Administer a Server Core server

Applies To: Windows Server (Semi-Annual Channel) and Windows Server 2016

Because Server Core doesn't have a UI, you need to use Windows PowerShell cmdlets, command line tools, or remote tools to perform basic administration tasks. The following sections outline the PowerShell cmdlets and commands used for basic tasks. You can also use Windows Admin Center, a unified management portal currently in public preview, to administer your installation.

Administrative tasks using PowerShell cmdlets

Use the following information to perform basic administrative tasks with Windows PowerShell cmdlets.

Set a static IP address

When you install a Server Core server, by default it has A DHCP address. If you need a static IP address, you can set it using the following steps.

To view your current network configuration, use Get-NetIPConfiguration.

To view the IP addresses you're already using, use Get-NetIPAddress.

To set a static IP address, do the following:

  1. Run Get-NetIPInterface.
  2. Note the number in the IfIndex column for your IP interface or the InterfaceDescription string. If you have more than one network adapter, note the number or string corresponding to the interface you want to set the static IP address for.
  3. Run the following cmdlet to set the static IP address:

    New-NetIPaddress -InterfaceIndex 12 -IPAddress -PrefixLength 24 -DefaultGateway


    • InterfaceIndex is the value of IfIndex from step 2. (In our example, 12)
    • IPAddress is the static IP address you want to set. (In our example,
    • PrefixLength is the prefix length (another form of subnet mask) for the IP address you're setting. (For our example, 24)
    • DefaultGateway is the IP address to the default gateway. (For our example,
  4. Run the following cmdlet to set the DNS client server address:

    Set-DNSClientServerAddress –InterfaceIndex 12 -ServerAddresses


    • InterfaceIndex is the value of IfIndex from step 2.
    • ServerAddresses is the IP address of your DNS server.
  5. To add multiple DNS servers, run the following cmdlet:

    Set-DNSClientServerAddress –InterfaceIndex 12 -ServerAddresses,

    where, in this example, and are both IP addresses of DNS servers.

If you need to switch to using DHCP, run Set-DnsClientServerAddress –InterfaceIndex 12 –ResetServerAddresses.

Join a domain

Use the following cmdlets to join a computer to a domain.

  1. Run Add-Computer. You'll be prompted for both credentials to join the domain and the domain name.
  2. If you need to add a domain user account to the local Administrators group, run the following command at a command prompt (not in the PowerShell window):

    net localgroup administrators /add <DomainName>\<UserName>
  3. Restart the computer. You can do this by running Restart-Computer.

Rename the server

Use the following steps to rename the server.

  1. Determine the current name of the server with the hostname or ipconfig command.
  2. Run Rename-Computer -ComputerName <new_name>.
  3. Restart the computer.

Activate the server

Run slmgr.vbs –ipk<productkey>. Then run slmgr.vbs –ato. If activation succeeds, you won't get a message.


You can also activate the server by phone, using a Key Management Service (KMS) server, or remotely. To activate remotely, run the following cmdlet from a remote computer:

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

Configure Windows Firewall

You can configure Windows Firewall locally on the Server Core computer using Windows PowerShell cmdlets and scripts. See NetSecurity for the cmdlets you can use to configure Windows Firewall.

Enable Windows PowerShell remoting

You can enable Windows PowerShell Remoting, in which commands typed in Windows PowerShell on one computer run on another computer. Enable Windows PowerShell Remoting with Enable-PSRemoting.

For more information, see About Remote FAQ

Administrative tasks from the command line

Use the following reference information to perform administrative tasks from the command line.

