Running a Windows Server 2003 VM in Virtualbox 🌱

  1. Locate a Windows Server 2003 iso
  2. Launch Virtualbox
  3. Create a New VM by selecting Machine > New

    Name: Windows Server 2003
    Machine Folder: C:\VMs
    Type: Microsoft Windows
    Version: Windows 2003 (32-bit)
    Memory Size: 2048 MB
    Hard disk: Create a virtual hard disk now

  4. Click Create
  5. On the Create Virtual Hard Disk dialog

    Name the virtual disk image Windows Server 2003.vdi
    File size: 10.00 GB
    Hard disk file type: VDI
    Storage on physical hard disk: Dynamically Allocated

  6. Click Create
  7. Select the VM and Click Settings
  8. Select Storage
  9. Click on the CD-ROM drive
  10. Select the disc dropdown to the right > Choose a virtual optical disc file...
  11. Browse to and select the Server 2003 .iso file
  12. Click OK
  13. Make sure the Windows Server 2003 VM is selected and click Start > Normal
  14. Windows Setup will start automatically
  15. Press Enter to Continue with Setup 
  16. Press F8 to Agree to the Licensing Agreement
  17. Press Enter to Install to the Unpartitioned space
  18. Select the top option to Format the partition using the NTFS file system (Quick) > Press Enter
  19. Wait for Windows to reboot the VM
  20. Do not press anything to boot the CD-ROM
  21. Wait for Windows to install and configure drivers and devices
  22. Click Next
  23. Enter a name and organization, click Next
  24. Enter a valid Windows Server 2003 product key (VRXXR-VJC3H-YVWYT-HCPDD-HFMQ3), click Next
  25. Click Next on the Licensing Modes dialog
  26. Give the Computer a name
  27. Set an administrator password and re-type to confirm > Click Next
  28. Set the date/time and select a timezone > Click Next
  29. Continue Clicking the Next button to accept defaults and continue installing Server 2003
  30. Wait for Windows to finish copying files, the VM will reboot
  31. Do not press anything to boot the CD-ROM
  32. Select Input > Keyboard > Ctrl-Alt-Delete
  33. Enter the administrator password > Click OK
  34. Click Finish > Yes
  35. Close Server Manager
  36. Welcome back to Server 2003
  37. Revel in the nostalgia

Optional Steps

  1. Select Devices > Insert Guest Additions CD image...
  2. If VirtualBox Guest Additions doesn't autorun, open My Computer > CD Drive > Double click VBoxWindowsAdditions-x86.exe
  3. Install Guest Additions accepting the defaults
  4. Accept any driver popups from the Guest Additions installer by clicking the Continue Anyway button
  5. After the installation completes select Reboot now > Click Finish
  6. Upon rebooting, you can now full screen the VM and the interal resolution will automatically change to match the window size
  7. Download i12bretro Windows SP.iso Download
  8. Select Devices > Optical Drives > Select disk image...
  9. Navigate to and select i12bretro_Windows_SP.iso
  10. If the VM doesn't autorun, open My Computer > CD Drive
  11. Open the Serve 2003 folder > Double click Server 2003 SP2 x86.exe
  12. Follow the dialogs to install Service Pack 2
  13. Once complete, Select Devices > Optical Drives > Remove disk from virtual drive
  14. Click Finish to reboot and complete the SP2 install