Windows 2012 Core Survival Guide – Getting Started setting up your lab


Learn about my 2012 Core Survival Guide here.

Getting Started

This first post is going to get us started on the journey. As I develop this guide I will need a lab. I am going to keep the lab simple: 3 Servers and a virtual switch. I created this lab virtually on my Windows 8 laptop because it supports 64 bit guests. I used my MSDN subscription for the servers. You can use evaluation copies of Windows server 2012 for your lab learning. You can find the rest of the details about my lab below in the picture.

My Lab Setup


Here is some help getting setup for building your lab:

Build Your Lab! Download Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8


Now that you have your lab setup we need to get started. The first thing you will need to know how to do is get PowerShell started.

Starting PowerShell

PowerShell is the primary automation tool for Windows Server 2012. To launch PowerShell while running Windows Server 2012 Core type "PowerShell" on the command line. You can determine you are in PowerShell by viewing your command prompt. It will start with "PS". To exit out of PowerShell type "Exit" on the command line. Below is an example of starting and exiting PowerShell.


Yup, I am starting slowly here since it must have taken you a couple of hours to get the lab setup. From the command window there is another tool you should know, Sconfig.cmd. Windows Server 2012 ships with a command line script called Sconfig.cmd. This utility requires you be an administrator on the local box. As I played around with Sconfig.cmd I discovered it was very limited in what it allowed me to set. I found to be able to completely configure a core server you will need to use PowerShell. I encourage you to play around with this tool. Below is a screen shot of sconfig.cmd.


More information about this Sconfig.cmd can be found at:

Windows Server 2012 core provides us with command line tools. A list of the command line tools can be found at:


Comments (2)

  1. Rhys says:

    Hi Bruce, yes sconfig is simplistic but it does let you turn on automatic updates relatively quickly out of the box!

  2. Karim says:

    Thanks Bruce, this blog was exactly what I a was looking for.

Skip to main content