Setting up a Server 8 – System Center 2012 testenvironment… on a laptop – Part 1

Working on the road a lot, I wanted to setup a demo/test environment to test Windows Server 8 Beta, together with System Center 2012.
As you might know, you need SP1 for SC2012 in order to properly run on / support Windows Server 8.
Now at this time the SP1 is only in CTP status, so we’ll just have to deal with that.
First get the download for SP1 CTP here.
The download includes 2 updated items of System Center 2012; SCVMM and DPM.
Which means that the other components (SCCM, SCOM, SCSM, Orchestrator, Applocker) are already Windows 8 compliant. Or are they? Let’s find out.

    Building the lab.

So, i’m running a Dell Precision M4600 laptop, equipped with a Core i7 2860QM CPU, 16 GB of RAM, an internal 750 GB SATA harddrive, and an external 1 TB E-Sata harddrive.
This is my one and only system for day-to-day work, so i’m running a triple-boot on it.
First a Windows 7 x64 Enterprise installation, for normal day-to-day operations.
Second, a Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise running from VHD, which i use as a Hyper-V host, running a demo environment of SCCM 2007, SCVMM 2008 R2 and SCOM 2007.
And finally, another VHD of 60 GB to which I installed Windows Server 8 Beta.
The VHD disks were easily created from within Windows 7, choosing Action->Create VHD in Disk Management. No need to get diskparty-ing when you can just run this from the GUI, right?
Then after creating these VHD’s, rebooting and starting the Setup of Windows Server, on the bit where you get to select the harddrive to install to, I pressed Shift-F10 to get a command prompt.
Then type diskpart, and mount the VHD file by typing “Select vdisk file=”
Then just type “attach vdisk” and the disk is mounted.
Exit diskpart, and exit the command prompt, to continue with the Windows Server installation.
Now going back to the Windows Server installation screen where you can select the disk/partition to install to, press Refresh, to get the newly mounted vdisk as an option to install to.
Choose the vdisk, and continue the install.
Piece of cake huh? If you need more guidance on this, just do a google/bing query for “Install Server 8 to VHD”.
I had previously did this also for Windows Server 2008 R2 on another laptop, so i only had to re-add this VHD installation to the bootmenu of the laptop . How?
By doing a little bcdedit, to basically create a new copy of the exisiting bootmenu, and adding the path to the VHD to it.
Here’s the tech info for it on teh technetz.
So, now that we’ve got the basics set up (installed Windows Server 8 Beta to VHD), let’s go configure it.
Well, in the next posting then.


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