Add Windows Server 2012 GUI to a Core Installation

Whilst playing with deploying Server 2012 via SCCM I discovered that the default installation mode is a core installation. This is all well and good, but as the files to install the GUI features are not included in the core installation, you’ll need to work around the problem using DISM.

You will first need to create a folder to mount a Windows Imaging File (WIM) into. The command for this is:

mkdir c:\mountdir

You will need to find out the index number of the type if installation you want to use. The command is as follows:

Dism /get-wiminfo /wimfile:<drive>:sources\install.wim

<drive> is the optical drive the DVD is in. If you are using an ISO, you will need to unpack this to a folder on the c drive. I found this easier to to from another machine using my SCCM installer package source. Typically index 2 will be standard edition with GUI and 4 will be datacenter with GUI.

Mount the WIM file using this command at an elevated command prompt:

Dism /mount-wim /WimFile:<drive>:\sources\install.wim /Index:<#_from_step_2>
/MountDir:c:\mountdir /readonly

Start Windows PowerShell and run this cmdlet:

Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell –Restart –Source c:\mountdir\windows\winsxs

Once you’ve completed this you should be up and running with the full GUI.

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