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Installed Windows Server 2016, now I can't access my desktop

%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-366561%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EInstalled%20Windows%20Server%202016%2C%20now%20I%20can't%20access%20my%20desktop%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-366561%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EHi%20everyone%2C%20today%20I%20installed%20Windows%20server%202016%20from%20Microsoft's%20website%20to%20try%20and%20learn%20active%20directory.%20The%20bottom%20line%20is%20after%20it%20installed%20all%20my%20laptop%20is%20showing%20now%20is%20the%20command%20prompt%20as%20seen%20in%20the%20attached%20image.%20I%20can't%20access%20anything%20else.%20Please%20help%20me%20get%20my%20laptop%20back%20to%20normal.%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-LABS%20id%3D%22lingo-labs-366561%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CLINGO-LABEL%3Etech%20support%3C%2FLINGO-LABEL%3E%3C%2FLINGO-LABS%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-366747%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Installed%20Windows%20Server%202016%2C%20now%20I%20can't%20access%20my%20desktop%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-366747%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EThank%20you%20%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Ftechcommunity.microsoft.com%2Ft5%2Fuser%2Fviewprofilepage%2Fuser-id%2F261242%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%3E%40dretzer%3C%2FA%3E.%20I%20did%20install%20it%20on%20my%20harddisk%20thinking%20it%20was%20just%20any%20other%20application.%20Thankfully%20I%20was%20able%20to%20reinstall%20Windows%20and%20it%20saved%20all%20my%20files%20to%20a%20dedicated%20%22old%22%20folder.%20My%20PC%20is%20up%20and%20running%20again.%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-366650%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20Installed%20Windows%20Server%202016%2C%20now%20I%20can't%20access%20my%20desktop%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-366650%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3EIt%20looks%20like%20you%20installed%20Windows%20Server%202016%20Core.%20The%20default%20installation%20of%20Windows%20Server%202016%20is%20without%20any%20Desktop.%20You%20configure%20and%20use%20it%20via%20command%20line%2C%20PowerShell%2C%20or%20in%20a%20real%20production%20environment%20remotely%20with%20management%20tools%20from%20a%20workstation.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EWithout%20more%20information%20about%20how%20you%20installed%20the%20operating%20system%20(did%20you%20install%20to%20a%20separate%20partition%20or%20did%20you%20wipe%20your%20current%20Harddisk%20and%20installed%20it%20over%20your%20previous%20operating%20system%2C...)%20I%20can't%20tell%20you%20what%20your%20best%20course%20of%20action%20is%20to%20restore%20your%20Notebook%20to%20%22normal%22.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EIf%20you%20wiped%20your%20Harddisk%20and%20did%20a%20fresh%20install%20of%20Server%202016%2C%20without%20any%20backup%20beforehand%2C%20your%20chances%20of%20getting%20back%20your%20data%20are%20slim.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EIf%20you%20just%20want%20to%20get%20a%20normal%20client%20operating%20system%20backup%20onto%20the%20device%2C%20you%20should%20download%20a%20current%20Windows%2010%20installation%20media%20from%20Microsoft%20(for%20the%20version%20of%20Windows%2010%20you%20own%20a%20license%20for%20of%20course).%20Then%20boot%20with%20this%20media%20from%20USB%20or%20DVD%2C%20delete%20all%20current%20partitions%20in%20the%20setup%20dialog%20and%20let%20Windows%20setup%20do%20it's%20job.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EIf%20you%20want%20to%20learn%20Windows%20Server%20you%20should%20really%20do%20so%20in%20a%20virtualized%20environment%20instead%20of%20a%20physical%20machine.%20You%20could%2C%20for%20example%2C%20install%20Hyper-V%20on%20your%20Windows%2010%20Client%20and%20run%20a%20Windows%20Server%20instance%20inside%20of%20Hyper-V.%20With%20this%20you%20can%20experiment%20all%20you%20want%20without%20damaging%20your%20Host-System.%20Also%20to%20make%20it%20easier%20for%20looking%20around%20Windows%20Server%20make%20sure%20you%20choose%20the%20%22Windows%20Server%202016%20with%20Desktop%20Experience%22%20installation%20option%20when%20installing%20it.%20This%20way%20you%20have%20an%20almost%20familiar%20Desktop%20environment.%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E
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eomlil
New Contributor
Hi everyone, today I installed Windows server 2016 from Microsoft's website to try and learn active directory. The bottom line is after it installed all my laptop is showing now is the command prompt as seen in the attached image. I can't access anything else. Please help me get my laptop back to normal.
2 Replies
Solution

It looks like you installed Windows Server 2016 Core. The default installation of Windows Server 2016 is without any Desktop. You configure and use it via command line, PowerShell, or in a real production environment remotely with management tools from a workstation.

Without more information about how you installed the operating system (did you install to a separate partition or did you wipe your current Harddisk and installed it over your previous operating system,...) I can't tell you what your best course of action is to restore your Notebook to "normal".

If you wiped your Harddisk and did a fresh install of Server 2016, without any backup beforehand, your chances of getting back your data are slim.

If you just want to get a normal client operating system backup onto the device, you should download a current Windows 10 installation media from Microsoft (for the version of Windows 10 you own a license for of course). Then boot with this media from USB or DVD, delete all current partitions in the setup dialog and let Windows setup do it's job.

 

If you want to learn Windows Server you should really do so in a virtualized environment instead of a physical machine. You could, for example, install Hyper-V on your Windows 10 Client and run a Windows Server instance inside of Hyper-V. With this you can experiment all you want without damaging your Host-System. Also to make it easier for looking around Windows Server make sure you choose the "Windows Server 2016 with Desktop Experience" installation option when installing it. This way you have an almost familiar Desktop environment.

Thank you @dretzer. I did install it on my harddisk thinking it was just any other application. Thankfully I was able to reinstall Windows and it saved all my files to a dedicated "old" folder. My PC is up and running again.
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