Switching between GUI and Server Core installation

servermanagerNo matter in what method you installed Windows Server 2012, you may want to switch to another mode.

There will be 2 scenarios, each with 2 solutions:

Scenario 1: Switching from GUI to Server Core

Solution 1: Follow these steps:

  1. Press Win key+R, then type servermanager, and enter. Server Manager window opens
  2. Under Configure this local server, click Add roles and features
  3. Click Start the Remove Roles and Features Wizard, and Next
  4. Select destination server, and press Next
  5. Click on Features, and collapse the User Interfaces and Infrastructure menu
  6. Uncheck Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure and Server Graphical Shell
  7. A prompt says to remove PowerShell ISE, no problem hit Remove Features
  8. Click Next, then on confirm removal selections, click Remove
  9. After some while, click Close and restart the Server

Solution 2: PowerShell

  1. Click Windows PowerShell icon on Taskbar, PowerShell console opens
  2. Run this command: Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra –restart
  3. It starts GUI removal, after finishing, it restarts the Server

Scenario 2: Switching from Server Core to GUI

Solution 1: Do unlike removing GUI mode

  1. Connect remotely to the Server by RSAT
  2. Go to Server Manager
  3. Add these features:
  • Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure
  • Server Graphical Shell
  • PowerShell ISE

4.   Restart the Server


Solution 2: PowerShell

  1. Type powershell at Command Prompt
  2. Run this command: Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell –Restart
  3. Server needs to be restarted

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.

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