TOTD:Switch between core and GUI in WS 2016 TP2

Hi, everyone!

Here is another tip of the day.

As we described at the previously post (what’s new in Hyper-V  Windows Server 2016),there are only two install options (except for Nano Server) in Windows Server 2016 TP2. However, you have a third option – switch between core/minshell and GUI.

As shown on the picture (I’m sorry for the picture quality), GUI features are removed by default (TP2 without installed updates, core) and if you try to install them you get error (the source files could not be downloaded). Workaround is to provide alternative source (offline windows image) for required packages.

Mount ISO/Disk with Server 2016 TP2 and run:

Install-WindowsFeature Server-GUI-Mgmt-Infra, Server-GUI-Shell -source wim:<disk drive>:\sources\install.wim:<image index>
Restart-Computer -Force

Server-GUI-Mgmt-Infra includes Server Manager, control panel, MMCs and etc.
Server-GUI-Shell: Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer,Desktop and etc.


There is a known issue in TP2:

If you attempt to switch from Server with a GUI mode to Server Core mode in one step (that is, if you try to uninstall the Server-GUI-Mgmt-Infra and Server-GUI-Shell features at the same time), the uninstallation will fail. This will occur regardless of the uninstallation method, including using Server Manager, Dism.exe, or Windows PowerShell.

To avoid this, uninstall Server-GUI-Shell first, and then uninstall Server-GUI-Mgmt-Infra .

To get index of windows edition:

Get-WindowsImage -ImagePath D:\sources\install.wim

1,3 are core versions
2,4 non-core versions, contain all packages. should be used as image index to switch from core to GUI


If you have an updated TP2 and trying to switch from core to GUI using offline WIM (without updates) and receive error “ the source files could not be downloaded” you have to update offline windows image with installed updates and try again then.

#Get list of installed updates, download and save them manually

#Create new folder
New-Item C:\WIM -ItemType Directory

#Mount WIM to newly created folder
Mount-WindowsImage -Path C:\WIM -ImagePath D:\sources\install.wim -index 2

#Add update to WIM
Add-WindowsPackage -PackagePath "path to update package" -Path "C:\WIM"

#Apply changes to WIM
Dismount-WindowsImage -Path C:\WIM -Save

#try to switch

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