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How to install Windows Server 2003 on VirtualBox

2 June, 2020
In this post we will show you how you can install Microsoft Windows Server 2003 on the Sun xVM VirtualBox virtual machine. ENTERS!

In this post we will show you how you can install Microsoft Windows Server 2003 on the virutal Sun xVM machine VirtualBox. ENTERS!



Welcome to another new post. In this post, I come to present you a SUPER COMPLETE and understandable guide, which I can even assure you that an adult who does not know anything about this, will be able to achieve it. On this occasion, I come to introduce you to the installation guide for Windows Server 2003 in VirtualBox. Without further ado, let's go!

How to install Windows Server 2003 on VirtualBox

This is a complete Windows Server 2003 installation guide. Before you begin, you should make sure you have the program Sun xVM VirtualBox in its version 3.0. You can consult the following internet link to download it in case you do not have it installed on your computer, here is the following link.

You will see a green button on the right side of your screen, click to start the download. When finished, open that program and follow the installation wizard (its steps are explained and detailed).

You should also make sure that it contains the following files (click on each internet link to go to its direct download):

Download Win Server 2003 ISO

Now we can continue with the installation of Windows 2003 Server.

Creation of our virtual machine to install Windows Server 2003

Step 1: Open the program Sun xVM Virtual Box, which will be found on your computer desktop.

Step 2: Now, click on the "New" icon, located at the top left of the program:

Step 4: Then click "Next".

Step 5: You will see that there are different sections:

  • Name: enter the name of the system to install. In this case, the field goes with "Windows 2003 Server".
  • OS: It asks us what type of platform we are going to use. Leave that section as is (in Microsoft Windows).
  • Version: pull down the menu and choose the option "Windows 2003".

Then click "Next".

Step 6: On the next slide, it asks you for the memory size. Edit the value and place around 1 GB (this is depending on how much RAM your server has and how many tasks it will execute), and then click "Next".

Step 7: Then, check the box "Boot Hard Disk (Primary Master)", and select the option "Create new Virtual Disk".

Step 8: A pop-up window will open for you. Click Next".

Step 9: Select the "Dynamic Expansion Storage" option, and click "Next."

Step 10: Select the location of the file. By default, that value is "WINDOWS 2003" (it also depends on the name you gave the virtual machine), but if you want to change it, you can. In the field called “Size (S)”, it is recommended to set the minimum value of about 20 GB (in the same way, this depends on the use of the server [you will not want to put 20 GB if it is to store files in the cloud]), but it will depend on the task to which that team is assigned. When you're ready, click "Next."

Step 11: Click on "Finish", then, in the same way, on "Finish".

Step 12: The window will close. You can see that on the left side of the program a new section has been added. Select it.

Step 13: After that, go to the “Configuration” section (it is found in the upper left part of the program).

Step 14: Enter into the "System" menu, and in the "Boot order:”, Locate the floppy option, select it, and double-click the down arrow.

Step 15: Now, uncheck the floppy option.

Step 16: Then, go to the "Screen" option, and in the "Video memory" section, edit the value and give it around 80MB (this depends on how the server is going to be used [found on the right side of your screen]).

Step 17: Now, in the section that says "Extended functionalities", click on the box called "Enable 3D acceleration".

Step 18: Ready. Click the "Accept" button (located at the bottom right of your screen).

Step 19: Now, we go to the "CD / DVD-ROM" section, and click on "Mount the CD / DVD drive ”.

Step 20: Next, we mark the "ISO Image File" box, and click on the folder icon (located on the right side).

Step 21: A window will open for you. Click on the "Add" button (located at the top of the window).

Step 22: A window will open for you. At this point you should have already unzipped the file that contains the Windows 2003 Server ISO. Find the ISO and select it.

Step 23: Now, click on the "Open" button.

Step 24: The window that opened when you clicked "Add" will close. Now, click on "Select".

Step 25: Now, click "OK" to close the virtual machine configuration window.

Step 26: The previous configuration window will close. Now, click on the green arrow once.

Step 27: You will see a blue window appear saying “Windows Server Installation”; wait for it to load the necessary files. When done, you will see a black window appear, and then a blue window with more text appears.

Step 28: As you can see, the title will tell you "Installing Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition"; press "Enter" to continue with the installation.

Step 29: Now, it will show you a license agreement; Please read it carefully, and then press "F8" to accept them (if not, press "Esc" to abandon the installation).

Step 30: If you accepted the terms, you will now be shown the information where Windows XP will be installed. We will not create a partition because we will use all the memory space that we allocated at the beginning of this guide, so press “Enter”.

Step 31: Now, if you chose less than 4GB for Windows 2003 Server disk space, and your hard disk has no errors, select "FAT (fast)". If you chose more than 4GB and your hard drive has no errors, select "NTFS" (fast). The remaining options are the same but if your hard drive has some kind of error. For the purpose of this guide, we will select "NTFS (fast)".

Step 32: Regardless of the medium, wait for a process to be carried out that will be indicated in a lower bar on your screen. The virtual machine will reboot if necessary.

Step 33: When finished, wait a few moments for the initial screen to load ...

Step 34: The main installation of Windows 2003 Server will begin. Wait for Windows XP to configure. On the left side, it will tell you what is being done.

Step 35: Minutes later, a window called "Windows Installation Program" will appear. There will be 2 sections: one to configure the regional and language settings, and the second section (divided by a dividing line), is to view text services and languages of the input device. If you want to configure something, enter by clicking on the right buttons of each section. When you're ready, click "Next" from the original window.

