Windows Server 2012 Server Core installation

sconfigIn previous post, I described the GUI Server installation of Windows Server 2012.

In this post, I’ll explain the Server Core installation. But what is the Server Core installation? And how does it differ from the GUI one?

The Server Core installation, as it’s name implies, has just the most fundamental features of Windows Server 2012, such as Active Directory, DNS and DHCP. It does not offer either the GUI interface nor desktop, start menu or taskbar.

Most installation steps are alike of the GUI installation, but first at choosing the Server version, you should select the Server Core installation of your Server 2012 edition.

Then other steps are the same except the final step that when you log on to the Server, you won’t see any graphical interface ! Instead you will encounter the command prompt, which from this traditional place, you can manage your Server. Then type sconfig (Server configuration) at the command prompt and enter. A new menu will appear.

Now you can rename the Server, join to domain, change the network configurations and more.

Another question arises, how can I add roles to a server without GUI ? The answer is simple, you have the opportunity to manage the Server remotely by RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) from a client. So,

Download RSAT for Windows 7 SP1 or for Windows 8.

After downloading and installing the RSAT, connect remotely to the new Windows Server 2012 and add the desired roles and features.


2 Responses to Windows Server 2012 Server Core installation

  1. As far I have been able to tell there is nothing you can install on windows 7 from microsoft that works to manage the windows free core server 2012 hyper-v. There is something for windows 8 and for std GUI server 2012. However if you do not have either of those and wish to not fatten microsofts wallet for the management of a free product. I have found a ton of tip and tricks work around and apps to make the management of the windows free core server easy to work with IE GUI managmant tool from VT technologies called VT UTilities ($119 US) and tons of free GUI apps. Check out my blog at

  2. Ok it has been several months since I wrote the above:

    I have a solution. I have written powershell scripts that are menu driven to do all that needs doing to configure and manage a Free core server 2012.
    how would like:
    Step by step instructions and free downloads of this already compiled for you.
    A start menu that can be recalled to fore-front of screen with hot keys, that has short cuts to:
    Free Commander = free file explorer
    How to Convert VHD to VHDx is a just a notepad text file but ti tell you how to manipulate VHD and VHDx files
    Manage VM’s Tools (see below*)
    Manage vswitches, NIC’s and TEAMS =
    MS-DOS = cmd.exe
    MyEventViewer = freeware event viewer from Nirsoft
    Noptepad = notepad.exe
    Powershell = powershell.exe
    RDP (MSTSC.exe) = mstsc.exe does not come with free core serer but it can be copied into the server and works, slow but it works.
    Server Information = msinfo32.exe
    Task Manager = Taskmgr.exe
    Vhost and VM – Inventory report (my powershell script to get this info, one I already sent you)
    VmConnect = powersehll script and WFreerdp.exe (with the C# runtime)
    Logoff = logoff.exe

    *Here is the real good stuff
    It is very simple… just batch files and powershell scripts
    There is a main menu with numbered line that explain what you can do/create.
    Each number on the screen has batch file 1.bat, 2.bat etc
    These numbered batch files in turn run a powershell script that asks questions and then does what the main menu says it does
    Each of the numbered batch files returns you to the main menu batch file when it completes

    With this you can configure the VHOST virtual machine and drive paths
    You can create a virtual switch
    You can create a VM and it will ask if you want to start it or not
    You can then RDP to that newly created VM (has to be powered on) and answer the OS installation questions via wfreeRDP.exe
    Then you can RDP to any running IPéd server via MSTSC.exe

    You know there is no one out there that has done this for you, give me some props when you visit my blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: