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Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 Hyper-V

Posted on 2016-08-03
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Last Modified: 2016-08-30
I have done a hardware install of Windows Server Essentials 2012 R2 -- I was not given the option to do a Hyper-V (hardware) install or the virtual install. It did a "full" install (with GIU) onto the physical server. I have tried to use "Server Manager" to uninstall the "Essential Server Experience" but each time I reboot I get the error shown in the attached picture. I am also attaching a text file that show all the features of the server--please let me know which of these I need to remove for this to be considered a Hyper-V install (namely only the features required/necessary for Hyper-V). I am not at all familiar with powershell so if you provide instructions on removing any of these features with PS please provide complete step by step instructions -- thank you
Error when loggin on/rebootingServer2012Features.txt
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Question by:lionelmm
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 41740990
You purchased Essentials, you cannot uninstall essentials to get standard server!  Essentials is a more limited (and DISCOUNTED) version of Standard Server.  Essentials is a REQUIRED role for it.

Essentials doesn't come with Hyper-V but can run in Hyper-V environments.  If you want to use it (and I applaud you for wanting to), you'll have to use the free version of Hyper-V and I'd recommend using 5Nine software to manage (the free version has HORRIBLE management unless you have a Windows 8.x or Windows 10 system to manage it from AND can join it to the domain).

The free hyper-V server is available here:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-hyper-v-server-2012-r2?i=1
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by:lionelmm
ID: 41740996
That is not correct on R2 is is now official that you can do both.  https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn281793%28v=ws.11%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396#BKMK_VirtualWSE

"Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials allows you to set up the Hyper-V role and visualize your environment. The license allows you to set up another guest operating system that is running Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials."
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 41741018
The host would have a bare version of 2012 R2 with the Hyper-V Role set up then the Essentials setup would go into a VM if I remember the licensing right? It's been a while since having to work with Ess.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 41741021
The COMPLETE text of what you tried to quote:

Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard, and Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter can be run as virtual machines. You run virtual machines by using the Hyper-V management tools on a server running Hyper-V. From a licensing perspective, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials allows you to set up the Hyper-V role and virtualize your environment. The license allows you to set up another guest operating system that is running Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. Depending on your system provider’s configuration, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials enables you to set up a virtualized environment seamlessly.

They are talking about LICENSING not included software capabilities.

Essentials does not come with the Hyper-V role.  

http://windowsitpro.com/windows-server-2012/q-does-windows-server-2012-essentials-or-foundation-include-hyper-v-role
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 41741022
Ok, with others who should know the answer to this...

I've found some additional conflicting information....
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41741030
you have to remove ALL roles except for hyper-v

Lee please see page 8 of the whitepaper http://download.microsoft.com/download/E/F/7/EF7D1757-DA76-4E0C-BA86-323706982381/Windows_Server_2012_R2_Essentials_Overview_White_Paper.pdf

Restricted to 1 copy of Server Essentials as a VM vice Standard allowing 2 VM's
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 41741037
Ok, so that's new in 2012 R2... but from everything I read, not nearly that easy.
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/341bd905-1d99-4e3d-af16-04aadf9e9ab9/installing-windows-server-2012-essentials-r2-hyperv-role?forum=2012R2EssentialsPreview

Given the complexity of getting this working, you're better off in my opinion just using the free Hyper-V server... besides, do you REALLY want to limit it to JUST running your essentials server?  My understanding is that new licensing does not permit additional VMs on an Essentials run Hyper-V instance.
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by:lionelmm
ID: 41741250
Well I'm glad we all finally agree that this allowed. And Yes this is what I want to do as this for a small office with one server and 5 PCs. So back to my original question (now that the licensing back and forth is sorted out); how do I go about preventing this error or trying to find where and how this powershell script (I am assuming from the popup I see) is being run each time I reboot/logon? Thanks!
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by:lionelmm
ID: 41742350
@ lee's comment if I was to install this download does it include the GUI, and if not can it be installed afterwards -- I can't (don't know enough) to admin a hyper-v server without the GUI.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41742370
sysinternals autoruns is your friend.. I'd check task scheduler.. yes gui is installed (there is no CORE version of WS2012R2 Essentials) but not desktop experience (you don't need it)
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 41742402
I think David may misunderstand,

Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is CORE ONLY.  There is no GUI - you can manage it using 5Nine Hyper-V Management or by enabling remote access to it (easiest by joining domain) and connecting to it from a workstation.  (I'd put 5Nine on it anyway).

