How to: Join Windows Server 2012 Core to domain

Since Windows Server 2012 allowed add/remove of GUI “on the fly” via Uninstall-WindowsFeature/Ininstall-WindowsFeature and their aliases amount of questions “How do I do X in Server Core” decreased drastically as there is now universal lazy man response to this – temporarily add GUI do thing X and remove GUI again. Not always time efficient but effective 🙂

Anyhow almost everything can be done without GUI. Here is your option to perform domain join operation for server core box:

1) Old-school crutch sconfig 🙂 Option (1):

sconfig

You may see that it actually uses in netdom.exe in the background when it asks for password:

sconfig domain join

It even suggest you to change computer name in case you forgot do it in advance:

sconfig domain join - computer name change prompt

Assuming you entered correct password and DNS/IP settings allow you to locate and reach out domain controller you will receive reboot prompt in the end of this process:

sconfig domain join - restart prompt

Once restart is performed you can verify the results either via WMIC or PowerShell:

sconfig domain join - verify via WMIC or PS

2) Add-Computer commandlet.

3) djoin command. This one allows to perform offline domain join.

djoin

There is also related dsadd command but this can only be used to pre-create computer account in domain. This utility will create a computer account in the domain, but will not join the local computer from a workgroup to a domain.

 

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