Configuration and installation

Task Command
Set the local administrative password net user administrator *
Join a computer to a domain netdom join %computername% /domain:<domain> /userd:<domain\username> /passwordd:*
Restart the computer.
Confirm that the domain has changed set
Remove a computer from a domain netdom remove <computername>
Add a user to the local Administrators group net localgroup Administrators /add <domain\username>
Remove a user from the local Administrators group net localgroup Administrators /delete <domain\username>
Add a user to the local computer net user <domain\username> /add *
Add a group to the local computer net localgroup <group name> /add
Change the name of a domain-joined computer netdom renamecomputer %computername% /NewName:<new computer name> /userd:<domain\username> /passwordd: *
Confirm the new computer name set
Change the name of a computer in a work group netdom renamecomputer <currentcomputername> /NewName:<newcomputername>
Restart the computer.
Disable paging file management wmic computersystem where name="<computername>" set AutomaticManagedPagefile=False
Configure the paging file wmic pagefileset where name=”<path/filename>” set InitialSize=<initialsize>,MaximumSize=<maxsize>
Where path/filename is the path to and name of the paging file, initialsize is the starting size of the paging file, in bytes, and maxsize is the maximum size of the page file, in bytes.
Change to a static IP address ipconfig /all
Record the relevant information or redirect it to a text file (ipconfig /all >ipconfig.txt).
netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces
Verify that there is an interface list.
netsh interface ipv4 set address name <ID from interface list> source=static address=<preferred IP address> gateway=<gateway address>
Run ipconfig /all to vierfy that DHCP enabled is set to No.
Set a static DNS address. netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name=<name or ID of the network interface card> address=<IP address of the primary DNS server> index=1
netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name=<name of secondary DNS server> address=<IP address of the secondary DNS server> index=2**
Repeat as appropriate to add additional servers.
Run ipconfig /all to verify that the addresses are correct.
Change to a DHCP-provided IP address from a static IP address netsh interface ipv4 set address name=<IP address of local system> source=DHCP
Run Ipconfig /all to verify that DCHP enabled is set to Yes.
Enter a product key slmgr.vbs –ipk <product key>
Activate the server locally slmgr.vbs -ato
Activate the server remotely cscript slmgr.vbs –ipk <product key><server name><username><password>
cscript slmgr.vbs -ato <servername> <username> <password>
Get the GUID of the computer by running cscript slmgr.vbs -did
Run cscript slmgr.vbs -dli <GUID>
Verify that License status is set to Licensed (activated).

Networking and firewall

Task Command
Configure your server to use a proxy server netsh Winhttp set proxy <servername>:<port number>
Note: Server Core installations can't access the Internet through a proxy that requires a password to allow connections.
Configure your server to bypass the proxy for Internet addresses netsh winttp set proxy <servername>:<port number>bypass-list="<local>"
Display or modify IPSEC configuration netsh ipsec
Display or modify NAP configuration netsh nap
Display or modify IP to physical address translation arp
Display or configure the local routing table route
View or configure DNS server settings nslookup
Display protocol statistics and current TCP/IP network connections netstat
Display protocol statistics and current TCP/IP connections using NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NBT) nbtstat
Display hops for network connections pathping
Trace hops for network connections tracert
Display the configuration of the multicast router mrinfo
Enable remote administration of the firewall netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group=”Windows Firewall Remote Management” new enable=yes

Updates, error reporting, and feedback

Task Command
Install an update wusa <update>.msu /quiet
List installed updates systeminfo
Remove an update expand /f:* <update>.msu c:\test
Navigate to c:\test\ and open <update>.xml in a text editor.
Replace Install with Remove and save the file.
pkgmgr /n:<update>.xml
Configure automatic updates To verify the current setting: cscript %systemroot%\system32\scregedit.wsf /AU /v **
To enable automatic updates: **cscript scregedit.wsf /AU 4

To disable automatic updates: cscript %systemroot%\system32\scregedit.wsf /AU 1
Enable error reporting To verify the current setting: serverWerOptin /query
To automatically send detailed reports: serverWerOptin /detailed
To automatically send summary reports: serverWerOptin /summary
To disable error reporting: serverWerOptin /disable
Participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) To verify the current setting: serverCEIPOptin /query
To enable CEIP: serverCEIPOptin /enable
To disable CEIP: serverCEIPOptin /disable

Services, processes, and performance

Task Command
List the running services sc query or net start
Start a service sc start <service name> or net start <service name>
Stop a service sc stop <service name> or net stop <service name>
Retrieve a list of running applications and associated processes tasklist
Start Task Manager taskmgr
Create and manage event trace session and performance logs To create a counter, trace, configuration data collection or API: logman ceate
To query data collector properties: logman query
To start or stop data collection: logman start|stop
To delete a collector: logman delete
To update the properties of a collector: logman update
To import a data collector set from an XML file or export it to an XML file: logman import|export

Event logs

Task Command
List event logs wevtutil el
Query events in a specified log wevtutil qe /f:text <log name>
Export an event log wevtutil epl <log name>
Clear an event log wevtutil cl <log name>

Disk and file system

Task Command
Manage disk partitions For a complete list of commands, run diskpart /?
Manage software RAID For a complete list of commands, run diskraid /?
Manage volume mount points For a complete list of commands, run mountvol /?
Defragment a volume For a complete list of commands, run defrag /?
Convert a volume to the NTFS file system convert <volume letter> /FS:NTFS
Compact a file For a complete list of commands, run compact /?
Administer open files For a complete list of commands, run openfiles /?
Administer VSS folders For a complete list of commands, run vssadmin /?
Administer the file system For a complete list of commands, run fsutil /?
Take ownership of a file or folder For a complete list of commands, run icacls /?


Task Command
Add a driver for a new hardware device Copy the driver to a folder at %homedrive%\<driver folder>. Run pnputil -i -a %homedrive%\<driver folder>\<driver>.inf
Remove a driver for a hardware device For a list of loaded drivers, run sc query type= driver. Then run sc delete <service_name>