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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Converting Windows Server 2012 from a Server Core to a Full Server ( with GUI ) and vice versa

Windows Server 2012 comes in both Core & Full ( with GUI ) flavors as its successor Windows Server 2008 . A great enhancement that comes with Windows Server 2012 is the ability to convert from one to the other . In this post I demonstrate how to perform these conversions.

From Windows Server 2012 Core to Windows Server 2012 Full ( with GUI ) :

At Windows Server 2012 Core edition CMD perform the following steps :

1 ) Create a directory to which Windows image will be mounted :

MkDir C:\MountDir

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2 ) Determine the index number for a Server with a GUI image ( Mine is DataCenter )

Dism /get-wiminfo /wimfile:<drive>:sources\install.wim

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3 ) Mount the WIM file using this command at an elevated command prompt ( D:\ refers to my Windows Server 2012 DVD ) :

Dism /mountwim /WimFile:<drive>:\sources\install.wim /Index:<#_from_previous_step> /MountDir:c:\mountdir /readonly

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4 ) Finally , from CMD start Windows PowerShell , then execute the following cmdlet :

PowerShell ( Enter )

Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell –Restart –Source C:\mountdir\windows\winsxs

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Once completed , automatic restart will be performed , the magic spell works and our Windows Server 2012 is with GUI Open-mouthed smile

From Windows Server 2012 Full ( with GUI ) to Windows Server 2012 Core :

This is a single step action , all you need is to execute the following cmdlet at an elevated Windows PowerShell window :

 Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra –restart

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Once completed , automatic restart will be performed , the magic spell works and our Windows Server 2012 is Core Open-mouthed smile

In addition , here are the steps for installation for a Windows Server 2012 Core flavor :

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SNAGHTMLd8a7333

SNAGHTMLd8a9f51

SNAGHTMLd8ac8c1

SNAGHTMLd8ae93c

SNAGHTMLd8b087f

SNAGHTMLd9b0ed6 SNAGHTMLd9b7bbb SNAGHTMLd9e632c

If you want to install Windows Server 2012 with GUI chose the other option at the third screenshot ( count from left ) . awesome , isn’t ? Winking smile