Configure 2008 Server Core Networking

So you’ve installed Windows Server 2008 Core, you don’t use DHCP and you want to get the thing on the network. I keep forgetting how to do this so I thought I’d create this post to help me remember!

I’m assuming that you’ve got as far as changing the administrator password and logging in. The next step is as easy as typing a few commands into the plain black window you see in front of you. For this example, let’s assume that we want the server to have the following network configuration:

HOSTNAME: win2008core

IP ADDRESS: 10.1.5.16

SUBNET MASK: 255.255.255.128

DEFAULT GATEWAY: 10.1.5.126

DNS SERVER: 10.10.20.6

DNS SERVER: 10.20.4.3

We first have to extract two pieces of information from the server. The current hostname and the index of the NIC that we want to configure.

The hostname can be acquired simply by entering the command:

hostname

This will return something like “WIN-87abac8chasa87″ or something random like that. Make a note of the name returned as we’ll need it later.

Next enter the following command:

netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces

This will return an output a bit like the one below. The important thing though is getting the index (Idx) value for the interface that you’re interested in (3 in this case). By default this will probably be called “Local Area Connection”.

screenshot_2009-12-03_12-58-49

To setup the IP details for the interface just enter the following command:

netsh interface ipv4 set address name="3" source=static address=10.1.5.16 mask=255.255.255.128 gateway=10.1.5.126

To add the DNS servers to this interface, use the following commands:

netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name="3" address=10.10.20.6 index=1
netsh interface ipv4 add dnsserver name="3" address=10.20.4.3 index=2

Note that we incremented the index value in the second command.

That was quite easy really. All that remains is to rename the server. This is done with another simple command using the value that we obtained earlier:

netdom renamecomputer WIN-87abac8chasa87 /NewName:win2008core

All that you then need to do is reboot the server:

shutdown /r /t 0

Michael is a Senior Consultant for Xtravirt. If it's got buttons or flashy lights on it then it'll probably be on his radar. When not "mending computers" (it's sometimes easier than explaining "cloud" to relatives), Michael provides essential education, entertainment and trampoline services to his two children.

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