Carefully read and make notes on the Windows Server 2016 License terms (or just hit Next to skip them) and you’ll be asked to select an installation type. As this is a clean install (Microsoft are recommending a clean installation of Windows Server 2016, although I’m sure IT Pros out there will be developing migration walkthroughs for older editions) we’ll select Custom.
You’ll be presented with a list of your hard drives. I’d always recommend installing the OS on a standalone hard drive, dedicating additional drives for data. Separating the OS from your data ensures that you can reinstall the OS (if you need to) without fear of impacting your data. Note that Windows Server 2016 does not allow ATA/PATA/IDE/EIDE connections for boot, page, or data drives as stated in the hardware requirements.
The standard options are available here for creating/deleting partitions and formatting drives you wish to wipe. If your chosen drive hasn’t been previously partitioned, use the New option to create the required configuration. Windows Server will reserve some space of the drive for who knows what, following which you’re good to go.
Selecting Next kicks off the installation.
As usual, Windows Server should be happy enough to install from here without intervention. As I mentioned earlier, my attempts to install TP5 on physical hardware have been blocked by reasonably strange bluescreens and complaints of missing drivers. Fingers crossed those issued will be sorted out in the final release.
My VM installation was far better behaved. Installation completed in a few minutes and, following a couple of reboots, Windows Server 2016 Essentials is ready for configuration.