Upload a Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 specialized image to Azure

Banner introducing WS08 image topic

You can now run a Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 VM in the cloud with Azure.

Prep the Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 specialized image

Before you can upload an image, make the following changes:

  • Download and install Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2) if you don't already have it installed on your image.

  • Configure Remote Desktop (RDP) settings.

    1. Go to Control Panel > System settings.

    2. Select Remote settings in the left-hand menu.

      Screenshot of system settings, highlighting "Remote settings."

    3. Select the Remote tab in System Properties.

      Screenshot of the remote tab in system properties.

    4. Select Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure).

    5. Click Apply, and OK.

  • Configure Windows Firewall settings.

    1. At the command prompt in Admin mode, enter "wf.msc" for Windows Firewall and advanced security settings.
    2. Sort findings by Ports, select port 3389. Screenshot of WIndows Firewall settings' inbound rules.
    3. Enable Remote Desktop (TCP-IN) for the profiles: Domain, Private, and Public (shown above).
  • Save all settings and shut down the image.

  • If you're using Hyper-V, make sure the child AVHD is merged into the parent VHD for persisting changes.

A current known bug causes the administrator password on the uploaded image to expire within 24 hours. Follow these steps to avoid this issue:

  1. Go to Start > Run
  2. Type lusrmgr.msc
  3. Select Users under Local Users and Groups
  4. Right-click Administrator and select Properties
  5. Select password never expires and select OK Screenshot of administrator properties.

Uploading the image VHD

You can use the script below to upload the VHD. Before you do this, you'll need the publish settings file for your Azure account. Get your Azure file settings.

Here is the script:



      # Import publishsettings
      Import-AzurePublishSettingsFile -PublishSettingsFile <LocationOfPublishingFile>
      $subscriptionId = 'xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxx'

      # Set NodeFlight subscription as default subscription
      Select-AzureRmSubscription -SubscriptionId $subscriptionId
      Set-AzureRmContext -SubscriptionId $subscriptionId
      $rgName = "<resourcegroupname>"

      $urlOfUploadedImageVhd = "<BlobUrl>/<NameForVHD>.vhd"
      Add-AzureRmVhd -ResourceGroupName $rgName -Destination $urlOfUploadedImageVhd -LocalFilePath "<FilePath>"

Deploy the image in Azure

In this section, you will be deploying the image VHD in Azure.


Do not use pre-defined user images in Azure.

  1. Create a new resource group.

  2. Create a new storage blob inside the resource group.

  3. Create a container inside the storage blob.

  4. Copy the URL of the blob storage from properties.

  5. Use the script provided above to upload your image to the new storage blob.

  6. Create a disk for your VHD. a. Go to Disks, click Add. b. Enter a name for the disk. Select the subscription you want to use, set the region, and choose the account type. c. For Source Type, select storage. Browse to the blob VHD location created using the script. d. Select OS type Windows and Size (default: 1023). e. Click Create.

  7. Go to the Disk Created, click Create VM. a. Name the VM. b. Select the existing group you created in step 5 where you uploaded the disk. c. Pick a size and SKU plan for your VM. d. Select a network interface on the settings page. Make sure the network interface has the following rule specified:

    PORT:3389 Protocol: TCP Action: Allow Priority: 1000 Name: 'RDP-Rule'. e. Click Create.