Windows on OVH VPS SSD
The title of this thread isn't a joke, after many months I have been able to get Windows Server 2012 R2 successfully running on OVH's VPS SSD 1. https://www.ovh.com/us/vps/vps-ssd.xml Since I am unaware of any previous events of this happening I decided to share my findings with anyone who would be interested.
This is NOT violating the Terms of Service or Rules of OVH or these forums.
These steps will also work on any other VPS in the SSD, RAM or Cloud ranges. I am using the VPS SSD 1 as it's the cheapest at $3 and has 2 gigs of ram, 10gb ssd and 100mbps down and up.
The technology OVH uses, all of their VPS ranges use the same or similar spec'd servers. CPU: E5-2687Wv3 Disks: PCIe NVMe SSDs Network: 100mbps down and up with DDoS Mitigation included for free Hypervisor: OpenStack Nova
How I was able to do it: I bought 2 VPSs. I bought a VPS Cloud 1 with the Windows Server option, and a CentOS 6 VPS SSD 1. I shrinked the partition down to 8.5GB in Windows, I then booted both into the recovery mode on both VPSs and used GParted to shrink the size of the Windows Server's VPS vdb2 down to 9 gigs so it would fit on the VPS SSD 1, and used SSHFS on a third VPS and dd to clone the MBR, vdb1 (Windows system) and vdb2 (Windows OS) files over to the SSD 1 VPS and rebooted and there you go.
Here is how you can do it for yourself, I am going to make it easy, and not charge for it, mainly because I would be violating a bunch of rules and terms of service agreements if I did that. For those of you new to OVH they have NEVER had a custom ISO option (unless you pay for IPKVM on their dedicated servers), so that is why this process is a bit more involved than usual, but shouldn't be hard at all as long as you follow the instructions.
Before we begin: Disclaimer about the distribution of Microsoft products.
I have provided a 100% product-key, activation free windows server 2012 R2 DD image of this VPS below, this image has no product keys inputted and is UNACTIVATED and 100% legal to distribute. Windows Server 2012 R2 will run for 30 days before complaining, however if you are a student in high school or College/University or post-secondary education you can get a free 1 year windows server 2012 R2 license through Microsoft DreamSpark which is available in many different countries.
I do plan to offer more versions such as Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Server 2016, Server 2003 R2, etc but for now this is all that we have and should be good enough as it's pretty much the standard for Windows Server deployments at the time of writing this.
Step 1. Head over to https://www.ovh.com/us/vps/vps-ssd.xml (if you are in a different country change that in the top right hand corner by clicking on the US flag.)
Step 2. Purchase the VPS SSD 1 for $3.49/month, click on order, on the next page pick your location, and then choose CentOS as your distribution and CentOS 6 64bit as your version. Then click on continue and complete the transaction and pay for it.
Step 3. Once the VPS has been activated, installed and set up by OVH and is visible in your manager, go ahead and click on "Rescue mode" and wait for the VPS to reboot into rescue mode. You will need patience, it'll take about 5 minutes to reboot into rescue mode and send you an email with the SSH login details.
Step 4. Install an SSH client like mRemoteNG if you are using windows or if you are on mac/linux open up a terminal and ssh root@(vps ip), this is assuming you've used SSH before.
Step 5. Once you are in the recovery-pro environment do the following commands in this order.
and press Y on any prompts you get, it is okay if you don't get a prompt or get an error, continue to the next step..
and press Y on any prompts that you get, it is okay if you don't get a prompt or get an error, continue to the next step..
once that has finished, now do
apt-get install sshfs tmux
and you should see the following
vda 254:0 0 10G 0 disk
└─vda1 254:1 0 10G 0 part /
vdb 254:16 0 10G 0 disk
├─vdb1 254:17 0 10G 0 part /mnt/vdb1
vda and vda1 that are 10 gigs in size is the temporary filesystem mounted for the use of the recovery mode, we aren't going to touch these, this has nothing to do with the VPS or it's filesystem. (This will vary depending on the VPS you're doing this on.)
vdb and vdb1 are the VPS's 10GB (or larger depending on your selected VPS) SSD, these are where we will be installing our image of Windows.
Basically what you want to do at this point is restore the dd file containing the windows image onto the VPS. To do this we'll do the following, first run these commands to make sure we have full access to everything on the disk.
rm -rf /mnt/vdb1
now we can restore the image. Keep in mind this will take well over an hour, so leave this running and go to something else until it finishes. The command to start this is
wget -O- 'http://188.8.131.52/FinalOVHServer2012R2VPSimage.img.gz' | gunzip -c | dd of=/dev/vdb
It will take around an hour or 2 for this to complete, so just relax and go and do something else whilst that happens, don't press or touch anything, you'll know when it's done when you see
and you are able to type stuff again, if you think it's frozen give it at least 2 hours, if it still hasn't completed by then reconnect and type "tmux attach-session" and you'll most likely find it's completed.
Once it's done go back to your OVH manager and press the "Reboot my VPS" button, the VPS will take a bit to reboot, and once it's done click on the KVM button and then "Open in a new window".
You should see before you the Windows Server 2012 login screen. Press the control alt delete button and type in TempPass123#* as the password, then you will be prompted to enter a new Administrator password for obvious security reasons, so enter yours and then press enter and if everything went well you should be booted to the desktop, and we are done!. Additional IPs, an additional disk, etc will all work, you can set those up by following OVH's own documentation under the Windows section.
Remote desktop connection is enabled by default and your VPS will obtain it's dedicated IP via DHCP as that is how OVH has their system set up.
I plan on making different images for different Windows installs, but for now this should be good enough.
Now what about other operating systems like FreeBSD, Solaris, etc? Well Solaris is out of the question as it has no VirtIO support which OVH's hypervisor requires, and I haven't tried FreeBSD using this method but I don't see why it wouldn't work.
Credits: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/disk_cloning#Using_dd https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-use-sshfs-to-mount-remote-file-systems-over-ssh https://kb.iu.edu/d/abbe https://www.vultr.com/docs/correcting-time-on-windows-server