Windows Server 2012 R2

Server Core installations now benefit from Windows Defender, too.

While I write this, Windows Server 2012 R2 is Microsoft’s latest and greatest Windows Server version.

I planned on writing a blogpost on all the new features, specific to Server Core, but decided that this one blogpost would suffice…


Server Core vs. Full Installations

Don’t get me wrong, though. Server Core installations offer tons of new features and I really advice you to check it out.

The point is, however, that, these days, Server Core installations aren’t that special anymore. Most of the Server Roles and Features are available for both Full installations and Server Core installations. Also, since Windows Server 2012, you can switch between Server Core and Full (and minumum shell) after installation, making for a really interesting story when admins don’t run Server Core installations.


Windows Defender

Which brings me to the one feature specific for Server Core installations in Windows Server 2012 R2. According to the What’s Changed in Security Technologies in Windows 8.1 page on Microsoft TechNet:

In Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1, Windows Defender is available on Server Core installation options (without the user interface), and it is enabled by default.

Windows Defender is primarily intended for consumer and unmanaged PC scenarios, and most large organizations will want to use an enterprise antimalware solution such as System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection, which also includes support for ELAM.



With Windows Defender built into Server Core installations, these installations are now more malware resistant from day 1.

Of course, when you decide to implement an anti-malware solution, like Microsoft’s System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection, the malware scanning part of Windows Defender will be disabled, until such time you uninstall the anti-malware solution (properly).

Upgrade your Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM Server Core Installs

Today, Microsoft has made Windows Server 2012 R2 available to the public.

It’s no longer the fortunate TechNet and MSDN subscribers and Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) aficionados who have Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM Server Core bragging rights:

Now everyone and their moms gain access to Microsofts latest and greatest Windows Server product family (and its System Center cousins).

For those of you who have been playing with Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM and Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 RTM since they became available, it’s important to upgrade your Server Core installations from the Release to Manufacturers (RTM) version to the General Availability (GA) version.

For this, you’ll need to download and install these two Windows Server updates:


You can easily install these updates through Server Configuration (sconfig.cmd), option 6) Download and Install Updates.

Enjoy! Glimlach

Get your Server Core Freak On!

When you’re a current TechNet and/or MSDN subscriber, you’re in luck today!

Microsoft has made the Release to Manufacturers (RTM) bits for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 available to current TechNet and/or MSDN subscribers.

Here’s the info:

  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 (x64) – DVD (English)
    1917 MB
    SHA1 1EEC2EE8DD77E8EB970B210C9B0E01986D7210DD
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (x64) – DVD (English)
    4071 MB
    SHA1 B6F063436056510357CB19CB77DB781ED9C11DF3


Enjoy! Smile