Active Directory/Documentation/Server 2008 Core

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Setting up Windows Server 2008 Core the first time can be a little frustrating since most of tools people are used to using aren't there. So here's a cheat sheet for getting you machine setup and into the domain, at which point you can use most server management tools remotely.

NOTE: Did more recent work on Core here:

Change Computer Name

netdom renamecomputer <ComputerName> /NewName:<NewComputerName>


Reboot after 0 seconds with comment "Changed Server Name": shutdown /r /T 0 /C "Changed Server Name"

Reboot for "OS Reconfiguration (Planned)": shutdown /r /d p:2:4

Type Logoff to logoff.

Setting up Licensing

slmgr.vbs -ipk <USE MAK KEY>
slmgr.vbs -ato

Join Domain

netdom join Computer_Name / /userd:unityid.admin /passwordd:Password

Installing vmware tools

Adding server roles

Updating the firewall


Server 2008 Core only supports 2 modes of Automatic updates:

  • (1) Disabled
  • (4) Automatically download updates and install them using the schedule
  • The server has to be either in an OU that completely configures via GPO AU or doesn't touch it at all. Otherwise you will get an error when trying to enable AU or trying to install a patch.
  • To enable AU: cscript C:\Windows\System32SCregEdit.wsf /AU 4
  • To install a patch by hand: wusa.exe <patch> /quiet
  • To list installed patches: wmic qfe list
  • (Automatically) Updating Server Core

Enable RDP

  • From XP: cscript %windir%\system32\SCRegEdit.wsf /CS 0
  • From Vista: cscript %windir%\system32\SCRegEdit.wsf /AR 0
  • 0 is Enable, 1 is Disable

Useful Links

Server Core Technet Blog