Installing Windows on a Cloud Instance via VNC

Installing an operating system like Windows on a Virtual Private Server or Cloud Instance can be accomplished using Virtual Network Computing (VNC). This guide will focus on using the Virtio drivers (virtio-win.iso) during the Windows installation process.


  • ServerAstra Cloud Instance
  • Windows ISO image - you can select one during order or upload your own
  • Virtio drivers (virtio-win.iso) - it is auto supplied for any Windows iso
  • VNC client software (Optional)


1. Prepare the Cloud Instance and ISOs

First, you need to prepare your Cloud Instance. This includes selecting the Windows ISO as first ISO drive. Second ISO will be populated with virtio-win.iso automatically from our repository when you run the instance. This allows you to install the necessary Virtio drivers during the Windows setup process.

2. Boot the VM and Connect Via VNC

Once your VM is set up and running, connect to it using our VNC client in the panel (or your VNC client if you setup the password in the VNC settings).

3. Begin the Windows Installation

On your VNC client, you'll see the Windows installer booting up. Proceed with the installation until you reach the screen where you're asked to choose the installation disk.

Note: If you had prior installed another OS or a template you need to select ISO as boot device in the Instance configuration or alternatively press escape during boot sequence to enter selection menu and press the appropriate number on keyboard to boot to ISO

4. Load Virtio Drivers

At this point, you'll likely see a message stating that no drives were found. This is because Windows needs the Virtio drivers to recognize the virtual disk. Click on "Load driver", then "Browse", and navigate to the secondary ISO (the virtio-win.iso usually under E:\ drive).

Look for the suitable driver based on your Windows version and architecture. For example, if you're installing Windows 10 64-bit, you'll find the suitable drivers under vioscsi\w10\amd64.

Once you've selected the appropriate driver, click "OK", and then "Next". The Windows installer should now recognize the virtual disk.

5. Proceed with the Windows Installation

Now that the drivers are loaded, you can continue with the Windows installation as you normally would. When the installation is complete, you should have a functional Windows system on your Cloud Instance.

6. Install Additional Drivers

Once the Windows system is up and running, it's a good idea to install the additional Virtio drivers for network and balloon devices. These can be found in the virtio-win.iso under the NetKVM and Balloon directories, respectively. But we suggest to install all drivers from the disk.

You can install all drivers by running the virtio-win-gt-x64.msi in iso drive or virtio-win-gt-x86.msi if you are running 32-bit OS.

Alternatively you can run powershell commands to finish setup:

New-Variable -Name "OS_DIR" -Visibility Public -Value "w10\amd64" # Change this to your os directory and arch
Get-ChildItem "E:\*\$OS_DIR" -Recurse -Filter "*.inf" | ForEach-Object { PNPUtil.exe /add-driver $_.FullName /install }

And that's it! You have successfully installed Windows on a Cloud Instance