Hyper-V and Legacy Applications (Part 4)

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In the previous part of this article series, we worked through the Windows NT setup process until we arrived at the graphical portion of the Setup process. In this article, I want to pick up where I left off.

Continuing the Windows NT Installation Process

At this point in the installation process, you should be at the point where Setup launches the Windows NT Setup Wizard, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A: beginning the graphical portion of Setup

Click Next to bypass the wizard’s Welcome screen, and you will be taken to a screen that asks you for your name and for the name of your organization. Enter this information, and click Next.

You should now see a screen that asks you to enter your CD key. The CD is basically the prehistoric equivalent to a product key. It is a whole lot shorter than the 25 digit product keys that Microsoft uses today though.

After you enter the CD key, click Next and you will be prompted to enter a computer name. The name that you are entering is essentially a NetBIOS name. It must be fifteen characters or less, can not contain special symbols, and cannot be in FQDN format.

Click Next, and you will be asked if you would like for the server to act as a primary domain controller, a backup domain controller, or as a standalone server. This has always been an important question in the Windows NT setup process, but it is perhaps even more important today than it was when Windows NT was a current operating system.

Things have changed a lot since the days of Windows NT. Although Windows 2000 was backward compatible with Windows NT, Windows NT cannot participate in a modern Active Directory. Windows Server 2008 does not support Windows NT servers in the Active Directory at all. Windows Server 2003 does support Windows NT 4.0 servers, but only if the Active Directory is running in Windows 2000 Mixed Mode. Of course if you presently have Windows NT servers on your network that you are trying to virtualize, then your Active Directory is probably already functioning in the necessary mode.

If the Active Directory is running in a mode other than Windows 2000 Mixes modem then you would not have a choice other than to create a new domain, or to join the Windows NT server to another Windows NT domain that resides outside of your forest. Forests were not introduced until Windows 2000, so creating a new domain in Windows NT is kind of like creating a separate forest.

If you need to create a new domain, then you will have to choose the Primary Domain Controller option. After you have made your selection, click Next.

The following screen will ask you to enter the server’s administrative password. It’s funny how times change, because if you look at Figure B, you can see that Microsoft requires you to use short passwords (14 characters or less), and recommends that you write the password down!

Figure B: The Administrator password must be less than 14 characters in length

The next screen that you will encounter after clicking Next asks you if you want to create an emergency repair disk. In its day, Windows NT was fairly difficult to repair when problems would arise. An emergency repair disk could sometimes be used to help the administrator to repair damage to the file system.

As much as I would like to recommend that you create an emergency repair disk, you really can not. Windows NT expects you to provide a floppy disk to use as the emergency repair disk. Today most servers do not include a floppy drive. If by some miracle your host server does have a floppy drive, it is only accessible to the root partition (the Windows Server 2008 host operating system). It is not accessible to virtual servers.

Tell Setup that you do not want to create an emergency repair disk, and then click Next. You should now see the screen shown in Figure C, which asks you which server components you want to install. Pick the components that you want to install, and click Next.

Figure C: You had the option of installing games on Windows NT Server

You should now see a screen informing you that Setup is ready to install Windows NT Networking. Click Next, and you will be taken to a screen that asks you if the server is wired to the network, or if it connects to the network remotely through a dial up connection. Choose the Wired to the Network option, as shown in Figure D, and click Next.

Figure D: Tell Setup that the server is wired to the network

The next screen that you will see asks you if you want to install Internet Information Services (yes, IIS has been around for that long). Whether or not you should install IIS really just depends on your intended use for the server. Keep in mind that although Setup won’t stop you, it is usually a bad idea (for security reasons) to install IIS on a domain controller.

After clicking Next, you will see a screen that displays any network adapters that are present on your server. The list initially appears to be blank, and even the Start Search button does not allow Windows NT to detect any network adapters. The reason for this is that Windows NT is running inside of a virtual machine, and it does not know how to deal with the virtual Ethernet adapter (yet).

There is actually a design flaw in the Setup program (or maybe it is intentional) that keeps you from being able to move forward without a network adapter being installed in the server. The only way to continue is to click the Select from List button, and then pick a random network adapter from the list, as shown in Figure E.

Figure E: You have to lie to Setup about what type of NIC is installed

Click Next, and you will be prompted to choose the protocols that are present on your network. Go ahead and deselect NWLink IPX / SPX, and click Next.

Windows should ask you which network services you want to install. Click Next to accept the defaults. Click Next one more time to begin the network configuration process.

At this point, you will see a message asking you if you want to use a DHCP server. Click Yes, whether you really do want to use a DHCP server to assign an IP address to the server or not. For now, we just need to get Setup installed. We will deal with connecting Windows to the network later.

Setup should now perform a couple of automated configuration tasks, and will eventually take you to a screen that allows you to disable network bindings. Don’t disable any bindings, just click Next. You should be prompted to click Next one more time to start the networking services.

If you have designated your server to act as a primary domain controller, you will be prompted to enter a name for the domain that you are creating. Choose your domain name carefully, because you won’t be able to change it later on. Click Next, followed by Finish to complete the installation process.

Even though the Setup wizard is done, you aren’t quite finished. You must set your time zone and screen resolution before the installation process can fully complete. Windows NT should now be installed, as shown in Figure F.

Figure F: Windows NT should be up and running now


Although we have installed Windows NT, it is not able to attach to our network yet. In Part 5, I will show you how to connect your Windows NT server to the network.

If you would like to read the other parts of this aritcle series please go to

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