Getting started with Server Core is easier now in R2

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Perhaps, inspired by Guy’s utility ‘Server Core Configurator’. There is now a menu driven utility call SCONFIG.exe in R2 version of Server Core. This allows you to do all the initial configuration tasks, such as rename the computer, join to domain, set an new IP or DNS, or enabled the RDP etc.

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Previously you had to rely on netdom, netsh, and WMIC to perform these initial tasks, unless you had the Server Core Configurator (as mentioned above) installed. Note that this SCONFIG menu is very much similar to that of Hyper-V menu.

Here are a few posts that you may find helpful for the pre-R2 Server Core.

http://www.shariqsheikh.com/blog/index.php/200804/how-to-setup-ip-configuration-of-windows-server-2008-server-core/
http://www.shariqsheikh.com/blog/index.php/200804/how-to-disable-windows-firewall-in-windows-server-2008-server-core/
http://www.shariqsheikh.com/blog/index.php/200804/how-to-enable-rdp-for-windows-server-2008-server-core/
http://www.shariqsheikh.com/blog/index.php/200804/how-can-i-rename-windows-server-2008-server-core/
http://www.shariqsheikh.com/blog/index.php/200804/how-to-activate-windows-server-2008-server-core/
http://www.shariqsheikh.com/blog/index.php/200804/how-to-promote-server-core-to-be-a-rodc/
http://www.shariqsheikh.com/blog/index.php/200805/install-server-roles-and-features-on-server-core/

How do I perform an offline domain join in Windows Server 2008 R2 ?

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As briefly discussed before, a feature to offline domain join machines is available in Windows Server 2008 R2. The utility is called “djoin.exe” which is used to perform this task. Here is an official blurb on what the offline domain join is what it would be used for and then I will show you how to perform this simple task.

“Offline domain join is a new process that computers that run Windows® 7 or Windows Server® 2008 R2 can use to join a domain without contacting a domain controller. This makes it possible to join computers to a domain in locations where there is no connectivity to a corporate network. For example, an organization might need to deploy many virtual machines in a datacenter. Offline domain join makes it possible for the virtual machines to be joined to the domain when they initially start after the installation of the operating system. No additional restart is required to complete the domain join. This can significantly reduce the overall time required for wide-scale virtual machine deployments.

A domain join establishes a trust relationship between a computer running a Windows operating system and an Active Directory® domain. This operation requires state changes to Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) and state changes on the computer that is joining the domain. To complete a domain join in the past using previous Windows® operating systems, the computer that joined the domain had to be running and it had to have network connectivity to contact a domain controller”

I created the metadata as known as “blob” on one of my DC for a Server named 2008R2RC2 that I wanted to join to domain offline (i.e the target machine not connected to the network) and saved it to a txt file called computer_prov, then as usual I run the help on the utility to learn what syntax it has available. Here is the command syntax I ran to provision the computer account and to create the metadata.

djoin /provision /domain techevan.lab /machine 2008R2RC2 /savefile c:computer_prov.txt

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I then jumped on the target machine, copy the txt file over and try to run needed syntax with the djoin utility

djoin /requestODJ /loadfile c:computer_prov.txt /windowspath %SystemRoot% /localos

I get an error that I am not running the Shell with elevated privileges, I get out and get back in with the “run as administrator” option, and get the same error.

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Perhaps its a bug in RC release, I then tried the same syntax from the conventional CMD line window and was successful.

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I then restarted the target computer and machine had been joined to the domain.

For more information please see, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd392267(WS.10).aspx