How to Configure Windows Server 2012 R2 Core?

The Windows Server Core is a minimal server installation option for computers running on the operating system and this topic goes to configure Windows Server 2012 R2 Core.  Server Core provides a low-maintenance server environment with limited functionality.
As in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 offer Full Server and Server Core installation options. Starting with Windows Server 2012, it is possible to transition between Full Server and Server Core without reinstalling the operating system.

Configure Windows Server 2012 R2 Core

After installing Windows Server 2012 R2, you need to configure the initial configuration of Windows Server 2012 R2. In Windows Server with GUI the configuration is easy, but in Windows Server Core edition, initial configuration is a bit difficult but not hard. .

With two ways we can configure Server core. One is with command line tools like command Prompt or PowerShell. And the second one is Server Configuration tool (Sconfig.cmd) to configure and manage several common aspects of Server Core installations.

Install Windows Server 2012 R2 Core

The Server Core installation is the same as Server with GUI, only need to select Core edition at the time of Installation. Do the installation according to installing Windows Server 2012 R2 post.

Configure Windows Server 2012 R2 Core
Configure Windows Server 2012 R2 Core

When you finished the Server Core installation successfully, login to as administrator account and you will see only a command prompt on the black desktop.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Core
Windows Server 2012 R2 Core

Here I have installed Server Core on Hyper-v.

1. Changing Default Server Name

The first step is to change the default server name. The default name of Windows Server is a long name and hard to read it. In order to change the name, just do it with the below “netdom” or “PowerShell” command.

C:\>netdom renamecomputer %computername% /newname:SRV-Core 

Change Server Name
Change Server Name

When ask you Do you want to proceed? Just type “y” and press enter to change the name successfully.

Now once reboot the system with “Shutdown” command to complete the process.

C:\>shutdown -r -t 0 

Changing Default Server Name with PowerShell

OK. Let’s do it with PowerShell also.  To open PowerShell in Server Core, type “Start PowerShell” in command prompt to open it in a separate window.

Server Core PowerShell
Server Core PowerShell

PS C:\ > Rename-computer -NewName ServerCore -Restart 

Chage Computer Name With PowerShell
Chage Computer Name With PowerShell

The “Rename-Computer” command will change the server name to ServerCore and restart the sysmte with “-Restart” option.

OK. When the system has restart, check the computer name with “hostname” command, whether changed or not yet.

2. Configuring IP Address

The IP address will set with network shell “netsh“.  The below command display all network interfaces cards.

C:\>Netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces

Network Interface Cards
Network Interface Cards

The “Ethernet 2” with index id “13” is the network interface I’m going to use for this article.

Configure IP Address with Netsh
Configure IP Address with Netsh

To know more about configuring Network interfaces with Netsh command line tool, read the “Configure Windows IPv4 Address with Netsh” post.

3. Join Server Core to Domain

Join Server Core to a domain with “netdom join” command or PowerShell command.

C:\>netdom join %computername% /domain:Technig.local /userd:Shais /passwordd:* /reboot:10

Join Server Core to Domain
Join Server Core to Domain

After the typing command, press enter and enter the password then system will reboot after 10 second.

Remember, when the password or domain name would be wrong, the command will issue errors. Try to solve according to error messages.

4. Enabling Remote Desktop on Server Core

You need to control Server core remotely, so first must be enable with “Scregedit.wsf” script. The Scregedit.wsf script is located in System32 folder. You should change the directory to C:\Windows\System32 folder.

C:\Windows\System32>cscritp scregedit.wsf /AR /v 

Enable Remote Desktop On Server Core
Enable Remote Desktop On Server Core

In order to enable Remote desktop, change the registry value “1” to “0

C:\Windows\System32>cscritp scregedit.wsf /AR 0

Server Core Remote Dekstop
Server Core Remote Dekstop

The result must be “0” like the screenshot.

5. Create Firewall Rule for Remote Desktop

When you enable remote desktop on server core, the firewall exception must be create it manually. So do it with the below “netsh” command.

C:\>netsh firewall set service type=remotedesktop mode=enable

OK. That’s enough to configure Windows Server 2012 R2 Core for now. I will add some more option soon. Now I must go to class.

Hop you enjoy the Configure Windows Server 2012 R2 Core article and ask your question through comment.

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