MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2

Jump to navigationJump to search


MCSA Certification Page

As you can see on the page above, there are multiple paths you can take. I choose the WS2K12R2 one.

It is composed of 3 exams.

Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 Exam: 70-410

Administering Windows Server 2012 Exam: 70-411

Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services Exam 70-412

Books are available at

I'm using en_windows_server_2012_r2_with_update_x64_dvd_4065220.iso in a virtualbox/vmware environment.

I'm also watching CBTNuggets video training

The guys at Infiniteskills, VTC and Pluralsight have nice video trainings too.

The guys at examcollection provide a big test base. Also Microsoft points to Transcender and others to test your skills before the exam.


After installing it in a virtualbox environment .. The process was easy. Just *click click*. I started with the Standard core edition.

Check and enable remote desktop

cd c:\windows\system32
cscript scregedit.wsf /AR /v

Will yell 1 by default ( which means disabled. )

Enabled the remote desktop:

cd c:\windows\system32
cscript scregedit.wsf /AR 0

Running the cscript scregedit.wsf file without any params will yell other stuff you can do like:

/AU - Manage Automatic Windows Updates
/AR - Allow Remote Administration Connections
/CS - Allow connections from previous versions of Windows
/IM - IPSec monitor
/DP - DNS SRV Priority
/DW - DNS SRV Weight
/CLI - CLI reference

Convert from Full to Core and vice-versa

After a while looking at the videos, I decided there was some need for the full desktop. So, mounted the iso again .. I had to use DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool) because of a problem I seemed to have not finding the source. More info of my problem here

Import-Module ServerManager
mkdir c:\mountdir
Dism /get-wiminfo /wimfile:<drive>:sources\install.wim # I used drive d
Dism /mount-wim /WimFile:<drive>:\sources\install.wim /Index:<ID_from_step_2> /MountDir:c:\mountdir /readonly # my index was 2 for the standard installation, datacenter was also an option there ..
Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell –Restart –Source c:\mountdir\windows\winsxs

The reason I had to use dism was because for some reason, it couldn't find the source to download it ( altough I had net access ). You could try directly the powershell cmdlet without the -Source param.

Also, other interesting cmdlets are Uninstall-WindowsFeature ( with -Remove ) and Remove-WindowsFeature

The nice thing is that you can even do this to vhd ( Hyper-V VirtualHardDisk files ).

# This will remove Group Policy Management Console
Uninstall-WindowsFeature -name gpmc -vhd "Path\to\file.vhdx" -Remove
# The remove flag will actually remove the binaries ( payload ) from the disk, not only disable them.

You can get a full list of names and services with this powershell cmdlet:


Minimal Server

From a full install, it's as simple as:

# you can add a ''-whatif'' to check if it'll affect other programs.
Remove-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell –Restart
# you can do ''shutdown /r /t 0'' if you don't use ''-Restart''


You can do alot with the powershell cmdlets but there are other ways too. A nice tool is: sconfig. It was introduced with WS2K8.

Configuring networking

You can view your current configuration with this:

ipconfig /all

First, we need the Idx/Name for the interface

netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces
# you can use ''index=Idx'' instead of ''name=Ethernet''
netsh interface ipv4 set address name=Ethernet source=static address= mask= gateway=
netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name=Ethernet address= index=1

Changing computer name

Not recommended to be done on a CA.

Even though ipconfig/set can show you the computername, use this:


Here's how to change it.

# %cmputername% = current computer name variable
netdom renamecomputer %computername% /new:VBox01 /userd:Administrator /passwordd: /reboot:0

Joining a domain

netdom join %computername% / /userd:Administrator /passwordd: /reboot:5

Creating/Managing user accounts/groups

net user VBoxUser /add *
# will ask you a password
net localgroup Administrators /add VBoxUser

You can check a user's settings/info:

net user VBoxUser

Enable remote administration in firewall

netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="remote administration" new enable=yes

Disable the firewall

netsh advfirewall set allprofiles state off

Reset firewall

This should set you to the out of the box rules:

netsh advfirewall reset

Remote Management

It can be done by using a tool named winrm like this on the host machines:

winrm quickconfig # short qc

You can test from another host ( like the DC ). This should yell some output.

winrm id -remote:<hostname>

Checking free memory on the remote machine:

winrm g wmicimv2/Win32_OperatingSystem -fragment:PhysicalMemory -r:<hostname>

Running a remote config:

winrs -r:<hostname> ipconfig /all