Windows Server 2012 introduced a new configuration option called Minimal Server Interface. Minimal Server Interface is in simple words compromise between Server GUI Full Installation and Server Core installation. Minimal Server Interface installation reduces footprint of the server to some extent thus decreasing security hazards. In the same time it increases deployment scenarios. Let’s see how to convert Server GUI to Minimal Server Interface in Windows server 2012. If you want to convert Server GUI full installation to Server Core installation, read here.
Following tools are installed in Minimal Server Interface.
Some Control Panel Applets
The items which are not installed during Minimal Server Interface are
Login as Administrator. Open “Powershell”. Type the command
“Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell -remove” and Press “Enter”.
After collecting some data, the system will start removing the Server-Gui-Shell.
After the removal of Server-gui-shell is finished, the system will ask us to restart the system.
Restart the system by typing “shutdown -r -t 0″. The system will reboot to Minimal server Interface which will look like below.
Hi Friends, Today we will see how to install and promote a domain controller in Windows server 2012. It has seen a change while installing a domain controller. The “dcpromo.exe” present in previous versions has been deprecated. We need to install domain controller from Server Manager only. Before we start installing the domain controller let’s change our server’s name to ‘Server‘ and IP address to “10.10.10.1″.
Now let’s go to Server Manager and start adding “Active Directory Domain Services” role from Add Roles and Features. Click on “Add Roles and Features”.
Before we begin, we are presented with basic information on IP addresses, Windows updates and configuring strong passwords. Click “Next”.
Then we are prompted for the type of installation. Select “Role Based or Feature based installation”and click “Next”.
Then we are prompted to select the destination server. Select the server we just named and click “Next”.
Then we are asked to select the roles we want to install. Select Active Directory Domain Services and click “Next”.
Then we get a pop-up to add features that are required for Active Directory domain services. These features are automatically selected. Click on “Add Features”.
We can see that Group Policy Management which is required for Active Directory Domain services has been automatically selected.
Then we are given a brief description about Active Directory domain services and some basic things to note. Click “Next”.
Then we are shown the roles that will be installed on the server as a confirmation. Click on “Install”.
Then the installation starts.
As the installation is finished, we get a message ‘Configuration required. Installation succeeded on server’. Click on “Close”.
We have successfully installed Active Directory Domain Services on our server. Now we need to promote the domain controller. In the previous versions of Windows server, it is here we used dcpromo.exe. In our Server Manager, we have a notification flag with a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark inside it. Click on it.
Click on ‘Promote this server as domain controller’.
We are prompted to choose the configuration of our domain controller. Choose Add a new forest and specify the root domain name as shunya.com. Click on “Next”.
We are asked to choose the domain controller options. Set the forest functional level and domain functional level as Windows Server 2012. Select DNS server. Since this is the root domain in the forest it is automatically Read only domain controller. Enter the DSRM password and click on “Next”.
Then DNS options screen appears. Click on “Next”.
Look at the NETBIOS name which is automatically assigned. It is shunya.
The location where the AD DS database, log files and SYSVOL are shown. We can specify different locations if we choose to be. Click on “Next”.
Then we see a review of our selections. Click on “Next”.
Then we see a Windows PowerShell script for AD DS deployment.
Then we get a prerequisites check window. Click on “Install”.
After all the prerequisites are validated successfully, the server is successfully configured as a domain controller and the system is restarted.
After the system restarts, we are asked to login into the shunya domain.
Microsoft has always been recommending the Server Core Installation for its servers over the full server installation. As is well known, Server Core Installation which is the minimal install of the server version reduces the space for attack vector by hackers. It also reduces the usage of resources. But the Server Core Installation makes administration intimidating as it requires the administrators to be a PowerShell expert.
With Windows Server 2012, Microsoft has introduced a new feature that would allow switching from Server GUI to Server Core Installation and vice versa. This enables administrators to install and configure the server in GUI and then switch to Server Core installation. Although there are many ways to switch from Server GUI to Server Core installation, the easiest way to perform this switching is by simple PowerShell commands. I am gonna show you how. For this, I have installed Windows Server 2012 standard GUI installation in Vmware workstation.
Then open PowerShell and type the command
“Remove-windowsfeature Server-gui-shell,Server-gui-mgmt-infra” and hit Enter.
The process of disabling the GUI starts and the display is as same as below.
After a short time, the process is completed and it prompts you for a restart.
Restart the machine by typing “shutdown –R –T 0″ and hit ENTER.
After the reboot, the system asks for administrator password on entering which it switches to Server Core Installation.
To enable back the GUI, enter into PowerShell by typing command “powershell.exe” in the cmd and hit ENTER. In PowerShell, type the same command as above replacing Remove with Install and hit ENTER.