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  • Using Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM.EXE) tool to convert to the Full Graphical Shell in Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

    You initially installed Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Core Edition now you want to convert the installation to include the Full Graphical Shell to take care of some administrative tasks.  Once the Full Graphical Shell has been installed you will have access to all the features of the Windows Server 2012 R2 Desktop.

    In this blog I will show you the steps to add the Full Graphical Shell using Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM.EXE) tool to Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Core Edition from installation media.

    Use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM.EXE) to determine the index number of the desired operating system in the install.wim file.

    1. Open an Administrative Command Prompt.
    2. Type dism /get-imageinfo /imagefile:d:\sources\install.wim

    001-Using-DISM-tool-to-convert-to-the-Full-Graphical-Shell-Server-2012

    Note: d: is the drive letter of the DVD drive.

    1. In our case Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter is Index : 4

    Use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM.EXE) to mount the desired operating system files from the install.wim file.

    Note:  If you previously had the graphical interface installed on this server you will not have to mount the installation files.

    1. Make a folder on the root of the C: drive to mount the installation files. Type mkdir C:\mount, type dir to ensure folder was created.
    You may also like:  Using PowerShell to convert to the Full Graphical Shell on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Core Edition.

    002-mount-Using-DISM-tool-to-convert-to-the-Full-Graphical-Shell-Server-2012

    1. Type dism /mount-wim /wimfile:d:\sources\install.wim /index:4 /mountdir:c:\mount /readonly. Observe the progress as the image is mounted.

    003-mount-Using-DISM-tool-to-convert-to-the-Full-Graphical-Shell-Server-2012

    1. Verify the operation completed successfully.

    004-mount-Using-DISM-tool-to-convert-to-the-Full-Graphical-Shell-Server-2012

    Use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM.EXE) to switch to the Full Graphical Shell.

    1. Type dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:Server-Gui-Mgmt /featurename:Server-Gui-Shell /featurename:ServerCore-FullServer /source:c:\mount\windows\winsxs /all

    Note:  The /all switch installs the parent feature required to add the sub-features.

    005-enabling-features-Using-DISM-tool-to-convert-to-the-Full-Graphical-Shell-Server-2012

    Note:  This process will take some time to complete, it will seem that once the computer gets to around 66% it hangs and again after 100%, but be patient it will finish.

    1. Restart the server by typing Y when the installation is complete.

    006-syntax-mount-Using-PowerShell-to-Full-Graphica-Shell-Windows-Server-2012-R2-Datacenter

     

    007-finishing-Using-DISM-tool-to-convert-to-the-Full-Graphical-Shell-Server-2012

    Note:  This process will take some time to complete and may restart multiple times.

    Verify the Full Graphical Shell is installed.

    1. Once the computer restarts and you have logged on, you will access to the Full Windows Server 2012 R2 Desktop.

    008-complete-Using-DISM-tool-to-convert-to-the-Full-Graphical-Shell-Server-2012

    Check back later for more blogs relating to:

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    Until next time – Ride Safe!

    Rick Trader
    Windows Server Instructor – Interface Technical Training
    Phoenix, AZ