Difference between revisions of "Windows 2012 guest best practices"

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==Introduction==
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== Introduction ==
  
This is a set of best practices to follow when installing a Windows Server 2012 guest on a Proxmox VE server 2.x (2.3 at time of writing).  Right now it's a work in progress but hopefully soon it will be a comprehensive and reliable document. Please feel free to add to it, even if just to pose a potential best practice.
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This is a set of best practices to follow when installing a Windows Server 2012(R2) guest on a Proxmox VE server 6.x.
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{{WinX-install-steps|osversion=Server 2012|osgroup=8.x/2012/2012r2|driverdir=2k12}}
  
==Install==
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== Further Information ==
  
===Prepare===
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=== RAW vs QCOW2 ===
* ​After clicking "Create VM" enter a Name: for your vm, select your Resource Pool (if you have one) and click Next
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The RAW file format provides slightly better performance WHILE qcow2 offers advanced features such as copy on write and [[Live_Snapshots]] independent of the backing storage.
* Select Microsoft Windows 8/2012 in the OS tab and click Next.
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Since Proxmox VE version 2.3, qcow2 is the default format.
* Select an ISO Image: for Windows Server 2012 in the CD/DVD tab and click Next.
 
* Select Bus/Device: VIRTIO, Storage: "your preferred storage" and Cache: Write back in the Hard Disk tab and click Next.
 
* Select number of Sockets and cores (the default of 1 is mostly sufficient) in the CPU tab and click Next.
 
* Select Automatically allocate memory and set the Maximum memory to a number you may require in the memory tab and click Next.
 
* Select Model: VirtIO (paravirtualized) in the Network tab and click Next
 
* Click finish and go to the Hardware tab of your newly created VM and click Add -> CD/DVD drive
 
* Select Storage:local and ISO image: virtio-win-x.x.iso and click create.
 
  
===Launch Windows install===
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=== VirtIO Drivers ===
* Start your newly created virtual machine using the "Start" link in the upper right.
 
* wait until the vm icon has turned white before you login using the "Console" link in the upper right. (NOTE: Sometimes the java console does not start at the first attempt. Please click refresh/reload in this case)​​
 
* Start the server install with "Install Now" and select the Operating System Flavor you like and click next and select "Custom: Install Windows only"
 
* Click Load driver, browse to CD named CDROM and select folder WIN8\AMD64 and confirm.
 
* Select driver "Red Hat VirtIO SCSI controller" and click next and install Windows to "Drive 0 / Unallocated Space"
 
* Wait until Windows is installed and select a Password for the local Administrator account and login to Windows.
 
  
===Install addtional VirtIO drivers===
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Make it really easy:Build your ISO with drivers already included:
* Start Explorer, Go to CDROM, copy folder WIN8\AMD64 to C:\Program Files\ and rename AMD64 to C:\Program Files\VirtIO
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[[Windows guests - build ISOs including VirtIO drivers]]
* open Device Manager and right click on Other Devices -> Ethernet Controller and select update driver software
 
* select "Browse my computer" select folder "C:\Program Files\VirtIO" and click "Install" for Red Hat VirtIO Ethernet Adapter.
 
* again in Device Manager right click on Other Devices -> PCI Device and select update driver software
 
* again "Browse my computer" select folder "C:\Program Files\VirtIO" and click "Install" for VirtIO Ballon Driver.
 
* open a powershell window, cd to "C:\Program Files\VirtIO" and enter: blnsvr.exe -i.
 
The BallonService that can help free up memory is installed. The BallonService is also responsible for displaying the correct amount of memory in the Proxmox console.
 
 
 
 
 
==further info==
 
 
 
===raw vs qcow2===
 
Raw file format provides better performance while qcow2 offers advanced features such as copy on write and snapshots. As of Qemu 1.4 / PVE 2.3 qcow2 is expected to provide superior performance.
 
 
 
===virtio drivers===
 
Use virtio dirvers for best performance. More info:
 
[[Paravirtualized Block Drivers for Windows]]
 
 
 
latest iso with virtio drivers :
 
http://alt.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/virtio-win/latest/images/bin/
 
  
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Latest ISO file with VirtIO drivers:
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https://fedorapeople.org/groups/virt/virtio-win/direct-downloads/latest-virtio/
  
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== See also ==
  
 
[[Windows 2003 guest best practices]]
 
[[Windows 2003 guest best practices]]
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[[Category: HOWTO]]
 
[[Category: HOWTO]]
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[[Category: Qemu/KVM]]

Latest revision as of 16:23, 17 March 2021

Introduction

This is a set of best practices to follow when installing a Windows Server 2012(R2) guest on a Proxmox VE server 6.x.

