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Windows Server 2012 R2 Installation Guide

Before installing Windows Server 2012 R2, make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements.

For Windows Server 2012 R2 these are:

  • Processor: 1.4GHz 64-bit processor (recommend: 2GHz or faster)
  • RAM: at least 512MB (recommend: 2GB or more)
  • Free Disk Space: at least 32GB (recommend: 40GB or more)

Once confirmed, you’re now ready to install Windows Server 2012 R2. Just follow the steps below:

Step 1: If you have the installation package on a DVD or bootable USB, you’ll first need to change your computer’s boot order so that it runs the installation package when you start it up.

You can change the boot order from your computer’s BIOS setup utility. To find out how to do this, follow our guide here.

Step 2: With the boot order changed, you can now insert your Windows Server 2012 R2 DVD or bootable USB and then start up your computer.

  • Note: You may be prompted to start from the DVD or USB; follow the instructions on-screen

Step 3: Once the installer has loaded, you’ll see the below screen. Click Install Now to start the installation process.

windows server 2012 r2

Step 4: Windows will start copying temporary files. You’ll then see a screen asking if you’d like to install updates for Windows Setup. If you’re connected to the internet, it’s a good idea to do so now; otherwise, you can run updates after installation.

Windows installation guide

Step 5: After installing the updates (or if you’ve skipped them for now), click Install Now on the next screen.

You’ll now need to select the edition you want to install. If you’re installing either Standard or Datacenter editions, you’ll also need to pick if you wish to install as a Server Core or Desktop Experience (with GUI).

  • Note: Server Core gives you a stripped-down version of Windows server with a smaller footprint that takes up less CPU and RAM but is designed to be managed remotely and can be harder to administer locally. GUI, on the other hand, gives you a user-friendly experience that’s easier to manage with a comfortable dashboard

server cpu

Step 6: Once you’ve selected your installation option, click Next, and you’ll be shown the License terms. After reading these, tick I accept the license terms and click Next again

Step 7: You can now choose your installation type. You can either choose Upgrade, which will allow keeping your current files, settings, and apps; or to do a fresh clean installation select Custom.

  • Note: The upgrade option is only available if you started the installation from a previous version of Windows Server (such as Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012)

windows server setup upgrade

Step 8: Next, you’ll be asked where you want to install Windows Server. You can install it on one of the drives or partitions shown in the list, or you can create a new partition, by clicking on Drive Options and then selecting New.

  • Note: if you haven’t already, make sure you back up the contents of your hard drive before continuing, otherwise you may lose any data currently saved on the chosen drive or partition

Once you’ve selected where to install Windows Server, click Next. This step might take a while, and your computer may restart during the installation process; this is normal

how to install windows server 2012

Step 9: Once setup is complete, your computer will restart again and start-up in Windows Server 2012 for the first time. You’ll now be prompted to set up a username and password. Remember to choose a strong password then click OK.

Step 10: If you selected a Server Core installation, the desktop will appear next with a command window, but no Start screen or desktop icons. This is the standard Windows Server Core interface.

server core installation

Step 11: Server Core sets the time zone typically to Pacific Time by default. To change this, type control timedate.cpl, then set the correct date and time and click OK.

Step 12: Windows will also install Server Core with a random computer name. To change this to a name of your choice, type netdom renamecomputer %computername% /newname:computername

  • Note: substitute computername in this command line with the name you want to use

Step 13: You may get a warning you that renaming may adversely impact some services. Type Y to continue. You’ll then be asked to restart your computer to complete the rename process. Type shutdown /r /t 0 to reboot your server.

Step 14: Once the server has restarted, click Ctrl+Alt+Delete, and log on using the username and password you created above.

That’s it! You’ve now installed Windows Server 2012 R2 and are ready to go!

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