I am planning to port an application(rather make it run) on win 2k8 core. But it seems that a lot of dlls are missing on core. I understand that this is a stripped down version of Windows server, but then how is one supposed to develop applications or rather make existing applications run seamlessly on server core.

While running my app(works fine on rest of the platforms including Win 7), I've found that the following dlls are missing

oledlg.dll msjetoledb40.dll dhcpsapi.dll dsauth.dll
just to name a few. I'm sure i might come across some more.

For now, of what I could think of, the only quick way to fix this is to ship the dlls with my app. Which I guess not everyone would agree with. It's not the best solution and comes with redistro licensing hassles.

Any thoughts?

Samrat Patil.

2 Answers 2


The main point of the default "core only" install of Windows Server 2008 is that is includes almost nothing - it is a bare system into which you install the few services and components that you need and nothing else (like the Debian base install and similar, if you are more familiar with Linux). Those DLLs are likely not "missing" - they are just part of components that you have not installed on the machine yet.

You should find out which components and services provide the libraries and other facilities your app requites and list them as pre-install dependencies for your application.

You should not ship system or 3rd party DLLs yourself as you suggest (unless the libraries come with relevant instructions, or a redistributable install set or mergable MSI) as you risk significant library versioning issues on the destination system. Also, you won't need just those DLLs that are referenced directly - those libraries will probably depend upon other that are also not present and may require other things (such as a mountain of registry settings perhaps) to be present in order for them to work correctly - getting all that together yourself would not be a pleasant job.

Edit: You might find more help finding which components your project is depending upon (that the Core install is lacking by default) over on StackOverflow, as it is probably more a developer question than an admin one.

  • 1
    +1. To add to what David has said: A core installation is not meant to host applications. It's meant to be a stripped down, more secure platform to host core services like DC\GC, DHCP, DNS, IIS, etc. If you're trying to make your core install into an application server then you're missing the point of a core install altogether.
    – joeqwerty
    Nov 12, 2009 at 12:55
  • "DLLs Included with Server Core" --- msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms723876%28v=vs.85%29.aspx
    – Mick
    Apr 5, 2011 at 16:40

Also note that while developing for Server Core there are guidelines to follow to make it work. You can't base your work on the standard .Net framework. See microsoft.com for more info on the subject (there are developer guidelines on MSDN).

  • +1. And it server core just misses stuff the application needs - then the application will simply not run on server core. Like lots of applications do (not run there).
    – TomTom
    Sep 2, 2010 at 11:07

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