this at the bottom of this article. If you are familiar with Windows 2012 "core to GUI" and "GUI to core" conversion this is not a big deal for you. Here I select the installation method with the admin tools. 
  • Accept the Licence Terms and Conditions at the next step and Click on "Next"
  • Since this is a fresh installation select the "Custom" Option and continue the installation
  • Similar to normal installation you can configure the Partitions at the next window and click on "Next" to continue. 
  • Windows installation will start in a moment



  • Your Server will reboot after the installation and you have to create a Local Administrator password at the next step 






  • Login to the server and see what you can see on the screen , can you see your task bar? no you won't...., but server Manager will start in a bit. 



Install Server Graphical Management Tool and Server Graphical Shell. 

I know you need to install your GUI on this server and it makes your life easy, follow the below steps.

  • Select "Add roles and features" on your dashboard or go to Manage and select "Roles and Features" as usual. This will start the "Add Roles and Features Wizard".

  • Click on "Next" at the "Before You Begin" as nothing to do with this step. 


  • Select the "Role-based or feature-based installation" at the "Installation Type" window and click on "Next". 


  • Select the Server at the Next step and click Next to continue. Here I haven't done any initial configuration tasks and jumped in to the GUI installation straight away. 




  • Click on "Next" at the role installation step as we are not going to install any role on this server. 



  • At the "Feature" installation step select the "User Interfaces and Infrastructure"and "Server Graphical Shell" and Click on "Next" to continue. 



  • At the "Confirmation" window select the "Restart the destination server automatically if required" 



  • Then you can see a message box on your screen to say "Server will restart automatically if required...".  Click on "Next" to continue. 




  • Server will continue the installation and reboot automatically to continue the feature installation. 

  • At the rebooting stage windows will update the features and will prompt you to login to the Server 





  • Once you login to the Server you can see your fancy desktop and you are ready to go.


Let's meet again with more cool features in Windows 2016.

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