System Requirements and Installation


Updated: November 24, 2015

Applies To: Windows Server Technical Preview

This topic addresses the information you need to install Windows Server® 2016 Technical Preview. We use the following terms to distinguish among different actions, any of which could be involved in a new Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview deployment.

  • Installation is the basic concept of getting the new operating system on your hardware. Specifically, a clean installation requires deleting the previous operating system. Clean installation is the only supported option for this release

  • Upgrade means moving from your existing operating system to Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview, while staying on the same hardware. For this release, upgrade to or from Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview is not supported

  • Migration means moving from your existing operating system to Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview by transferring to a different set of hardware. For this release, migration is not supported.


In this release, only clean installations are supported.

In this release, you cannot mount ReFS volumes formatted by using Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3. These volumes will appear as "raw," though the data is intact. If you need to recover data from those volumes, mount them using Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3. ReFS volumes formatted by using Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2 can be mounted in this release without issues.


If at the time of installation, you choose to install with the Server Core option, you should be aware that no GUI components are installed at all and you will not be able to install or uninstall them with Server Manager. If you need GUI features, be sure to choose the "Server with Desktop Experience" option when you install Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview. For more information, see Getting Started with Nano Server


Although this release is pre-keyed for activation, if you subsequently run sysprep /generalize, the key is deleted and you will have to re-enter it. For this release, use these product keys:

  • Windows Server Edition Family (Datacenter): 2KNJJ-33Y9H-2GXGX-KMQWH-G6H67

  • Windows Server Essentials: FVPY2-6KNF7-8CKF8-YHJDY-BBDJ8

Review system requirements

The following are estimated system requirements for the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview. If your computer has less than the "minimum" requirements, you will not be able to install this product correctly. Actual requirements will vary based on your system configuration and the applications and features you install.


The highly diverse scope of potential deployments makes it unrealistic to state “recommended” system requirements that would be generally applicable. Consult documentation for each of the server roles you intend to deploy for more details about the resource needs of particular server roles. For the best results, conduct test deployments to determine appropriate system requirements for your particular deployment scenarios.


Processor performance depends not only on the clock frequency of the processor, but also on the number of processor cores and the size of the processor cache. The following are the processor requirements for this product:

  • Minimum: 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor


The following are the estimated RAM requirements for this product:

  • Minimum: 512 MB


If you create a virtual machine with the minimum supported hardware parameters (1 processor core and 512 MB RAM) and then attempt to install this release on the virtual machine, Setup will fail.

To avoid this, do one of the following:

  • Allocate more than 800 MB RAM to the virtual machine you intend to install this release on. Once Setup has completed, you can change the allocation to as little as 512 MB RAM, depending on the actual server configuration.

  • Interrupt the boot process of this release on the virtual machine with SHIFT+F10. In the command prompt that opens, use Diskpart.exe to create and format an installation partition. Run Wpeutil createpagefile /path=C:\pf.sys (assuming the installation partition you created was C:). Close the command prompt and proceed with Setup.

Disk space requirements

The following are the estimated minimum disk space requirements for the system partition.

  • Minimum: 32 GB


    Be aware that 32 GB should be considered an absolute minimum value for successful installation. This minimum should allow you to install Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview in Server Core mode, with the Web Services (IIS) server role. A server in Server Core mode is about 4 GB smaller than the same server in Server with a GUI mode. For the smallest possible installation footprint, start with a Server Core installation and then completely remove any server roles or features you do not need by using Features on Demand. For more information about Server Core and Minimal Server Interface modes, see Windows Server Installation Options.

    The system partition will need extra space for any of the following circumstances:

    • If you install the system over a network.

    • Computers with more than 16 GB of RAM will require more disk space for paging, hibernation, and dump files.

Other requirements

You also must have the following:

  • Gigabit (10/100/1000baseT) Ethernet adapter

  • DVD drive (if you intend to install the operating system from DVD media)

The following items are not strictly required, but are necessary for certain features:

  • Super VGA (1024 x 768) or higher-resolution monitor

  • Keyboard and Microsoft® mouse (or other compatible pointing device)

  • Internet access (fees may apply)