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Windows Server 2012 Shell game
MikeStephensMSFT 20 Sep 2012 3:09 PM 10

Here's the scenario, you just downloaded the RTM ISO for Windows Server 2012 using your handy, dandy, "wondermus" Microsoft TechNet subscription. Using Hyper-V, you create a new virtual machine, mount the ISO and breeze through the setup screen until you are mesmerized by the Newton's cradle-like experience of the circular progress indicator

Click…click…click…click-- installation complete; the computer reboots. You provide Windows Server with a new administrator password. Bam: done! Windows Server 2012 presents the credential provider screen and you logon using the newly created administrator account, and then… Holy Shell, Batman! I don't have a desktop!

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The reason you are staring at command prompt is that Windows Server 2012's installation defaults to Server Core and in your haste to try out our latest bits. Mike here again to bestow some Windows Server 2012 lovin'. This may be old news for some of you. http://blogs.. you breezed right past the option to change it. but it is likely that one or more of your colleagues is going to perform the very actions that I describe This is actually a fortunate circumstance as it enables me to introduce a new Windows Server 2012 feature. The previously described scenario is not hypothetical-.technet..many have experienced it when they installed the pre-release versions of Windows Server 2012. 2 of 11 02-07-2013 16:05 . Hey everyone.Windows Server 2012 Shell game ..Ask the Directory Services Team . then you're likely one of those people staring at a command prompt window on your fresh installation. And it is likely to resurface as we move past Windows Server 2012 general availability on September 4.. If you are new to Windows Server 2012.

However. http://blogs. Minimal Server Interface enables most local graphical user interface management tasks without requiring you to install the server's user interface or Internet Explorer. Those same two server installation types return in Windows Server Core servers provide a low attack surface by removing the Windows Shell and Internet Explorer completely... it presented quite a challenge for many Windows administrators as Windows PowerShell and command line utilities were the only methods used to manage the servers and its roles locally (you could use most management consoles remotely).e..Ask the Directory Services Team . yet GUI management while the ramp on their Windows PowerShell skills. Minimal Server Interface is a full installation of Windows that excludes: Internet Explorer The Desktop Windows Explorer Windows 8-style application support Multimedia support Desktop Experience Minimal Server Interface gives Windows administrators . however.who are not comfortable using Windows PowerShell as their only option . we have added a third installation type: Minimal Server Interface. There were two server installation types prior to Windows Server 2012: full and core.the benefit a reduced attack surface and reboot requirement (i. 3 of 11 02-07-2013 16:05 . on Patch Tuesday).Windows Server 2012 Shell game .

Windows Server 2012 enables you to try the application on Minimal Server Interface and if that does not work. you're running Windows Server 2012... Select the target server and then click Features. However.. http://blogs. To reduce a Windows Server 2012 GUI installation to a Minimal Server Interface installation. but I'm stuck at the command prompt and I want graphical tools. Start Server Manager." Windows Server 2012 enables you to change the shell installation option after you've completed the installation. clear the Server Graphical Shell and Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure check boxes and complete the wizard. which is the equivalent of the Server GUI installation option during the setup (the one you breezed by during the initial setup). To reduce a Windows Server GUI installation to a Server Core installation.. This solves the problem if you are staring at a command prompt.or you can decided to add the Server Graphical Interface for a specific task. clear the Server Graphical Shell checkbox and complete the wizard. Minimal Server Interface seems cool Mike. 4 of 11 02-07-2013 16:05 . my answer would be reinstall.. and then you can change the server installation to include the Graphical Shell. Now what?" If you were running an earlier version of Windows Server. and click Remove Roles and Features.Ask the Directory Services Team . therefore. and then remove it when you have completed that management task (understand. that switching between the Windows Shell requires you to restart the server). "Okay. Removing the Server Graphical Shell and Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure Removing the Server shell from a GUI installation of Windows is amazingly easy. Another scenario solved by the ability to add the Server Graphical Shell is that not all server-based applications work correctly on server core. but simply are a Windows PowerShell guru in waiting. click Manage. my answer is "Install the Server Graphical Shell or Install Minimal Server Interface. You can choose Minimal Server Interface .Windows Server 2012 Shell game . or you cannot management them on server core. However. Expand User Interfaces and Infrastructure. it also solves the problem if you want to keep your attack surface however.