Install

Prepare

To obtain a good level of performance, we will install the Windows VirtIO Drivers during the Windows installation.

  • Create a new VM, select "Microsoft Windows 8.x/2012/2012r2" as Guest OS and enable the "Qemu Agent" in the System tab. Continue and mount your Windows Server 2012 ISO in the CDROM drive
  • For your virtual hard disk select "SCSI" as bus with "VirtIO SCSI" as controller. Set "Write back" as cache option for best performance (the "No cache" default is safer, but slower) and tick "Discard" to optimally use disk space (TRIM).
  • Configure your memory settings as needed, continue and set "VirtIO (paravirtualized)" as network device, finish your VM creation.
  • For the VirtIO drivers, upload the driver ISO (use the stable VirtIO ISO, download it from here) to your storage, create a new CDROM drive (use "Add -> CD/DVD drive" in the hardware tab) with Bus "IDE" and number 0. Load the Virtio Drivers ISO in the new virtual CDROM drive.
  • Now your ready to start the VM, just follow the Windows installer.

Launch Windows install

  • After starting your VM launch the noVNC console
  • Follow the installer steps until you reach the installation type selection where you need to select "Custom (advanced)"
  • Now click "Load driver" to install the VirtIO drivers for hard disk and the network.
    • Hard disk: Browse to the CD drive where you mounted the VirtIO driver and select folder "vioscsi\2k12\amd64" and confirm. Select the "Red Hat VirtIO SCSI pass-through controller" and click next to install it. Now you should see your drive.
    • Network: Repeat the steps from above (click again "Load driver", etc.) and select the folder "NetKVM\2k12\amd64", confirm it and select "Redhat VirtIO Ethernet Adapter" and click next.
    • Memory Ballooning: Again, repeat the steps but this time select the "Balloon\2k12\amd64" folder, then the "VirtIO Balloon Driver" and install it by clicking next. With these three drivers you should be good covered to run a fast virtualized Windows Server 2012 system.
  • Choose the drive and continue the Windows installer steps.

HINT: There is a video showing the process for a Windows Server 2016 installation which is the same as for Windows Server 2012.

Install Guest Agent and Services

Guest Agent

If you enabled the Qemu Agent option for the VM the mouse pointer will probably be off after the first boot.

To remedy this install the "Qemu Guest Agent". The installer is located on the driver CD under guest-agent\qemu-ga-x86_64.msi.

Drivers and Services

VirtIO guest tools installer

The easiest way to install missing drivers and services is to use the provided MSI installer. It is available on the driver CD since version "virtio-win-0.1.173-2".

Run the "virtio-win-gt-x64.msi" file located directly on the CD. If you do not plan to use SPICE you can deselect the "Qxl" and "Spice" features. Restart the VM after the installer is done.

After all this the RAM usage and IP configuration should be shown correctly in the summary page of the VM.

For more information and configuration about ballooning, see Dynamic Memory Management

Check for missing drivers

See also: Paravirtualized Block Drivers for Windows
Unknown device in device manager
Make sure to include subfolders

Go to the Device Manager to see if there are any drivers missing. For any unknown device:

  • Right click an select "Update driver".
  • Select "Browse my computer for driver software".
  • Select the Driver CD. Make sure that "Include subfolders" is checked.
  • Once a driver has been found you might be prompted with a security warning asking if you "Would like to install this device software". Click "Install".

Further Information

RAW vs QCOW2

The RAW file format provides slightly better performance WHILE qcow2 offers advanced features such as copy on write and Live_Snapshots independent of the backing storage. Since Proxmox VE version 2.3, qcow2 is the default format.

VirtIO Drivers

Make it really easy:Build your ISO with drivers already included: Windows guests - build ISOs including VirtIO drivers

Latest ISO file with VirtIO drivers: https://fedorapeople.org/groups/virt/virtio-win/direct-downloads/latest-virtio/

See also

Windows 2003 guest best practices

Windows 2008 guest best practices