Introduction: Windows 10 Virtual Machine on a Synology NAS

In this article, you are going to learn how to create your very own Windows 10-based Virtual Machine with a Sinology NAS.

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Let’s get started!

Step 1: What You’ll Need

Step 2: Download the ISO Image

Download the “Windows 10 Installation Media” creation tool from here. Once downloaded, right click on the file and Run as Administrator, accept the Licence terms and select “Create installation media for another PC”.

Select your language, the Edition (Home or Pro), and architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) for the Windows 10 ISO.

Select media as “ISO File” and this will download the ISO ready to use with Synology NAS. The download is 4GB in total, so please be patient.

Step 3: Download the Guest Tool for Virtual Machine Manager

Go to the Synology Support page.

Choose your NAS then scroll down to “Guest Tool for Virtual Machine Manager” and download the ISO.

Step 4: Download the Drivers

Go to https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Windows_Virtio_Drivers and choose the “Direct Download” link to download the “Stable virtio-win” ISO.

Step 5: Install the Virtual Machine Manager

Signup to the Beta Program via the Package Center in the Synology Diskstation web interface by clicking on the top left hand menu and select the “Package Center” icon. Across the top, click on the “Settings” button.

Now go to the “Beta” Tab and place a Tick beside the “Yes, I want to see beta versions” Check box.

Click on okay and from here we need to choose the “Utilities” section on the left and scroll to the bottom until you see Virtual Machine Manager.

Click on the “Install” button to install.

Once the Virtual Machine Manager has been installed, we can access it by going to the Diskstation Menu and clicking on the “Virtual Machine Manager” Icon.

Step 6: Create the System Image

On the first launch, you will be presented with a wizard which will be telling the package where we want to store the Virtual Machines we create. Click “Next” and put a check beside the BTRFS volume you want to use, after clicking “Next”, you will need to select the secondary LAN connection. Clicking “Next” again will produce a message in regards to isolating network interfaces through different subnets, click on yes and after the warning appears, click “Yes” again, after that it should only take around 30 seconds or so to come back with a big green tick, after it does, click on the “Finish” button.

Set up the Ubuntu ISO Image by selecting “System Image” down the left hand side.

Click “Create” along the top.

Under “Name” you can select the System Image’s name. Next select “ISO File” as “Type”. Now choose where you downloaded the Windows 10 image to and click “Browse”, select the image with the blue “Select” button once you’ve located it and then click “Next”, now place a tick next to the “Your NAS” and click on the blue “Apply” button. And after a short wait, our system image will be created.

Repeat the process for the other two ISO images.

Step 7: Create Virtual Machine

Back on the Diskstation interface inside the Virtual Machine Manager package, choose “Virtual Machine” down the left side.

Across the top, click on the “Create” button and choose “Create”.

The creation method we will be using is the ISO File method, choose that one and click “Next”. Now we can configure all the specs for our Virtual Machine. The first thing we want to do is give it a Name, any name you want, next in line is the amount of CPU cores we want to use.

NOTE: It’s recommended to choose a minimum of 2 CPU cores for a Virtual Machine to run effectively.

Now you can choose how much RAM you want your Virtual Machine to have, it is reccomended that you allocate at least 2GB of RAM.

Under ISO file for bootup, you need to choose the “System Image” we created before, under “Additional ISO File”, we need to choose the “Synology VIRT IO” system image. Under “Virtual Disk” you will need to allocate space for the Virtual Machine.

NOTE: For a 32-bit Windows 10 virtual machine, 16GB is the recomended minimum; whilst the 64-bit version will need a minimum of 20GB.

Hit the “Next” blue button.

Now you will be able to select the accounts you want to have permission to use this virtual machine and click “Next”.

You will get confirmation of our settings so just click “Apply”.

Step 8: Install Windows 10

Start up the Virtual Machine by clicking on the “Action” button up top and choose “Power On”.

With the Synology NAS selected, hit the “Apply” button.

Click the “Connect” button up top to open the Virtual Machine in a new Browser Tab.

Once it boots to the wizard, choose “Install Now” and insert your Product Key when prompted. Accept the licence terms by ticking the box and click “Next”.

Here we need to choose “Custom Install Windows Only” and we will see an empty box. Click on the “Load Driver” link and click the “Browse” button and choose the “SYNO_INSTALLER CD Drive”, “Windows VIRTIO” folder, “Windows 10” folder and then “AMD64” folder lastly. Then click “Ok”.

Tick the “Hide Drivers” check box and choose the only line there and click “Next”. This will install the driver so the Windows 10 installer can see the Virtual Disk.

Select “Drive 0”, click the “New” link and hit “Apply” and then click the “Ok” button. This will prepare the partitions ready for Windows. Once that’s done, click “Next” to start the installation process. This process takes around 20 minutes to complete, so please be patient.

Once it finishes, you can go through and choose your configuration.

After you finish choosing your configuration, you will be prompted to setup an username and password and then Windows will finalise its installation.

Step 9: Install the Correct Drivers

Go back to the Diskstation browser tab and select the Windows 10 Virtual Machine and click on the “Edit” button up top. Here you will swap the “Synology ISO” for the “Fedora Project ISO” under “Additional ISO File”.

Click okay and go back to the Windows 10 Browser Tab.

Go to the start menu and choose the Gear icon for “Settings”. Click on the Devices icon and scroll down to the bottom to “Device Manager”. Here you will see a few devices with the little yellow alert icon. We need to manually install these device drivers.

Right click on one and choose “Update Driver Software”, choose “Browse My Computer”. Click the “Browse” button and under “This PC”, choose the CD Drive with “VIRTIO-WIN” and click “Okay”, When it pops up, click the “Install”.

Click on “Close” and repeat this step for the other missing drivers. Now everything including the network is operational.

Enjoy your Virtual Machine to your heart’s content.

Congratulations, you’ve just installed Windows 10 in your very own Virtual Machine inside the Synology NAS.

Could you do everything by yourself? Did you had any problems during the tutorial? Have any suggestion? Then leave a comment below.

You don’t like Windows for whatever reason you may have? Then why not install Ubuntu instead?

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