Create Your Own Windows Template Using VirtualBox

In this tutorial I will go through all the steps to make your own Windows template for use on your OVH, Kimsufi, SoYouStart, or Hetzner server (more are probably supported, but these are the ones it’s confirmed working on).

Make sure to have the following things ready:

  • Windows ISO
  • Ubuntu ISO
  • VirtualBox (Which can be downloaded for free on the website).
  • A storage Server/VPS

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First step is to create a new Virtual Machine.

I’m using Windows 10 for this tutorial, but any Windows ISO will work.

Click on Next and give the VM 2048MB RAM (1GB should work fine as well, but 2GB is recommended).

Follow the screenshots below, 20GB is enough space for the Windows install.

Click on Create and go to the settings of the VM.

You will see the same screen as the screenshot below, go to Storage and click on the disk image. Click the litte disk right next to the “Optical Drive | SATA Port 1” and select your Windows .iso.

Click OK and start the VM, install Windows to your liking and add the RDP protocol to the Windows Firewall. Make sure to enable RDP as well, this all can be done by following the screenshots below.

Go to Control Panel --> System and Security --> System and click on Remote settings.

Select the Allow remote connections to this computer and click Apply.

Now go to Control Panel --> System and Security --> Windows Firewall and click on Allow an app or featured through Windows Firewall. Click on Change settings, scroll down till you see Remote Desktop in the list, click the checkbox and check Private as well.

If you have a server from which the drivers are not supported by Windows by default you can add them using pnputil. Open up CMD (As Admin) and type the following in the commandprompt: pnputil -a C:\DriverFiles\driver.inf.

You can download drivers from the Intel, Realtek etc websites, unpack them and find the correct driver.inf for your version of Windows. If it’s not working out for you, then please contact me with the driver details, Windows version and the hardware you’re trying to install the driver for.

Now shutdown the VM and make it boot from the Ubuntu ISO which you can download from the Ubuntu website.

Go to the VM settings and replace the Windows 10 ISO with the Ubuntu ISO. Go to System and uncheck the Hard Disk checkbox and have Optical Drive checked as the only one, this will make sure that the server will boot from the Ubuntu ISO without it booting Windows from the HDD.

Boot the VM and click on Try Ubuntu.

Open the terminal, which can be found by clicking the upper left Ubuntu logo and searching for Terminal.

Make yourself the root user by typing sudo -i in the terminal and create a temporary directory by typing mkdir /tmp/template.

Install SSHFS with apt-get install sshfs and mount your storage VPS with the following command: sudo sshfs root@ServerIP:/directory/to/store/template /tmp/template.

Once that’s all done, make a copy of the disk where windows is installed on using DD. In VirtualBox the disk is usually named /dev/sda, this can be checked by typing fdisk -l in the terminal. We’re going to use the following command to make a copy to the disk and upload it to our storage Server/VPS.

dd if=/dev/sda | gzip -1 | dd of=/tmp/template/WindowsTemplate.gz

This will take some time, it all depends on the speed of your internet, your computer and your server.

Once done, you can install your own template on your server using one of my tutorials and by replacing the link to my templates with yours.

Thank you for reading this tutorial, and remember, if you have a question just contact me!

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