How to Create a Custom Windows ISO with Virtio Drivers

Windows installations must use Virtio drivers in order to run properly on our cloud by default. This article explains how to add Virtio drivers to a Windows Server installation ISO. You can run Windows on our cloud without Virtio by setting the appropriate image properties on a standard Windows ISO as described here.

Create the ISO

1 - Download the Windows Server ISO of your choice.

2 - Download the latest Virtio drivers here: https://fedorapeople.org/groups/virt/virtio-win/direct-downloads/stable-virtio/virtio-win.iso

3 - Make a folder: C:\windowsiso

4 - Extract the Windows Server ISO to: C:\windowsiso

5 - Extract the Virtio drivers ISO to: C:\windowsiso\virtio

6 - Use an ISO creation tool (such as UltraISO) to create your custom ISO from the contents in C:\windowsiso

ISO Settings

- Filesystem: UDF DVD

- Boot image: C:\windowsiso\boot\etfsboot.com (in UltraISO, for example, select the file and click Set Boot File)

Use the ISO

1 - Save the ISO and upload it to a public URL. Use the URL to upload the ISO to your RamNode Cloud account. (See related)

2 - Select the ISO under My images and click Launch.

3 - Enter an instance name, select the desired instance flavor, and click Create & Boot from ISO.

4 - Once the instance status says "Booted from ISO", open the Console and work through the Windows installation steps.

5 - When asked where you want to install Windows, click Load driver.


6 - Choose the appropriate Virtio drivers for your version of Windows. (For Windows Server 2019, for example, you should select D:\virtio\amd64\w10)


7 - Finish the install and log into Windows with the ISO still mounted.

8 - Open Device Manager > Other devices.

9 - Right click Ethernet Controller, select Update driver.


10 - Search under CD Drive D: for virtio > NetKVM > your Windows version (w10 for Server 2019) > amd64.

11 - Click Next and Install to enable networking.

12 - From the cloud control panel, select Unmount ISO and Reboot to finish the install.

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