I've not been successful in following either the second or third guide.
I've created a bootable USB drive using the Server 2016 ISO. I created VHD and WIM files and copied them to the root of USB drive. I'm able to boot from the USB drive into the command prompt.
When I created the VHD I ended up with a ~700MB file. When I used the first deployment guide (second link) everything went fine until the `bcdboot <drive>:\Windows` command. That gave me an error saying something about not being able to copy the files. This appeared to be a generic error for bcdboot but all the solutions didn't seem relevant to me.
I went back to the first link and created the WIM which generated a 236MB file. Much smaller than the VHD so I question wether it has everything I need and may be part of the problem.
So far, no matter which guide I follow, every reboot ends with "No boot device available."
I've even tried changing the boot type of the server between BIOS and UEFI.
One final note. On the bcdboot command in the second guide, it finishes successfully but there are no files in the target drive.