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Getting the GUI with Windows 2012 Server Core June 28, 2013

Posted by vbry21 in Microsoft Training, Windows 2012.
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I’ve been doing a fair amount of playing about with Windows Server 2012.

One of the statements is that Windows 2012 Server installs by default with Server Core and that’s a good thing. Server Core is more secure as it has a smaller footprint.

But I like the GUI, it’s easier to use. Thankfully Microsoft make it easy to move between Server Core and back again.

You can switch from Server Core to the graphical version of Windows Server 2012 by running the following Windows PowerShell cmdlet, where c:\mount is the root directory of a mounted image that hosts the full version of the Windows Server 2012 installation files:

Import-Module ServerManager

Install-WindowsFeature -IncludeAllSubFeature User-Interfaces-Infra -Source c:\mount

Installing the graphical components gives you the option of performing administrative tasks using the graphical tools. You can also add the graphical tools using the sconfig.cmd menu-driven command-line tool.

Once you have performed the necessary administrative tasks, you can return the computer to its original Server Core configuration. You can switch a computer that has the graphical version of Windows Server 2012 to Server Core by removing the following features:

• Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure

• Server Graphical Shell

If you accidentally close the command window on a computer that is running Server Core, you can recover the command window by performing the following steps:

1. Press the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys, and then click Task Manager.

2. From the File menu, click New Task (Run…), and then type cmd.exe.