Using Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM.EXE) tool to convert to the MiniShell on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

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Using Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM.EXE) tool to convert to the MiniShell on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

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Added by January 20, 2016

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

For instructor-led Windows Server 2012 R2 training, see our class schedule.

In this blog I will show you the steps to convert to the MiniShell.

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-usigng-DISM-for-mini-shell

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.

002-usigng-DISM-for-mini-shell-in-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-mounted-usigng-DISM-for-mini-shell-in-Server-2012

  1. Verify the operation completed successfully.

004-verify-usigng-DISM-for-mini-shell-in-Server-2012

Use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM.EXE) to switch to the MiniShell.

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

Note: The /all switch installs the parent feature required by the Server-Gui-Mgmt sub-feature.

005-enable-features-usigng-DISM-for-mini-shell-in-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 at 100%, but be patient it will finish.

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

006-restart-usigng-DISM-for-mini-shell-in-Server-2012

007-working-usigng-DISM-for-mini-shell-in-Server-2012

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

Verify the MiniShell is installed.

  1. Once the computer restarts and you have logged on, Server Manager will automatically launch.

008-Server-Manager-working-usigng-DISM-for-mini-shell-in-Server-2012

  1. At this point all the graphical tools that can be launched from Server Manager will now be available.

Note: There is no graphical Windows installed and there is no Internet Explorer.

Note: If you close Server Manager and need to relaunch it just type Servermanager in the Command Prompt.

Check back later for more blogs relating to:

Until next time – Ride Safe!

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

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