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Server Core to WorkStation+How to

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WHY?... because i needed a X64 only(server core has the option to remove 32bit support making it a 64bit only OS) Microsoft os that was small,fast,stable, and would run only my Digital Audio Workstation Software.

BUT.... Getting the Audio Drivers to load properly has so far been a real problem and i'm really stuggling with this issue, maybe someone far cleverer than me can sort it out...However i have managed to get the relevent audio services working, so no problem there.

SO.. here's how...


i use the following tools etc....

(download) Microsoft Server 2008 R2 Sp1..

(download and install) Microsoft WAIK....

(download) Gimagex(free, wim file manipulation with gui)..

(download) o&o Regeditor(free,has good copy and paste feature, does things regedt32.exe cant)

(download) NotePad++ (free, and i preffer it to Notepad)..

(download) VirtualBox, for testing..

Finally, any Iso manipulation tool, i use ultraIso


create folders in the root of your drive -

c:\SOURCES (this is where i put the *.wim files for mounting)
c:\COREPLUS (this is where i mount 'CORE.wim' for manipulation etc)
c:\STANDARD (this is where i mount 'STD2008.wim' for file and registry copying)


Extract 'install.wim' from the iso file of 'Server 2008 R2 SP1' to C:\SOURCES\install.wim

Run GimageX and export image 1 to C:\SOURCES\STD2008.wim then export image 2 to c:\SOURCES\CORE.wim


Mount 'STD2008.wim' to C:\STANDARD then Mount 'CORE.wim' to C:\CORE

(Remember to mount both wim's in read\write mode)


Copy all the files from the root of C:\STANDARD\windows\system32 to C:\CORE\windows\system32 (overwrite all files)

Copy C:\STANDARD\windows\en-US\explorer.exe.mui to C:\CORE\windows\en-US\explorer.exe.mui

Copy C:\STANDARD\windows\Resources\*.* to C:\core\windows\Resources\*.*

Copy C:\STANDARD\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DeviceMetadataStore\*.* to C:\CORE\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\DeviceMetadataStore\*.*

Copy C:\STANDARD\ProgramData\Microsoft\User Account Pictures to C:\core\ProgramData\Microsoft\User Account Pictures

Copy C:\STANDARD\Program Files\Internet Explorer\*.* to C:\CORE\Program Files\Internet Explorer\*.*


Now for the registry stuff, this might or might not be a bit tricky, depends on you user rights and ownership etc....

run regedt32, click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, file,load hive .

then load C:\CORE\Windows\system32\config\SOFTWARE . use key name 'CORESOFT'

then load C:\CORE\Windows\system32\config\SYSTEM . use key name 'CORESYS'

then load C:\STANDARD\Windows\system32\config\SOFTWARE . use key name 'STDSOFT'

then load C:\STANDARD\Windows\system32\config\SYSTEM . use key name 'STDSYS'

Now close regedt32 and open O&Oregedit

highlight 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESOFT\Classes' right click on 'Classes'>permissions>advanced>owner , (make sure you are the owner and click on 'replace owner on subcontainers and objects)>apply>ok>ok . right click again and select 'clear'>'yes'

'Classes' should now be deleted(takes a few seconds)

Highlight 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\STDSOFT\Classes' right click on 'Classes' and select copy, navigate back to 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESOFT' and right click, select paste

Do the same again but for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESOFT\Microsoft\Internet Explorer

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESOFT\Microsoft\Explorer

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESOFT\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\MMDevices

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESOFT\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SideBySide

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESOFT\Microsoft\WindowsNt\CurrentVersion\Multimedia

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESOFT\Microsoft\WindowsNt\CurrentVersion\Svchost


And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESYS\ControlSet001\Control\Class

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESYS\ControlSet001\Control\CoDeviceInsatallers

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESYS\ControlSet001\Control\GroupOrderList

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESYS\ControlSet001\Control\MediaInterfaces

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESYS\ControlSet001\Control\MediaProperties

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESYS\ControlSet001\Control\ServiceGroupOrder

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESYS\ControlSet001\Services\AudioEndPointBuilder

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESYS\ControlSet001\Services\AudioSrv

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESYS\ControlSet001\Services\HDAudBus

And for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESYS\ControlSet001\Services\ksthunk


Also change HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CORESOFT\Microsoft\WindowsNt\CurrentVersion\WinLogon to "Shell = Explorer.exe"


Close O&Oregeditor

Open regedt32.exe


close regedt32.exe


Open GimageX, Capture C:\CORE , maximum compression, SKU FLAG - STANDARDSERVER Destination = anywhere you want (i named mine coreplus.wim and put it in C:\SOURCE

This may take a bit of time here, put kettle on, have a cuppa T / Coffe


Inject your edited wim file in to a bootable iso and install on your VirtualBox or HD

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