Warning: You need your own official activation key for Windows Server 2019.
The first step is the same as for other servers. Go to your Hetzner Cloud dashboard and click on “Add a server”.
Choose your location, server type and ubuntu for the operating system. I recommend at minimum a server type with at least 4GB of RAM. Below that, Windows Server can be laggy. Then “Create & Buy now”.
Install Windows Server 2019
Now, go to your server details. On the left menu, go to “ISO images”. Here you can see a list of ISO for a lot of operating systems and also drivers. Search “Windows Server 2019 English” in the list (for me it is on the second page). The long name is “SW_DVD9_Win_Server_STD_CORE_2019_64Bit_English_DC_STD_MLF_X21-96581.iso”.
So now click on Mount and open the console (see screenshot).
Keeping the console pop-up open and restart the server (click on ON and OK and click again on the same button who is now OFF). We want it to boot to the Windows ISO. On the console pop-up, click on Connect.
Now the server boot on the Windows Server OOBE (Out Of the Box Experience). Like every Windows Server setup, follow the steps. If you want the desktop interface. Choose the version with (Desktop Experience).
At Which type of installation do you want? choose Custom. As you can see, the installer doesn’t find any disk. Conserve the Console pop-up open and go back to your server details. Again in ISO images search virtio-win-0.1.208 (first page for me, the version can be different, but it is not a problem) and click on Mount.
Return to the Console pop-up and click on Load Driver, under the refresh button. A new window open, choose Browse then CD Drive virtio-win. Search and extend the vioscsi folder then 2k19 (for Windows Server 2019, 2k16 is for Windows Server 2016) and click on amd64 and OK. Click Next (it can take a long time).
You are redirected to the drive selection and now the main disk of your server is listed! So Delete it (we remove Ubuntu). And create a new drive with New.
Because we have mounted virtio-win we now need to mount again Windows Server 2019 English like the first time (don’t close the console pop-up). When it is done, go back to the pop-up and selection Drive 0 Partition 2 (Sometimes the installer does not offer the “Next” button when the correct partition is selected. Just click on System Reserved and select again Drive 0 Partition 2). Click Next.
This will take a while, Windows installation is in progress.
At the end of the installation, mount again virtio-win-0.1.208. In the console pop-up, you normally can see the Windows boot menu (with the logo). The first time, it asks you to configure the administrator account. When it is done, click on the “CTRL + ALT + DEL” button at the bottom right of the window and enter your Administrator password.
Good job! You are now on your Windows Server Desktop. But you can see we don’t have internet on it.
Only one last step left. Open the Device Manager. After other devices, Ethernet Controller click on it and choose Update Driver Software…. Select Browse my computer for driver software, click on Browse and extand the CD Drive virtio-win, NetKVM; 2k19 and amd64. Click OK and Next. A Windows Security window open, check “Always trust” and Install.
Now Windows detects the network and open a right pane Do you want to allow your PC to be discoverable… choose No.
You can close the Device Manager. In the ISO images menu of your server, click on Unmount at the top of the page.
Activate it with an official key and voilà! Your Windows Server 2019 is now setup.
If you are interested. Here my Hetzner Cloud referral link https://hetzner.cloud/?ref=2eZWhjCdVGPU. If you signs up with it, you receive €20 in cloud credits.