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  • Using PowerShell to convert to the MiniShell on a 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 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.

    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-install-wim-PowerShell-to-MiniShell-on-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.

    Note:  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-dir-PowerShell-to-MiniShell-on-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-dir-PowerShell-to-MiniShell-on-Server-2012

    1. Verify the operation completed successfully.

    004-mount-dir-PowerShell-to-MiniShell-on-Server-2012

    Use the PowerShell to convert to the MiniShell using local source files.

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

    005-luanch-PowerShell-to-MiniShell-on-Server-2012

    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-get-windows-feature-PowerShell-to-MiniShell-on-Server-2012

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

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

    007-install-windows-feature-PowerShell-to-MiniShell-on-Server-2012

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

     

    Use the PowerShell to convert to the MiniShell using Windows Updates.

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

    008-launch-PowerShell-to-MiniShell-on-Server-2012

    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-install-windows-feature-PowerShell-to-MiniShell-on-Server-2012

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

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

    010-install-windows-feature-PowerShell-to-MiniShell-on-Server-2012

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

    011-restart-windows-feature-PowerShell-to-MiniShell-on-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.

    012-varify-PowerShell-to-MiniShell-on-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.

    You may also like:  Automatic Virtual Machine Activation (AVMA) in Windows Server

    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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