Windows Server 2008 Core – Useful Commands

Xavier Mustin

Staff member
I’ve found myself using Windows Server 2008 Core quite a lot recently, and apart from using the GUI CoreConfigurator I’ve realised that I’m often completely forgetting a whole bunch of commands related to Server Core setup. Now nine times out of ten I’m working from a prepared Sysprep image with Group Policies setting everything I need; but every so often I forget or am setting up a test lab and need these commands. Anyways, here’s a list of codes that I use very often.

Updated: rearranged code as joining a domain switches the Windows Firewall profile; all firewall changes will be discarded if you make them before joining the domain. Found that out the hard way =)

Give the computer a sensible name
netdom RenameComputer [i]<hostname>[/i] /NewName [i]<new_hostname>[/i]
Then reboot for it to take effect
shutdown /r /t 0
List network interfaces currently connected
netsh interface show interface
Set up static primary IP address if needed
netsh interface ipv4 set address “Local Area Connection” static [i]<IP address>[/i][i]<Subnet Mask>[/i] [i]<Default Gateway>[/i]
netsh interface ipv4 set dnsserver “Local Area Connection” static [i]<DNS IP Address 1>[/i] primary
netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver “Local Area Connection” [i]<DNS IP Address 2>[/i] index=2
If you're in a cluster, tell the cluster NIC not to register itself in DNS
netsh interface ipv4 set dnsserver [i]<Cluster NIC>[/i] static none none
Join our server to our domain
netdom join [i]<hostname>[/i] /domain:[i]<full DNS domain name>[/i] /userd:<user with rights to add to domain> /passwordd: *
and reboot once again
shutdown /r /t 0
Open firewall ports for remote administration
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Administration" new enable=yes
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Desktop" new enable=yes
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Volume Management" new enable=yes
this last command has to be run on both the Core installation And the server/workstation managing it
And allow ICMP Echo for all firewall profiles
netsh firewall set icmpsetting 8 enable all
Enable remote connection to the Virtual Disk service
sc config vds start=auto
net start vds
Let's enable Terminal Services so we can sit at our desk rather than in a server room
cscript c:\windows\system32\SCregEdit.wsf /ar 0
Reboot the server to make sure this takes effect - may not be necessary here
shutdown /r /t 0
Confirm regional settings
control timedate.cpl
control intl.cpl
Turn off Windows Update auto update
cscript SCregEdit.wsf /AU 1
Net stop wuauserv
Enable WinRM
WinRM quickconfig
Install your Roles
start /w ocsetup [i]<your role here>[/i]
Whack in your product key and license your server
start /w slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
start /w slmgr.vbs -ato
Just to check it's actually taken effect...
start /w slmgr.vbs -dli
Log off and your server is in production!
This is enough to put your server into production and manage it comfortably from your desk, rather than the server room.Advertisement