Technical: Microsoft – OS – Windows Server 2012 – Regain Windows GUI\Shell

Technical: Microsoft – OS – Windows Server 2012 – Regain Windows GUI\Shell


The web is full of advises, but some of them are a bit in-complete.

On Friday evening, I downloaded and installed SharePoint 2010 Foundation Services.

Woke up to play around with it on Saturday.  Everything look good, but as I started to feel my way around with stsadm I started having problems.

Specifically what problems, well the big one, the Configuration Administration Web page was coming up empty.

I thought of trying to employ “SharePoint Diagnostic Studio 2010 (SPDiag 3.0) (SharePoint Server 2010)” downloadable from

As the diagnostic tool needs a 64-bit box I needed to have it run on the Windows 2012 Server itself.

But, more problems! Something of the sort that the SharePoint diagnostics targets PowerShell v2, while on the other hand Window 2012 now comes installed with PowerShell v3.

Messed up my Server Box

I tried everything to try to get my Windows 2012 to cooperate, but no help came.  So finally took that one advice that says to uninstall PowerShell 3.0.

BTW, PowerShell and other tools are now productized as Windows Management Framework.

In the middle of uninstall, Microsoft warned me plenty as to which products are dependent on MS Windows Management Framework.  But, it was 3.00 AM Sunday morning and I really needed to see if uninstalling PowerShell 3.0 will help.

So went ahead and threw caution to the wind.  The uninstall of Windows Management Framework took a long time.

The machine rebooted and uninstall continued.

Another reboot occurred and upon coming back no GUI.


Searched the net and advises ranged from using Sconfig to PowerShell to re-install the GUI.

Fix – Sconfig

I tried Sconfig as documented in  But, on my screen the option to “Restore Graphical User Interface” is not showing up.


It is possible, that the option to “Restore Graphical User Interface” is not showing up as I did not use this tool to remove the GUI and thus the toolkit is not really identifying the system as completely lacking the GUI.

Fix – PowerShell

Unfortunately, I had uninstalled PowerShell and the executable is no longer active on my computer.

Fix – DSIM

And, another option was to use dsim.

Dsim stands for “Deployment Image Servicing and Management”.

To use it per our purpose, please issue the following commands:

dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:servercore-fullserver /all 
dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:Server-Gui-Shell /all
dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:Server-Gui-Mgmt /all

Each command should be entered on its own.  And, please wait for each command to process and complete, before entering the next.

You will be asked if you want to restart upon each component completion, but please respond as “No” until you have completed the last command.


Audio (2013.10.07)

On Monday (10/7/2013), I found out that I can no longer hear YouTube. The speakers icon at the far bottom right corner of my desktop was on point and suggested that the “Audio Service might not be running.

Checked through the Services Applet and confirmed that the “Windows Audio” Service is indeed configured for manual start-up. Changed it back to “Automatic”.

Wireless Devices (2013.10.09)

On Wednesday (10/9/2013) confirmed that the wireless networking device is conclusively offline.

To bring it back up, you can use DISM or Powershell.


From command line, issue:

dism /online /Enable-Feature /all /FeatureName:WirelessNetworking


Start powershell.exe and issue this command:

add-windowsfeature wireless-newtworking



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