Certain commands won't run

Get-WindowsFeature and Install-WindowsFeature won’t run on a server 2012 core. Keep getting an error “Configuration failed to initialize”.

Update-Help throws the same error also:
S C:> update-help -Force
pdate-help : Failed to update Help for the module(s) ‘Microsoft.PowerShell.Management, Microsoft.PowerShell.Security
icrosoft.PowerShell.Utility, Microsoft.WSMan.Management, ServerManager, AppLocker, BestPractices, CimCmdlets, Dism,
nternational, IscsiTarget, Kds, Microsoft.PowerShell.Diagnostics, Microsoft.PowerShell.Host, PKI,
SDesiredStateConfiguration, PSScheduledJob, PSWorkflow, PSWorkflowUtility, RemoteDesktop, ServerCore, TLS,
indowsErrorReporting, Microsoft.PowerShell.Core’ with UI culture(s) {en-US} : Configuration system failed to
t line:1 char:1
update-help -Force

  + CategoryInfo          : InvalidOperation: (:) [Update-Help], Exception
  + FullyQualifiedErrorId : UnknownErrorId,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.UpdateHelpCommand


Sure it will. PoSH is what MS wants you to use for SC.
Those error means either it is not installed / enabled…

at the cmd.exe prompt — Use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM.exe) tool to enable PowerShell:

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:MicrosoftWindowsPowerShellRoot


dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:MicrosoftWindowsPowerShell /all

…or you are sitting at the cmd.exe prompt typing PoSH cmdlets. Of course cmd.exe has not idea what PoSH cmdlets are. SC defaults to cmd.exe, not PoSH. You have to type PowerShell in cmd.exe prompt to bring up PoSH before trying to use its tools.
Server Core Configuration & Management - Windows 2012 R2 - YouTube
Windows Server 2012 - Initial setup of server core using Powershell - YouTube

You can change the default from cmd.exe to powershell.exe, if you wish. See the information below:


Unfortunately, neither dism command worked. I’m going to recommend a rebuild.