Skip to main content

Getting Started with your Windows Server

HostVenom offers Windows Server as an operating system for our platform of both Dedicated servers and VPSs, and is the OS of choice for our Trading VPS service. In order to follow along with this getting started guide, we recommend you read our Remote Desktop Connection guide to get connected to your server using RDP.

There are some differences between your home PC and a Windows Server, but once you get past the initial set up you should find the interface and feel very similar to your Windows PC. The following guide will help you do things like find your browser, understand the software installation process, and locate the Windows Update settings.

The Default Browser

One of the first things you’ll probably want to do after connecting to your server is open your browser to install the software that you need. Just like on your home Windows PC, you can find the browser in the start menu.

Windows includes Edge as it’s default browser and since there's no icon on the desktop for it, you can find it by searching “Edge” in the start menu or by looking under the letter “M” in the program list in the start menu.

The Windows Start menu after a fresh Windows Server install. Microsoft Edge is the second program entry on the left side under the header “M”Loading...

Installing your preferred browser

After finding and opening Microsoft Edge you may want to install a different browser. For this example we’ll be using Google Chrome, but the steps will be the same for most any browser, just substitute the initial search for the browser of your choice.

You’ll want to start by typing the name of the browser into the omni-bar at the top of the Microsoft Edge browser. This will perform a search in Bing, and should provide a link to the install page for the desired browser. The image to the right shows a Bing search for Google Chrome.

A web search for “google chrome” using the Bing search engine with a box around the first result, that being the “Google Chrome Browser | Google’s Official Browser”Loading...

After performing the Bing search, click on the correct entry for the browser you want and find their install button. The installer will be downloaded to your Downloads folder, but in Microsoft Edge you can access it using the toolbar located on the top right of the window once it’s finished downloading.

Once the option is available, open the downloads drop down, denoted by a ↓ symbol, and click open file text under the installer file entry.

The Microsoft Edge downloads tab displaying the recently download “ChromeSetup.exe”Loading...

You can then follow the steps of the installer and open the browser using the icon on the desktop, should one be placed, or by searching for it in the Windows start menu.

Installing your Software

Now that you have your preferred browser set up, you can start downloading the software you intend to use on your Windows Server. This is done the exact same way you’d do it on your Windows PC at home, by navigating to the website, for example the NinjaTrader website, and finding their downloads page.

Once you’ve found it, you click download and the file will appear in your downloads folder. You can open your downloads folder by opening the start menu and clicking on the Documents icon on the bottom left of the start menu, as shown in the image to the right.

The Windows start menu with the Documents icon on the left side of the menu, displayed as a paper with a folded top right cornerLoading...

With the documents folder open, you’ll want to look on the top left corner of the file explorer under Quick access. One of the default entries will be Downloads preceded with a blue ⇩ icon. Click on that entry and you’ll be taken to your downloads folder, where you’ll find the default download location for most programs, included your recently installed browser.

From here, you can launch the executable you’ve just downloaded for whatever programs your heart desires.

The Windows Quick Access menu, located on the top right of the file manager under the address barLoading...


If you're using your Windows Server as a Trading Server and and want to instal then popular trading platform NinjaTrader, then you can use the above sections to get your browser set up and locate your downloads folder, and then check out their article on installing their desktop application. The process will be exactly the same as the Windows Server environment functions in a very manner to the Windows 10 environment.

Windows Updates

Just like your home Windows PC, your Windows Server will receive updates from the Microsoft servers. These updates may contain new features, bug fixes, or even essential security updates. By default the Windows Server 2019/2022 OS will check for and install updates at 3am in the system timezone, after which it will restart outside of active hours to finish the installation process .

You can configure this behavior to some extent a few different ways. Changing how often updates are checked for, when they’re checked for, how much of the process is manual, and what systems you’d like to update. There are also multiple ways to configure the process, each avenue providing different levels of control. We’re going to cover three of them here in order of complexity and control provided, the Settings GUI, SConfig (Server Core), and GPedit (Group Policies).

The Settings GUI

The Settings GUI for your Windows Server is the same as it is for your Windows 10 Home PC, and the available update settings are largely the same as well. When modifying them through the Settings GUI, you can pause the updates for 7 days, change your active hours, toggle automatic active hours, and view your past update history.

Under the Advanced Options section at the bottom of this page you can change whether or not you update other Microsoft products with an update, change the restart behavior after an update installs, toggle the restart required notification, and pause updates for up to 35 days. You’ll also find the Delivery Optimization section at the bottom of the Advanced Options section.

If you'd like more control over how your Windows server updates, check out the section on Updates in the Advanced Options section.

Advanced options


These settings have the ability to break your server if you don't fully understand them and rely heavily on outside knowledge as a result. Please proceed with caution.

Windows Updates

There are a few ways to control Windows Updates to a finer degree than is possible with the Settings GUI.


SConfig, or Server Core, is a command line utility that can be used to configure and control Windows Server instances in a variety of ways, but for this article the important part is that it can be used to configure how Windows updates behave.

SConfig is a command line utility, so you interact with it using the windows Command Prompt. You can open the Command Prompt by typing Command Prompt into the Windows Start Menu or the search bar on your task bar, if you have one. The command prompt application will show up as you type and will have an icon that looks like a black box with a minor white outline. Click on it in the application list to open it.

With the Windows Command Prompt open, you can run the sconfig command by typing sconfig into the Command Prompt window and pressing enter. This will give you a response that looks similar to the one printed in the text box to the below.

Welcome to Windows Server 2022 Standard

1) Domain/workgroup: Workgroup: WORKGROUP
2) Computer name: ******
3) Add local administrator
4) Remote management: Enabled

5) Update setting: Manual
6) Install updates
7) Remote desktop: Enabled (more secure clients)

8) Network settings
9) Date and time
10) Telemetry setting: Required
11) Windows activation

12) Log off user
13) Restart server
14) Shut down server
15) Exit to command line (PowerShell)

Enter number to select an option:

The bottom of the return is asking for you to enter the number of the entry you want to select, with each of the listed settings having been numbered 1-15. To control the settings for Windows Updates, you’ll want to select option 5.

After selecting option 5 by typing it into the console and pressing enter, you’ll be shown a response in the console similar to the one below.

Update setting

Current update configuration is: Manual

Set updates to:

1) Automatic
2) Download only
3) Manual


4) Opt-in to preview updates

Select update configuration (Blank=Cancel):

From here you can select the option you want by entering the corresponding number and pressing the enter key, the details of each option are explained on the Microsoft Help Center, but the article isn’t correct when it says that the console will ask for letters instead of numbers.

GPedit (Group Policies)

The final option that provides the most control over Windows Update behavior is Group Policies. This is a very powerful system, but can be equally complicated. For that reason, we’re going to refer you to a Microsoft Help Center Article on using the Group Policy Editor to configure windows updates.

Reach Out!

Have Questions? Need Help? Feel free to reach out!