Step 36: Now, write your full name, and that of your company (if you have one), and then click "Next". You will see that it will ask you for the product key; enter a serial to activate the product.

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Step 37: Now, you will have to choose between the 2 types of licenses. If you choose the first option, you will be telling Windows Server that you already know the number of servers to which they will connect and will have licenses, and in the other option, the licenses are installed on the computers. When you are ready, click on the box you like and click "Next".

Step 38: Now, type in the team name, and WE SUGGEST TO PUT A PASSWORD to the team to prevent intruders on our network; If so, put it in the corresponding sections. When you're ready, click "Next."

Step 39: Now, you will need to set the date and time, and your time zone. When you're ready, click "Next."

Step 40: Please wait while Windows 2003 Server works. When finished, another window will appear, asking if you want to use the typical or custom configuration of Windows Server (the typical one is the one that already has some configuration on the computer, and the custom one, you must manually configure the computer parameters). For the purposes of this guide, we will click on "Typical Configuration". When you're ready, click "Next."

Step 41: The wizard will ask you to configure in the network aspect if your computer is affiliated with a domain or not. If it is not, click on the first option and configure the workgroup to which the team will belong, and if it does belong to a domain, configure the domain name by clicking on the second option. For the purposes of this guide, we will click on the first option, since our team does not have a domain.

Step 42: Wait for Windows Server to make the settings with the given values. When you do, Windows 2003 Server will be initialized again. Afterwards, a window will appear saying “Welcome to Windows”, press the “CTRL + ALT + DELETE” key set to continue. If for some reason the process does not work for you, locate the menus in the upper right part, click on "Machine" and click on "Insert Ctrl + Alt + Del".

Step 43: When you do, a window will appear asking for your login credential. Enter your password that you set up for the computer.

Step 44: Now, wait for Windows Server to initialize. When that happens, a startup window will load that will say "Windows Server 2003 R2 Installation Program", which will help us in our final steps of installing this system. Click on the "Create an icon [...]" box, and then click "Next".

Step 45: Now, the program will tell you that it will copy the necessary files and the icon on your desktop, click "Next".

Step 46: Wait. Windows Server will be working on copying the necessary files, this may take a few minutes. When finished, click on the "Finish" button.

Step 47: An update wizard will open to provide recent updates for Windows Server 2003 R2, if you have a stable internet connection, I recommend that you follow the steps in the wizard to keep your computer as safe and up-to-date as possible.

Step 48: Now Windows XP will ask you if you want to configure more users for this computer. For the purposes of this guide, we will only configure the "Your name:" section; enter your name.

Step 49: With this, we have finished the final installation wizard. Now, click on the "Finish" button (located in the lower right).

Step 50: Ready. Wait for Windows XP to start and you can use it.


Setting up a server

In this next section, we will see how you can configure your server. Note that Windows Server contains different "roles" or rather, server types. For the purposes of this guide, we will refer to the creation of an email server.

THEORY: An email server must contain POP3, IMAP and SMTP protocols, in addition to connecting with a DNS server to resolve email addresses. With this in mind, let's start configuring the server:

Step 1: Log into your server.

Step 2: Click on the Windows start icon, and then enter "Manage your server."

Step 3: Click the "Add / Remove Role" button.

Step 4: A setup wizard will open for you. Click Next".

Step 5: Click on "Custom Configuration", and we will click "Next".

Step 6: Now the list you will see on your screen will be all the different types of roles that exist in Windows Server; For the purposes of our guide, we will select "DNS Server", and click "Next".

Step 7: We review settings, and again, click "Next".

Step 8: Wait for it to install. When finished, click "Next" on the window that will open.

Step 9: Click on “Create a direct search area […]”, and click on “Next”.

Step 10: Click on "This server maintains the zone", and click "Next".

Step 11: Now, in the zone name, put a domain name, for example “”. When you're ready, click "Next."

Step 12: Now, leave the option to “Create a new file with this file name” and click “Next”.

Step 13: Click on "Do not support dynamic updates", and click "Next".

Step 14: Click on "No, do not forward inquiries" and click "Next".

Step 15: Wait, Windows Server is creating the DNS server. When the process is finished, a window will open for you. Click on "Finish".

Note: If you get an error called "root hint", don't worry.

Step 16: You have configured DNS correctly. Now, we will install the mail server. Click on "Finish" in the previous window.

Step 17: Click on "Add or remove role" again, and go to the section where the list of roles is attached.

Step 18: Now, click on "Mail Server", and press "Next".

Step 19: Now, enter the domain name that you put in when you installed the DNS server. In our case, it was “”. When you're ready, click "Next."

Step 20: Review the settings, and click "Next."

Step 21: Please wait, Windows Server is configuring the mail server. When finished, a window will open, click "Finish".

Step 22: Now, to configure an email, look for the "Mail server" section, and click on "Manage this email server", from the "Mail server" section.

Step 23: Now, log into your server (right side of the screen).

Step 24: Enter inside your web page (in the same way, right part of your screen).

Step 25: Click on “Add mailbox”, and then, in the “mailbox name” section, enter the name of the email. For example, I would like to add [email protected], then, I'll just enter "coria".

Step 26: In the password section, enter the password for that email.

Step 27: Add that user. A window will appear with the information. Write it down, since when using a mail manager, you will be asked for this information.


We hope this post to install Windows Server 2003 in VirtualBox has helped you. We want to inform you that in our blog, you will find more system installations in VirtualBox, in case you want to stop by. Thanks for visiting us! Until another post.