Install Windows on Vultr VPS – Here are the steps to build your server

Install Windows on Vultr VPS – Here are the steps to build your server

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There are people who are still die hard fans of Windows.

Vultr offers Windows OS, but there are many limitations.

Windows 2012 and 2016 only come up with 64 bit Vultr systems. So, it costs you a lot.

But, what should you do if you need a custom operating system with less cost?

At 1 onlyhost, we help server owners install Windows on their Vultr VPS from custom ISO as part of our Managed Cloud Services.

Today, we’ll discuss how we install Windows on a Vultr Cloud Compute.


Install Windows on Vultr VPS – How to do it?

One of the features of Vultr is that it provides a set of ISO templates in the Vultr ISO Library. Custom ISO users can check for their required ISOs in this library during server deployment.

Unfortunately, Vultr doesn’t include any kind of custom Windows ISOs in this ISO library. So, we need to manually upload the ISO during server deployment.

Now, let’s see how our Support Engineers upload custom ISO and install Windows on a Vultr VPS.


a) Prepare Windows ISO

Vultr accepts only Windows ISOs that meet the following requirements.

  • The ISO file should end in .iso extension.
  • The download URL of the custom ISO file should be an absolute path.
  • The ISO must include VirtIO drivers. Otherwise, the installer will not be able to detect the disk. VirtIO is a virtualization standard for network and device disk drivers.


The official ISOs from Microsoft won’t work, because they don’t include the VirtIO drivers. Now, let’s see how our Support Experts create a Windows ISO with built in VirtIO drivers.

We get the Windows ISO files with latest binary of VirtIO drivers from online. After that, we extract the Windows ISO using compression tools such as 7zip and place in a folder like c:\custom\winserver. Further, we extract VirtIO ISO to the folder c:\custom\winserver\virtio. Finally, we use ISO mastering tools to create custom ISO from it.

Now, this custom ISO can be used for deploying Windows server.


b) Upload custom ISO

Secondly, we upload this custom Windows ISO from the Vultr account control panel. We usually upload custom ISOs from Servers > ISO > Add ISO > Give the Upload URL > Upload.


Install windows on vultr vps

How to add custom ISO in Vultr?


Most importantly, we give the direct link to upload the ISO from the remote machine. The time to upload the ISO depends on the size of the file. Once it’s complete, the status of the custom ISO is shown as Available in the Vultr account control panel along with the size of the ISO.


c) Build a Vultr VPS with custom ISO

Now, our Support Engineers use this custom ISO to build the new Vultr instance. We follow the below steps to deploy a new Vultr VPS.

  • Access Vultr account control panel.
  • Click on Deploy new server(blue + icon).
  • Select the required server location.
  • Got to Server Type > Upload ISO > My ISOs > Select the ISO.
  • Select the Server size and Hostname.
  • Click on Deploy now.


d) Complete Windows Installation

It normally takes a couple of minutes to mount the ISO. Once this is done, our Support Experts access the Vultr instance using Console and do the rest of the server setup.


Install windows on vultr vps

How to access Vultr Console?


Our Support Engineers ensure that the following steps are completed during the windows server installation.

  • Firstly, we select the language, time and input method.
  • To install a new copy of Windows, we select the installation type as Custom.
  • After that, we select the boot drive. The actual installation will then take place. It normally takes about 5 minutes.
  • Later, we set the password of the Administrator account.
  • Additionally, we enable remote connections to the server.
  • Finally, we set the privacy settings on the server. Also, verify the network configuration of the server.


It’s been done!! Users can now use Remote Desktop connection to access the Windows system .

e) Detach the ISO

Once the system is completely setup, we recommend server owners to remove the custom ISO. Because, if the ISO is mounted, the system will always boot from the ISO during every reboot. We can remove the ISO from Servers > Click on the Vultr instance hostname > Settings > Custom ISO > Remove ISO.

[Need help to install Windows on your Vultr VPS? Our Support Experts can help you here.]

Install Windows on Vultr VPS – Common failure points

Let’s see some common errors during the installation of Windows on Vultr VPS and how our Server Experts fix them.

1) Custom ISO format errors

One of the common errors that customers may come across during Windows installation is given below.

No signed device drivers were found. Make sure that the installation media contains the correct drivers, and then click OK.


This is because Windows setup can’t read the ISO file attached.

In such cases, our Support Experts verify the ISO file and ensure that the VirtIO drivers are included in the ISO. In addition to that, we confirm that the file is created as a .iso file.

[Need an expert to fix this error. Click here and get one of our Server Experts to look into your issue.]

2) ISO mount errors

Similarly, errors can occur when mounting the ISO during the server deployment process. In such cases, our Server Experts access the Console of the server from Vultr account control panel to get the error details and fix them.

Further, we again mount the custom ISO from Servers > Settings > Custom ISO to complete the server setup process.


In short, it’s possible to install Windows on Vultr instances. Today, we’ve discussed how our Dedicated Engineers install Windows on Vultr VPS and fix the common errors with it.

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