Tuncay Sahin

ICT Engineer | Docent ICT & Trainer

This document provides a simple How-to to easily convert Windows Server 2012 Core Installation to Windows Server 2012 with a GUI and vice versa.

We have to use PowerShell for this purpose. To start PowerShell from Command Prompt, just type PowerShell. PowerShell should run with administrator privileges.

To know the PowerShell Execution Policy with the following code


to start with unrestricted privileges

Set-ExecutionPolicy –ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

if you are accessing server from remote computer

Set-ExecutionPolicy –Force RemoteSigned


Steps to Convert Server Core to a Server with a GUI

Server 2012 DVD or Server2012.iso image which can be mounted with various image mounting tools like UltraISO. And then just copy the install.wim to your hard disk and point your source:

first determine the index number for a Server with a GUI image that you would like to use for conversion.

Get-WindowsImage -ImagePath <path to wim>install.wim

to convert Server Core Installation into Full Server installation

"<path>" is the path to your install.wim

"<index>" is the Index number that you got from Step no. 1

Install-WindowsFeature Server-GUI-Mgmt-Infra,Server-GUI-Shell –Restart –Source wim:<path>:<index>

convert your Core Installation into "Minimal Server Interface, which contains " Microsoft Management Console (MMC), Server Manager, and a subset of Control Panel.

Install-WindowsFeature Server-GUI-Mgmt-Infra -Restart –Source wim:<path>:<index>


Steps to Convert from a Server GUI Full Installation to a Server Core

to Convert Server GUI to Server Minimal Interface. You can later revert to a Server with a GUI installation without specifying a source. This is because the necessary files remain stored on the disk

Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell –Restart

if you want to recover disk space and you want to reduce the size of the server installation

Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell –Remove –Restart

to convert your Full Server with GUI Installation into Server Core installation

Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-GUI-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell –Restart

Meer informatie

Voor meer informatie of voor een persoonlijk adviesgesprek kunt u altijd vrijblijvend contact met mij opnemen.