Updates from QA Training

Using PowerShell as the Shell on Windows 2008 R2 Server Core

With PowerShell becoming one of the most important tools in a Windows administrator’s tool bag as well as really becoming the best prompt to use on Windows Server Core, I thought it was about time I documented how to change the command prompt that opens when you log into Server Core with a PowerShell prompt.


Paul Gregory | 6 July 2012

With PowerShell becoming one of the most important tools in a Windows administrator’s tool bag as well as really becoming the best prompt to use on Windows Server Core, I thought it was about time I documented how to change the command prompt that opens when you log into Server Core with a PowerShell prompt.

To complete this requires two steps:

  1. Enable/Install PowerShell on the Windows 2008 R2 Server Core computer
  2. Update the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon\Shell registry key replacing cmd.exe with PowerShell.exe

To enable PowerShell run SCONFIG from the command prompt and then select menu options 4 then 2.  This will require the computer to be rebooted.

Once rebooted login and in the CMD prompt type PowerShell.  At the PowerShell prompt type:

SET-ITEMPROPERTY "HKLM:\ SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS NT\CURRENTVERSION\WINLOGON" SHELL POWERSHELL.EXE

Having completed above log off and back on and a powershell prompt will open instead.

Please see this video for a demonstration of this.


QA Training | Paul Gregory

Paul Gregory

Head of Microsoft Infrastructure

A Microsoft Certified Trainer since 1995, Paul has worked both for and with some of the world's leading IT Services organisations – including Unisys, Dell and Microsoft during the Microsoft Windows (TAP) Technology Adoption Programme. Paul specializes in delivering training around the Windows Operating system as well infrastructure and management solutions around System Center going right back to SMS 1.0. Paul is a frequent visitor to Microsoft's Global Headquarters in Seattle to attend early product workshops and for many years has delivered training courses around the world on behalf of Microsoft. In addition to being actively involved in Microsoft's Windows TAP programme, Paul has recently delivered both Microsoft's Private Cloud 2012 readiness training to partners in the UK and was a member of the Microsoft global training team delivering Windows Server 2012 early adopter training. During recent years Microsoft has requested Paul to deliver System Center training at both Redmond and The South American head office to Microsoft Partners.
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