Steps for manually installing a Server Core installation

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To manually install and configure a Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008:

Installing Server Core

  1. Insert the appropriate Windows Server 2008 installation media into your DVD drive.
  2. When the auto-run dialog box appears, click Install Now.
  3. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Setup.
  4. After Setup completes, press Ctrl-Alt-Del, click Other User, type Administrator with a blank password, and then press Enter. You will be prompted to set a password for the Administrator account.

Setting the administrative password

  1. When your computer starts for the first time after the installation completes, press Ctrl-Alt-Del. Type Administrator for the user name and leave the password blank.
  2. The system will inform you that the password has expired and will prompt you to enter a new password.
  3. Type an appropriate password.

Setting a static IP address

  1. At a command prompt, type:
      netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces
  2. Make a note of the number shown in the "Idx" column of the output for your network adapter. If your computer has more than one network adapter, make a note of the number corresponding to the network adapter for which you wish to set a static IP address.
  3. At the command prompt, type on one line:
      netsh interface ipv4 set address name="<ID>" source=static address=<StaticIP> mask=<SubnetMask> gateway=<DefaultGateway>

    In the above command:

    • "ID" is the number from step 2 above.
    • "StaticIP" is the static IP address that you are setting.
    • "SubnetMask" is the subnet mask for the IP address.
    • "DefaultGateway" is the default gateway.
  4. At the command prompt, type:
      netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name="<ID>" address=<DNSIP>index=1

    In the above command:

    • "ID" is the number from step 2 above.
    • "DNSIP" is the IP address of your DNS server.
  5. Repeat step 4 for each DNS server that you want to set, incrementing the index= number each time.

If you set the static IP address on the wrong network adapter, you can change back to using the DHCP address supplied by using the following command:

  netsh interface ipv4 set address name="<ID>" source=dhcp

In the above command, "ID" is the number of the network adapter from Step 2.

Joining a domain

  1. At a command prompt, type:
      netdom join <ComputerName> /domain:<DomainName> /userd:<UserName> /password:*

    In the above command:

    • "ComputerName" is the name of the server that is running the Server Core installation.
    • "DomainName" is the name of the domain to join.
    • "UserName" is a domain user account with permission to join the domain.
  2. When prompted to enter the password, type the password for the domain user account specified by UserName.
  3. If you need to add a domain user account to the local Administrators group, type the following command:
      net localgroup administrators /add <DomainName>\<UserName>
  4. Restart the computer. You can do this by typing the following at a command prompt:
      shutdown /r /t 0

Renaming the server

  1. Determine the current name of the server with the hostname or ipconfig command.
  2. At a command prompt, type:
      netdom renamecomputer <ComputerName> /NewName:<NewComputerName>
  3. Restart the computer.

Activating the server

At a command prompt, type:

  slmgr.vbs -ato

If activation is successful, no message will return in the command prompt.


You can also activate by phone, using a Key Management Service (KMS) server, or remotely by typing the following command at a command prompt of a computer that is running Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008:

  cscript windows\system32\slmgr.vbs <ServerName> <UserName> <password>:-ato

Configuring the firewall

Use the netsh advfirewall command. For example, to enable remote management from any MMC snap-in, type:

  netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Administration" new enable=yes 

You can also use the Windows Firewall snap-in from a computer running Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 to remotely manage the firewall on a server running a Server Core installation. To do this, you must first enable remote management of the firewall by running the following command on the computer running a Server Core installation:

  netsh advfirewall set currentprofile settings remotemanagement enable

Administrative credentials

If you are going to join a server running a Server Core installation to an existing Windows domain, you need a user name and password for an account that has the administrative credentials to join a computer to the domain.

Known issues for configuring a Server Core installation

  • If you close all command prompts, you will have no way to manage the Server Core installation. To recover, you can press Ctrl-Alt-Del, click Start Task Manager, click File, click Run, and type cmd.exe. Alternatively, you can log off and log back on again.
  • Because there is no Web browser, you cannot activate a Server Core installation or access the internet through a firewall that requires users to log on.

The information in this document was adapted from the Microsoft TechNet Windows Server 2008 page.

This is document awst in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-05-14 16:34:52.

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