Saturday, April 25, 2009

Windows Server Core 2008: First steps - configuring for remote desktop

From a previous post you will see that I destroyed all my servers and started to learn something about Windows 2008. So now my new 2x512Mb RAM sticks have arrived for my K7N420 Pro Motherboard. Now I could load Windows 2008 on it as the minimum is 512Mb RAM for this OS. I thought let’s install the new “Server Core System”, which to be fair was extremely quick to install and had me with a log on screen quite quickly.

However, I log in, change the password (its blank as default) and then suddenly release I don’t even have a GUI. Cool I thought, I only want this server to run a DB and TFS Server. So let’s configure it.

1) Let’s give it a name, type the following in the command window


which should give you something daft like


Not exactly the best machine name, so type the following (where Simain is going to be my machine name). I always like to reboot after a name change (old habits!)

netdom renamecomputer win-egmik5j3f4m /NewName:Simian /REBoot

2) Next I check the network settings so that I can use the GUI of my laptop, so I check the settings

ipconfig /all

and notice that there are no IP addresses or no network configured at all. So next lets see what interfaces are defined.

netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces

So this tells me I have “Local Area Connection” and some Loopback pseudo interface. Make a note of the index of your interface as you will need it later

Now I assume that I need to configure the Local Area Connection as it states it is DHCP, and I wanted my server to have a static IP.

netsh interface ipv4 set address name="Local Area Connection" 

source=static address= mask= gateway=

After this the ‘DHCP Enabled’ setting in ipconfig /all has changed to No. So the next step is to add the DNS, for this you need the index from earlier

netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name="Local Area Connection" address= index=2

Now all I have to do is change my DHCP server to give out IP from a range of 3 onwards, so that I never get a conflict.

So, now I have a machine on the network, I want to unplug all the peripherals and connect to it via Remote Desktop (mstsc). Let’s tell the registry and the firewall to allow remote desktop connections.

cscript C:'Windows'System32'Scregedit.wsf /ar 0

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Desktop" new enable=yes

Now I can use my server like a true remote server on my network.

For further information please see here.

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