Windows Server 2012 “Server 8 Beta” GUI Removal and Reinstallation

One of the very interesting features of Windows Server 8 Beta is the ability to install your server with full GUI and do all of your required configurations and then remove the GUI to be server core. Same operation can be done the other way around as some people may install server core and realize that having a GUI will give them the ability to do tasks they are used to quicker then remove the GUI after.

In the post we will see the complete procedures to take Windows Server 8 Beta with GUI to server core and vice versa.

1. First step will be installing with Server 8 Beta with full GUI by selecting “Windows Server 8 Beta Datacenter (Server with a GUI)


2. After installation login to Windows Server normally and do all of the required configuration on this server, when done in Server Manager click Manage then Remove Roles and Features.


3. In the Before you begin page click next.


4. On Server Selection page select the server you want to perform this operation on, in our case it’s the local server.


5. Skip Remove Server Roles page by clicking next


6. On the Remove Features page uncheck User interfaces and Infrastructure


7. Confirm your removal selection and restart the server manually if you didn’t select “Restart the destination server automatically if required”


8. Now the server has no GUI and when you login to the server after restart you will be prompted with CMD


9. To reinstall the GUI again type PowerShell in the CMD screen, then type

Add-WindowsFeature Server-GUI-Shell


10. Wait for the installation to complete and then restart your server by typing Shutdown –r –t 0