Windows Server 2012 Core – Server Configuration, Add/Remove Features, SysPrep

Recently, I started building a Windows 2008 R2 / SQL 2008 R2 environment as per Jonathan Kehayias’s (blog|@SQLPoolBoy) series of articles on “Building A Free Test Environment“, I found myself wondering about doing similar in Windows 2012, specifically in Windows 2012 Core.

So, I started up a new VM and installed Windows 2012 Server Standard Core. And I was, as expected, greeted by a *gasp* command line interface. Yes, another reason to start learning PowerShell! When building a template along the lines of those mentioned by Jonathan in the first post of his series, there are a few things to do:

Server Configuration in Windows Server Core

Handy tip: there’s a utility for Server Configuration called, erm, “sconfig“. Remember that command – “sconfig”. It’s very helpful. However, it doesn’t do everything for you.

Feature Management in Windows Server Core

See the TechNet pages on Installing Windows Server 2012 Core for full information; the useful bits are:

  • get-windowsfeature – does what it says on the tin. Gives you a tree-like list of the windows features, with a [x] next to any that are installed:
    PoSh Get-WindowsFeature
    See that “Name” column? You’ll need that for adding and removing features.
  • install-windowsfeature featurename – installs the feature named “featurename” and subfeatures. In this case, I’m installing featurenames “Multipath-IO”, “Failover-Clustering” and “NET-Framework-Features”
  • uninstall-windowsfeature featurename – uninstalls the feature named “featurename” and sub-features.

Oh, and that reminds me:

Help with PowerShell

Need more help with PowerShell commandlets? Try running update-help – downloads a whole slew of updates and more detailed help files.


The SysPrep utility is in (by default) C:\Windows\System32\SysPrep.

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