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  • Using PowerShell to convert to the Full Graphical Shell on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Core Edition.

    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 entire Server 2012 R2 desktop.

    In this post,  I will show you the steps to convert to the Full Graphical Shell.

    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-PowerShell-to-Full-Graphica-Shell-Windows-Server-2012-R2-Datacenter

    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.

    If your computer has internet access, PowerShell can retrieve the source files from Windows Update.

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

    1. Type dism /mount-wim /wimfile:d:\sources\install.wim /index:4 /mountdir:c:\mount /readonly. Observe the progress as the image is mounted.
    You may also like:  Using PowerShell to remove the MiniShell or Full Graphical Shell to convert Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter to a Core Edition

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

    1. Verify the operation completed successfully.

    004-verify-mount-Using-PowerShell-to-Full-Graphica-Shell-Windows-Server-2012-R2-Datacenter

    Use the PowerShell to convert to the Full Graphical Shell using local source files.

    1. Launch PowerShell, type powershell in the command prompt.

    005-launch-Using-PowerShell-to-Full-Graphica-Shell-Windows-Server-2012-R2-Datacenter

    Note:  The prompt turned to PS.

    1. To determine the proper syntax for the features you want to install, type get-windowsfeature then enter.

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

    Note:  The features we want to install is Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure (Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra) and Server Graphical Shell (Server-Gui-Shell).

    1. Type Install-windowsfeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell –source c:\mount\windows\winsxs –restart

    007-install-mount-Using-PowerShell-to-Full-Graphica-Shell-Windows-Server-2012-R2-Datacenter

    This process will take some time to complete, be patient it will finish.

    Use the PowerShell to convert to the Full Graphical Shell using Windows Updates.

    1. Launch PowerShell, type powershell in the command prompt.

    008-Using-PowerShell-to-Full-Graphica-Shell-Windows-Server-2012-R2-Datacenter

    Note:  The prompt turned to PS.

    1. To determine the proper syntax for the features you want to install, type get-windowsfeature then enter.

    009-proper-syntax-PowerShell-to-Full-Graphica-Shell-Windows-Server-2012-R2-Datacenter

    Note:  The feature we want to install is Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure (Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra) and Server Graphical Shell (Server-Gui-Shell).

    1. Type Install-Windowsfeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell –restart

    010-install-part2-PowerShell-to-Full-Graphica-Shell-Windows-Server-2012-R2-Datacenter

    This process will take some time to complete, be patient it will finish.

    011-almost-done-PowerShell-to-Full-Graphica-Shell-Windows-Server-2012-R2-Datacenter

    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.
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    012-completed-PowerShell-to-Full-Graphica-Shell-Windows-Server-2012-R2-Datacenter

    Check back later for more blogs relating to:

    Until next time – Ride Safe!

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