Share via

Tip: Commands and Tools for Managing Windows Server 2008 Server Core

Full server and server core installations are different when it comes to local console administration. With a full server installation, you have a UI that includes a full desktop environment for local console management of the server. With a core server installation, you have a minimal UI that includes a limited desktop environment for local console management of the server. This minimal interface includes:

  • Windows Logon screen for logging on and logging off
  • Notepad for editing files
  • Regedit for managing the registry
  • Task Manager for managing tasks and starting new tasks
  • Command Prompt for administration via the command line

After you log on to a core-server installation, you have a limited desktop environment with an Administrator command prompt. You can use this command prompt for administration of the server. If you accidentally close the command prompt, you can start a new command prompt by following these steps:
1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to display Task Manager.
2. On the Applications tab, click New Task.
3. In the Create New Task dialog box, type cmd in the Open field and then click OK.

You can start Notepad and Regedit directly from a command prompt by entering notepad.exe or regedit.exe as appropriate. To open Control Panel, type intl.cpl.

Tips RSS Feed

Subscribe to the TechNet Magazine Tips RSS feed.

At the command prompt, you’ll find that you have all the standard commands and command-line utilities available for managing the server. However, keep in mind that commands, utilities, and programs will only run if all of their dependencies are available in the core-server installation.

While core-server installations support a limited set of roles and role services, you can install most features. The key exceptions are those that depend on the .NET Framework. Because the Microsoft .NET Framework is not supported in the original implementation, you cannot add features such as Windows PowerShell. And you can use Terminal Services to manage a core-server installation remotely.

Here is an overview of key commands and utilities you’ll use for managing server core installations while logged on locally:
Control desk.cpl - View or set display settings.
Control intl.cpl - View or set regional and language options, including formats and the keyboard layout.
Control sysdm.cpl - View or set system properties.
Control timedate.cpl - View or set the date, time, and time zone.
Cscript slmgr.vbs –ato - Activate the operating system.
DiskRaid.exe - Configure software RAID.
ipconfig /all - List information about the computer’s IP address configuration.
NetDom RenameComputer - Set the server’s name and domain membership.
OCList.exe - List roles, role services, and features.
OCSetup.exe - Add or remove roles, role services, and features.
PNPUtil.exe - Install or update hardware device drivers.
Sc query type=driver - List installed device drivers.
Scregedit.wsf - Configure the operating system. Use the /cli parameter to list available configuration areas.
ServerWerOptin.exe - Configure Windows Error Reporting.
SystemInfo - List the system configuration details.
WEVUtil.exe - View and search event logs.
Wmic datafile where name=“FullFilePath” get version - List a file’s version.
Wmic nicconfig index=9 call enabledhcp - Set the computer to use dynamic IP addressing rather than static IP addressing.
Wmic nicconfig index=9 call enablestatic(“IPAddress”), (“SubnetMask”) - Set a computer’s static IP address and network mask.
Wmic nicconfig index=9 call setgateways(“GatewayIPAddress”) - Set or change the default gateway.
Wmic product get name /value “ - List installed MSI applications by name.
Wmic product where name=“Name” call uninstall - Uninstall an MSI application.
Wmic qfe list - List installed updates and hotfixes.
Wusa.exe PatchName.msu /quiet - Apply an update or hotfix to the operating system.

From the Microsoft Press book Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant by William R. Stanek.

Looking for More Tips?

For more Windows Server tips, visit the TechNet Magazine Windows Server 2008 Tips page.

For more Tips on other products, visit the TechNet Magazine Tips index.