Learn to Create a Windows Server 2012 Recovery Disk

Posted by @Ivy

October 9, 2017

Want to create a Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 recovery disk? Follow this article and I will show you two ways to create a recovery disk for your Windows Server.

What is Windows Server recovery disk?

Windows Server recovery disk can be any media including USB flash drive, CD/DVD, floppy drive which contain a copy of system image backup and help you troubleshoot your Windows Server 2008/2012/2016, including R2.

In general, if you have an Installation Disc come with your computer, you can use it as a recovery disk to restore your computer. But if you do not have an Installation Disc, you can download ISO file from Microsoft store and burn it to a USB drive. However, you cannot use a Windows Server 2008 (R2) recovery disk to restore your server 2012 (R2). That's to say, you can only use Windows Server 2012 (R2) recovery disk to restore your server 2012 (R2).

To avoid this problem, you can use a server backup software to create recovery disk which can apply to all your computer including server 2008/2012/2012 R2/2016

Why create a Windows Server 2012 repair disk?

In most case, users may directly buy a Windows server and use it. And they never think about what if any unexpected things happen. For a Computer, you may encounter many unexpected things, such as System Crash, Hard Disk Failure, etc. some unexpected things will make your computer unbootable.

When your computer is unbootable, you need to troubleshoot the computer having problems. So having a media whether Installation disc or bootable recovery disk is essential for you.

How to create a Windows Server 2012 recovery disk and use it?

Every operating system needs a recovery disk, Windows Server is not an exception. So if you still do not have, continue to see below and learn how to create Windows Server 2008/2012/2012 R2 recovery disk.

Create Windows Server 2012 recovery disk

When it comes to creating a recovery disk, many users will think about create a recovery disk for Windows 10/8/7 first. And just a few people will think about creating a recovery disk for Server. However, it's still really essential for Windows Server. If you have the original Installation disc, you can use it. It's a recovery disk itself.

However, if you do not have the original Installation Disc, you can follow the steps below to create a recovery disk. If you do not have ISO file, you need to download Windows Server 2012 ISO file from Microsoft Store. If you already have,  let's talk about the specific steps

Step 1: Download Windows 7 USB DVD download tool. This tool works perfectly for Windows Server 2012 largely in part because the installation system used by Windows hasn't really changed since Windows 7/2008 R2 with its use of WIMs

Step 2: Launch it and find your ISO file

Choose ISO File

Step 3: Choose media type between USB device and DVD. I will choose USB device and show you how to create recovery disk.

Choose Media Type

Step 4: Plug your media into your computer and select it, then click Begin Copying. After that, it will format your USB device first, then copy ISO files to your USB device and make it bootable.

Insert USB 1

Format and Create Bootable USB Device

Step 5: After all finish, you can see the content of your recovery disk and ensure it's exactly the same as your ISO file.

Now, you have a recovery disk. And you still need a system image backup if you want to restore. If you do not have a system image backup, you need to make a system image backup first. If you want to restore Windows Server 2012, you need to create system image backup in Windows Server 2012.

Learn how to repair windows server 2008/ 2012 (R2) step by step

Step 1: Plug your Installation Disc/ USB bootable disk into the optical drive

Step 2: Boot from your Installation Disc/ USB bootable disk

Step 3: At the Windows setup screen, click Repair your computer

Click Repair Your Computer

Step 4: Select Troubleshoot

Step 5: Select System Image Recovery

Step 6: Select the Windows System, such as Windows Server 2012/2012 R2/2008

Step 7: At the Re-image your computer screen, select the image you made before

Step 8: Click Next and follow the instructions until the last step

In most case, the recovery disc is locked to the computer it came with. So if you use Windows Server 2008 Installation Disc and system image backup to restore your Windows Server 2012, you will fail.

If that's your case, you can try server backup software to create a recovery disk and use it to restore your computer.

Another way to protect your Windows Server

AOMEI Backupper Server, a magic server backup software. It's quite different from Installation Disc. A recovery disk created by AOMEI Bakupper can be applied to Windows Server 2008/2012/2016 including R2. That's to say, you do not need to create recovery disk in each operating system, and restore one by one.

To be honest, it's worth a shot. Download it and see the specific steps below

Step 1: Launch the server backup software and select Utilities and Create Bootable Media on the main page.

Create Bootable Media

Step 2: Select Bootable Disc Type according to your needs. Linux based bootable media only allows you to use basic functions of AOMEI Backupper while Windows PE based bootable media can use all functions.

Select Bootable Disc Type

Step 3: Select a Bootable Media among Burn to CD/DVD, USB Boot Device, Expert ISO file, then click Next to run the pending process.

Select Bootable Media

Step 4: Select a boot mode between UEFI and Legacy BIOS. You must choose the boot mode of your Windows Server, or you cannot boot your Windows Server 2008/2012/2012 R2

Select Windows PE Disc Type

Learn how to use Windows Server 2008 (R2)/2012 (R2)/2016 recovery disk

Step 1: Plug your recovery disk into your Windows server 2012, click Restore after loading the main page of AOMEI Backupper and select a system backup

Step 2: Select a backup point from your previous backup

Step 3: Review your Source Partition and Destination Partition, then click Start Restore.

Start Restore

Tip: If you want to proceed a Windows Server backup bare metal recovery to different hardware, you need to tick Enable Universal Restore.


To protect your computer, Creating Windows Server 2008/2012/2012 recovery disk is really essential. With it, you can restore your computer even if it is unbootable. Compared with an Installation disc, recovery disk created by AOMEI Backupper is better. You only need to create one recovery disk and it's suitable for Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016, including R2.