How to Create and Use Windows Server 2012 Recovery Disk?

Posted by @Ivy

January 2, 2019

In this article, I will you two ways to create Windows Server 2012 recovery disk. Also, I will show you how to repair Windows Server 2012 (R2) step by step.

What is Windows Server recovery disk?

Windows Server recovery disk can be any bootable media (eg: USB flash drive, CD/DVD, a floppy drive) which can troubleshoot your Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019, including R2.

In general, if you have an Installation Disc come with your computer, you can use it as a recovery disk. If not, 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 server-based computer and use it. And the majority of users never take any unexpected things into consideration. But no one can promise that the computer will work well in the future. Your computer may run into problem owing to system crash, hard drive failure, virus attack, etc. 

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

Create Windows Server 2012 recovery disk and repair your computer

Every operating system needs a recovery disk, Windows Server is not an exception. See Below, I will show you how to create a recovery disk and repair your computer step by step.

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 detailed steps. 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. Because the installation system used by Windows hasn't really changed since Windows 7/2008 R2.

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 a recovery disk.

Step 4. Copy iso files and make the USB device bootable.You can plug your media into your computer and select it, then click Begin Copying. After that, this tool will format your USB device first, then copy ISO files to your USB device and make it bootable.

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 2019/2016/2012/2012 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. With this software, all things become easier. A recovery disk created by AOMEI Bakupper can be applied to Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019 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 

Step 2. Select Utilities and Create Bootable Media on the main page.

Create Bootable Media

Step 3. 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 4. In this windows, select a Bootable Media. You can choose to create a bootable media with CD/DVD, USB Boot Device, Expert ISO file.

Select Bootable Media

Step 5. Select a boot mode between UEFI and Legacy BIOS. In general, the recommended option is your computers' boot mode. Because this software can detect the boot mode of your computer.

Select Windows PE Disc Type

Besides, here are another two ways to boot your computer.

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

Step 1. Boot your computer with the recovery disk.

Step 2. Connect external hard drive which contains your backup image to your computer.

Step 3. Click Restore after loading the main page of AOMEI Backupper.

Step 4.  Select a system backup task.

Step 5. Select a backup point from your previous backup

Step 6. Preview your Source Partition and Destination Partition, then click Start Restore.

Start Restore

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


No one can promise that the computer will work properly forever. Thus, It's essential to create Windows Server 2008/2012 (R2) recovery disk.  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 can be applied to Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019, including R2. To protect crucial data on Server better, the 3-2-1 backup plan is also recommended.