.com/b/askds/archive/2012/09/20/windows-server-. I'll give you two reasons why: It's wicked fast to install and remove features and roles using Windows PowerShell and you need to learn it in order to add the Server Shell on a Windows Core or Minimal Server Interface installation. you can perform these same actions using the Server Manager module for Windows PowerShell. Alternatively. and it is probably a good idea to learn how to do this.technet.. Use the following command to view a list of the Server GUI components Get-WindowsFeature server-gui* Give your attention to the Name column. run: Remove-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell To remove the Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure.. run: 5 of 11 02-07-2013 16:05 . You use this value with the Remove-WindowsFeature and InstallWindowsFeature PowerShell cmdlets. which further reduces a Minimal Server Interface installation to a Server Core installation. http://blogs. which reduces the GUI server installation to a Minimal Server Interface installation. To remove the server graphical shell. Remove-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra To remove the Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure and the Server Graphical Shell...Windows Server 2012 Shell game .Ask the Directory Services Team .

Ask the Directory Services Team .WIM.WIM files on the media. Another indicator that the binaries do not exist in the installation is the error you receive when you try to install a feature that is removed. 6 of 11 02-07-2013 16:05 . The Install-WindowsFeature cmdlet will proceed along as if it is working and then spend a lot of time around 63-68 percent before returning an error stating that it could not add the feature. This is how a Server Core installation achieves a smaller The first thing to understand with a Server Core installation is the actual binaries for Server Shell do not reside on the computers. The Removed value indicates the binaries that represent the feature do not reside on the hard drive. The WIM you want to use for this process is INSTALL. http://blogs.... Remove-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell.Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra Adding Server Graphical Shell and Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure Adding Server Shell components to a Windows Server 2012 Core installation is a tad more involved than removing them. dandy media (or ISO) to stage the binaries into the installation. you need to add the binaries to the installation before you can install them. Therefore. There are two . To stage Server Shell features to a Windows Core Installation You need to get our your handy. You can determine if the binaries are present by using the Get-WindowsFeature Windows PowerShell cmdlets and viewing the Install State column. Windows installation files are stored in WIM files that are located in the \sources folder of your media.Windows Server 2012 Shell game .

To stage these binaries to the current installation.. if there is a problem with the syntax or the command it will error within two minutes of spinning at 68 percent. You need to prefix the path to your installation media's install. The command should exhibit the same behavior as the previous one and proceeds up to about 68 percent. which represents the image index to use for the installation. give it a bit of time. Images with the index of 1 and 3 are Server Core installation images for Standard and Datacenter. When the command completes successfully. Two of these images contain the GUI binaries and two do not. you need to use indexes 2 and 4 because these images contain the Server GUI binaries.Windows Server 2012 Shell game . it should instruct you to restart the server. respectively..WIM file. Typically. Images with the indexes 2 and 4 are GUI installation of Standards and Datacenter. An attempt to stage the binaries using indexes 1 or 3 will fail. You use DISM.Ask the Directory Services Team . we use a special path syntax that indicates the binaries reside in a WIM file. This process stages all the graphical user interface binaries that were not installed during the initial setup. You still use the Install-WindowsFeature cmdlets to stage the binaries to the computer. (if it is working). The Windows PowerShell command should look like Install-WindowsFeature server-gui-mgmt-infra. http://blogs. To do this. however. You must always use an index of 2 or 4 to install the Server Shell components.. There are four images in the INSTALL. You can do this using Windows PowerShell by typing the Restart-Computer cmdlets.wim:4 Pay particular attention to the path supplied to the -source argument.technet. respectively.EXE to display the installation images and their indexes that are included in the WIM file. 7 of 11 02-07-2013 16:05 at which point it will stay at 68 percent for a quite a bit.server-gui-shell -source:wim:d:\sources \install. so. we are going to use the -source argument to inform Install-WindowsFeature the image and index it should use to stage the Server Shell binaries.wim file with the keyword wim: You need to suffix the path with a :4.

. making all the other components aware the GUI is available..Windows Server 2012 Shell game .com/b/askds/archive/2012/09/20/windows-server-.technet.Ask the Directory Services Team . Give the next reboot more time. The process should continue until 100 percent and then should show you the Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to sign in screen 8 of 11 02-07-2013 16:05 . Windows should reach about 30 percent and then will restart. Be patient and give it time to complete. It is actually updating the current Windows installation... The server should reboot and inform you that it is configuring Windows features and is likely to spend some time at 15 percent. http://blogs. It should return to the Configuring Windows feature screen with the progress around 45 to 50 percent (these are estimates)..