http://www.5nine.com/5nine-manager-for-hyper-v-free.aspx
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by:lionelmm
ID: 41742767
@David Johnson sysinternals autoruns -- I installed it and ran it and found a bunch of stuff so how do I go about figuring out what is what?
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41743399
under which tab? logon? services? task schedule?
Lee: I'm not confused he is doing a bare metal install or using the already installed WS2K12R2Ess not putting Hyper-V 2012R2 on the bare metal and then adding the operating system.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 41743672
David,

OP referred to my comment - I interpreted to mean my comment re: using Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 - which is a free product from Microsoft that does not have a GUI.

Your immediate response following, as I read it at the time, was suggesting Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 had a GUI - it does not.
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by:DrDave242
DrDave242 earned 250 total points
ID: 41744700
I'm a little late to the party, but instructions for deploying 2012 R2 Essentials as a Hyper-V host and then running it in a VM on that host can be found here:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn293253.aspx

Scroll down to the section titled To prepare a virtualized deployment. The stuff above that is only relevant after those steps have been followed.

The steps are a bit involved, and nearly all of them have to be performed before Essentials is ever installed, as you're modifying the source images for the host and guest. If you've already got Essentials installed, you'll be starting over; none of this can be done on an existing Essentials installation.

As has already been said, you're only licensed to run Essentials in a VM on that host as part of the Essentials license agreement. If you've got licenses for other OSes, you can of course run them on that host as well.
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by:lionelmm
ID: 41744850
@ DrDave242that link is for servers that come from an OEM, this is retail version of server 2012 namel "After OEM has done the appropriate configuration, which will be described in detail in the later sections, the end user can choose to deploy Windows Server Essentials as a virtualized instance, or perform a physical deployment."

So I am looking for help once this has already been installed and steps to PREVENT Essentials Experience from trying to run
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by:lionelmm
ID: 41744853
@David Johnson, CD, MVP
There are items under all those tabs but none seem to point to what may be the task that is running. Do you want me to get you screenshots of each tab or do you know what I need to be looking for?
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by:DrDave242
ID: 41744873
@ DrDave242that link is for servers that come from an OEM, this is retail version of server 2012 namel "After OEM has done the appropriate configuration, which will be described in detail in the later sections
Those "later sections" tell you exactly how to perform that configuration. That's why I said to skip the first part.

So I am looking for help once this has already been installed and steps to PREVENT Essentials Experience from trying to run
I'm afraid that's not going to happen. Essentials Experience is an optional role in the Standard and Datacenter editions, but it's an integral part of the Essentials edition. You can't remove or disable it and still have a functional OS.

Now, having said that, Essentials is cheaper than Standard or Datacenter, and people trying to save a few bucks are demonstrably the most ingenious creatures on the planet. Therefore, there may be some convoluted hack out there that can make this work. Keep in mind that if there is, the OS will be in an unsupported configuration. You'll be on your own if something goes wrong today, tomorrow, or five years down the road.
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by:lionelmm
ID: 41744958
"Essentials Experience is an optional role in the Standard and Datacenter editions, but it's an integral part of the Essentials edition. You can't remove or disable it and still have a functional OS."

This is not correct if was then how can you have a Hyper-V install using the Essentials DVD. Microsoft says you can do a hardware (hyper-v) install and a VM install.
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by:DrDave242
ID: 41745003
how can you have a Hyper-V install using the Essentials DVD. Microsoft says you can do a hardware (hyper-v) install and a VM install.
Yes, Microsoft says you can, and they provide instructions for doing so. Those instructions are in the link I posted above. There is no other supported way.
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lionelmm earned 0 total points
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Even though MS says you can install Hyper-V only using the retail copy you really cannot. Since this is supposed to be a version of server that is geared to small businesses and thus companies with much smaller staff or outside staff they have not made this process very easy. As such after a very long struggle and many, many hours I find myself still not operating in an ideal environment and still do not have all the pieces and parts working as advertised by Microsoft. As such, I highly recommend that you DO NOT use Essentials server unless you really have to. In the long run, with the cost of time (labor) you will be much better off by the more "expensive" Standard version. Essentials tries to make things "easy" but all it does is get in the way of actually getting stuff done.
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by:lionelmm
ID: 41776007
My last comment explains why -- there is no real functional solution -- Microsoft's advertising is very misleading
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