..technet. is a vestige of the vox populi. for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. This visage.. a humble vaudevillian veteran. cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. Mike "Voilà! In view. stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin van-guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.. However. a vendetta. no mere veneer of vanity. this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation. you can whip our your mad Windows PowerShell skills and turn that Server Core installation into a Minimal Server Interface or Server GUI installation in no time. The next time one of your colleagues gazes at their accidental Windows Server 2012 Server Core installation with that deer-in-the-headlights look. held as a votive. Done That's The only verdict is vengeance. so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V. this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose.Windows Server 2012 Shell game .Ask the Directory Services Team . not in vain. now vacant. It's been out for 5 9 of 11 02-07-2013 16:05 . http://blogs. Consider yourself informed. Verily.." Stephens Tweet 24 Like 9 Share 4 Delicious Save this on Delicious Comments 20 Sep 2012 6:26 PM Ryan Ries I hope that nobody who is following this blog is surprised or caught off-guard by Server Core. vanished.

Its great you detailed how to go from GUI to Core and Core to GUI but not being the PowerShell guru at this point. if not the. I absolutely love Server Core. (Ok. and the command-line engines behind it such as Powershell.. 23 Sep 2012 10:05 AM Jonathan Stephens. 23 Sep 2012 12:40 AM Santosh Bhandarkar Nice article.... I don't see how to run PowerShell from a Command prompt? Probably 10 of 11 02-07-2013 16:05 ... MSFT @SamYeager . http://blogs. automatable operating system than to focus on Core. maybe 99%).com/b/askds/archive/2012/09/20/windows-server-. best Microsoft technology blog in existence! That said. 21 Sep 2012 6:33 AM sgrinker What's a blog. sometimes I let my fingers do the walking before my political correctness filter runs. Especially if the bulk of your experience was with Server 2003 with very brief forays using Server 2008 & GUI. then welcome! You've just stumbled across one of. I am indeed running Hyper-V Server 2012 (Core edition) to host some VMs as we speak. Frankly your initial comments come across as condescending although I hope that wasn't what you meant. PS C:\> Make-Inoffensive $thisComment 29 Sep 2012 5:08 AM Knuckle-Dragger Good read 2 Oct 2012 10:19 AM 2Wheeler1 At the risk of getting run out of town..technet. I don't think that Microsoft could have made a better decision than to realize that there is no better way to create a scriptable. Thanks for the catch. 24 Sep 2012 6:26 PM Ryan Ries @SamYeager weknowmemes.Ask the Directory Services Team . and all the improvements of Server Core 2012. I mean how many times does anyone stop to read the EULA when installing an application? :) Well written article Mike! 22 Sep 2012 11:42 PM SamYeager "Remove Rolls and Features" .Windows Server 2012 Shell game . well said and I agree 100% with what you said. I'm actually not too surprised someone being caught offguard if they didn't pay attention when clicking through the install with it being the default./youre-too-easily-offended.Ahem! Time for a minor type correction? :) @Ryan Ries There is a difference between being aware that Server Core exists and knowing what to do when confronted with it in practice. But hey. of course it wasn't my intention to be condescending.. To be perfectly honest.Fixed..jpg No. if you are.. and why is my TV allowing me to type things into it? As usual Ryan..

.Windows Server 2012 Shell game .com/b/askds/archive/2012/09/20/windows-server-. 11 of 11 02-07-2013 16:05 .. All rights reserved. PS C:\> get-help get-process NAME Get-Process SYNOPSIS Gets the processes that are running on the local computer or a remote computer. C:\>powershell Windows PowerShell Copyright (C) 2009 Microsoft Corporation.technet. All rights reserved. This will open a new windows specifically for Windows PowerShell. SYNTAX Get-Process [[-Name] <string[]>] [-ComputerName <string[]>] [-FileVersionInfo] [-Module] [<CommonParamete rs>] 2 Oct 2012 11:56 AM MikeStephensMSFT 2Wheeler1.. You can also type "start powershell" on the Windows Console prompt.. something simple so enlighten me? 2 Oct 2012 10:55 AM Jonathan Stephens.1.7601] Copyright (c) 2009 Microsoft Corporation..Ask the Directory Services Team . MSFT Microsoft Windows [Version 6. http://blogs. This enables you to have a Windows Console prompt and a Windows PowerShell Prompt that you can alt-tab between.